The Cobra light armoured vehicle
The Cobra family of light armoured vehicles is manufactured by Otokar Otobus Karoseri Sanayi in Turkey. The Cobra designs incorporate the mechanical components of the HMMWV vehicle from AM General of the USA.
Five Cobra vehicles were delivered to the Turkish Army in 1997. Cobra vehicles are in production and in service with the Turkish Army and three have been delivered to the Maldives. There are reports that it has also been exported to Algeria, Bahrain, Nigeria, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.
In 2007, Slovenia placed an order for ten Cobra vehicles, to be delivered by the end of 2008. Georgia has a number of Cobra vehicles under an order believed to have been placed in 2007.
The Cobra vehicle also provides the chassis for the Aselsan modular armoured reconnaissance / surveillance vehicle (MARS-V), in service with the Turkish Armed Forces.
A Cobra vehicle has been fitted with the Rafael overhead weapon station (OWS), armed with the Rafael Spike anti-tank missile system.
Next-generation Cobra armoured vehicle
AM General and Otokar have revealed a design for a next-generation Cobra, based on AM General’s XM1211 ECV II upgrade of the high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV). 15 ECV II demonstrators have been ordered by the US Army, which are due to begin trials in 2008.
The new vehicle design has: increased ground clearance; a removable parabolic-shaped blast-deflection plate under the crew compartment; a variable-height semi-active suspension system; improved fragment and improvised explosive device (IED) protection and an uprated 186kW GEP SCCS 400 engine.
In June 2008, Otokar unveiled two new variants of the Cobra, the Cobra 20mm cannon carrier, which is armed with a Nexter Systems 20mm M621 cannon weapon system and a vehicle fitted with the Cobra remote controlled weapon station (RCWS), which has day and thermal imaging sights. Otokar disclosed that an order was placed by an undisclosed customer for the cannon carrier variant in early 2008.
The Cobra family of vehicles have a compact profile and are transportable by aircraft, helicopter, truck and by rail for rapid deployment. The Cobra has an all-welded steel hull with wide, fully opening side and rear doors, allowing rapid exit of the crew when required.
The vehicle also features roof hatches and quick-release three-point locking system. The vehicle has a seating capacity between four and 12 depending on the variant and configuration.
An optional amphibious kit consists of double hydraulic thrusters with joystick control and closing louvres. The system allows the vehicle to enter water without preparation.
A two-piece windscreen and wide side glazing provides good visibility under ballistic protection. The windscreen is fitted with an electrical de-icing system. The hull also has all-round vision blocks. An air conditioning system is fitted as standard.
Optional equipment includes electrical self recovery winch, nuclear, chemical and biological (NBC) protection kit, infrared driving lamps, smoke grenade dischargers, night-vision-goggle-compatible (NVG) glazing, fire suppression system, night-vision periscopes for driver and commander and daytime periscopes for driver and commander.
Various types of weapon stations and turrets incorporating 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine guns, 40mm automatic grenade launcher or cannons up to 30mm calibre can be adapted to the Cobra range of vehicles. Sight systems with night vision capability or thermal imaging are available.
The monocoque hull structure has optimised body angles and a low silhouette for increased survivability. Run-flat tyres are a standard feature, allowing the vehicle to continue its mission with deflated tyres.
The hull provides all-round protection against infantry rifles and machine guns and artillery shell splinters. The vehicle provides protection against anti-personnel and anti-tank mines and side explosives. Add-on armour kits can be provided if required. Protection of the crew is enhanced by using collapsible seat bases, four-point seat belts and additional composite flooring.
Cobra is powered by a turbo diesel V8 engine which provides 190hp. Power to weight ratio is greater than 30hp/t. The vehicle is 4WD with automatic transmission, which is electronically controlled and a two-speed lockable transfer box for increased mobility.
Cobra is equipped with independent suspension and a central tyre inflation system, which allows the tyres to be adjusted while on the move.
All mechanical components of COBRA are from the ECV Variant of AM General’s HMMWV, which eases the logistic support in maintenance and spares inventory for forces already operating HMMWVs. The Cobra vehicle has a maximum speed of 115km/h, acceleration of 0 to 60km/h in 13 seconds and a range of 725km.
Cobra LAV mission variants
The Cobra vehicle forms a common platform, which can be adapted for various roles and mission requirements including: armoured personnel carrier, anti-tank vehicle, reconnaissance vehicle, ground surveillance radar vehicle, forward observation vehicle, armoured ambulance, armoured command post, turreted vehicle for 12.7mm machine gun, 25mm cannon, anti-tank guided missiles such as the TOW missile or surface-to-air missiles.