The Springer is an all-terrain vehicle developed for the UK Army by UK-based Enhanced Protection Systems (EPS). The vehicle supports British troops in Afghanistan. The new vehicle fleet was delivered to the army in summer 2009.
The vehicles can be deployed in landing zones to support airborne and light infantry units and used to move combat supplies from helicopter landing sites to forward operating bases (FOB).
Springer ATV orders
In April 2009 the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded a $10.3m contract to EPS for 75 Springer vehicles.
The contract includes the following:
- Support services.
Springer ATV design and features
Designed as a light role load carriage platform, Springer is based on the US-made Tomcar all-terrain vehicle (ATV) platform. Tomcar first entered into service with Israel’s defence forces as a patrol vehicle. The two-seater British version design incorporates basic armour. It can accommodate two crew members. Springer vehicles have rear cargo beds to carry loads of up to 1t, which is high in comparison with similar ATVs.
In addition to the rear cargo bed, all Springers are fitted with a load tray in front of the vehicle to carry an additional 100kg of equipment. A roof section is also available for the transportation of electronics countermeasures packages.
The payload capacity has been optimised through using light armour to achieve weight reductions. All vehicles are refitted to support missions carried out by UK personnel in Afghanistan. The new vehicle ensures an uninterrupted supply of equipment to frontline troops. The Springer has been designed for rugged and desert operational conditions. The fleet can be maintained easily with few special tools.
The 4 x 2 vehicle can self-load a 1t pallet of supplies. Each vehicle is equipped with an 8,000lb self-recovery winch and sand ladders, which act as loading ramps for cargo pellet.
The Springer is fitted with weapons holders to carry light support weapons (LSW). SA80 A2 standard assault rifles are available for two crew members. The SA80 can be fitted with a SUSAT sight and a common weapon sight (CWS). Other weapons include a C7 rifle or a Minimi, a fully automatic light machine gun. The vehicle can also be fitted with a general purpose machine gun (GPMG) mount.
The Springer is fitted with a 1,400cc naturally aspirated Lombardini diesel engine with the option of turbocharger and petrol variants. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) in combination with a drive chain efficiently utilises engine power.
Three modes are provided on the drive train. The top mode delivers high speed and low torque while lower mode gives more torque and less speed. The middle mode delivers a combination of speed and cross-country capability.
The Springer is a two-wheel drive vehicle capable of being driven off-road. They were originally intended to be permanently placed at FOB, but the vehicles are capable of delivering supplies to frontline troops.
Spring arm suspension gives the vehicles a high ground clearance of 378mm. The suspension system consists of an adjustable dual coil over springs, gas hydraulic shocks and an air compressor system with load compensators.
The vehicles have a maximum speed of 40mph. The 1.4l engine provides less power, but the vehicles have low centres of gravity and the ability to negotiate tight corners and uneven and muddy terrain.
Tests have proven the capabilities of the vehicle. The Springer is more versatile than the quad and trailer combinations sometimes used to shift loads from helicopter landing sites by the UK Army. It also offers more protection to operators. The vehicle is lightweight and helicopter transportable.