The United Arab Emirates spares no effort to support and encourage national industries in various sectors and fields in general, and in the military sector in particular. During a short period of its life, the UAE defense industries witnessed remarkable developments and entered into great competition with its counterparts at the global level, as various UAE military companies have proven that their national defense products are no less in quality and efficiency than those of the most prestigious and largest global defense companies.
Perhaps the most prominent Emirati military industry that has achieved an international presence and gained fame in the defense community is the Emirati amphibious infantry fighting vehicle “Wahash”, which is a living example of the leading and promising national defense industries, as it was manufactured and produced 100% by national hands and expertise through the UAE company Calidus headquartered in Abu Dhabi.
The unique Emirati amphibious armored vehicle “Wahash” appeared for the first time in February 2019 during the International Defense Exhibition “IDEX” in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, where it was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. The UAE fighting vehicle has attracted the attention of visitors, participants and major manufacturers of military vehicles from different countries of the world.
Specifications and features
The “Wahash” vehicle is characterized by extraordinary specifications that make it the ideal solution for armies and armed forces, as it is an infantry fighting vehicle, and an eight-wheeled (8×8) armored personnel carrier, with a high ability to perform multiple tasks easily and smoothly under the most difficult conditions and harsh terrain. Through its land and amphibious capabilities, it enables its crew to complete its military operations to the fullest, as it can work in high temperatures up to 55 degrees Celsius within the international endurance standard (MIL-STD-810 A1+).
In 2019, the “Wahash” armored vehicle succeeded in passing a large series of harsh tests, to determine its ability to achieve the goals for which it was made.
Wahash is about 8.5 meters long, 3.2 meters wide, and 2.7 meters high, without the height of the control and weapon turret. The space required to enable the vehicle to turn is (a diameter of 23 meters).
In terms of approach and departure angles, the maximum frontal angle that the “Wahash” vehicle can climb on, from a horizontal plane, is about 45%, and the departure angle in the rear is 45%. The vehicle can climb a 70% front slope and a 40% side slope, and can cross obstacles and cross a two-meter wide trench.
Protection and armour
The vehicle offers up to STANAG 4569 Level 4 ballistic protection and Level 4a and 4b land mine protection. It can withstand improvised explosive devices (IEDs), 155mm artillery shell fragments and mine explosions under wheels and centre hull.
The protection levels can be further increased with the integration of add-on external passive armour packages.
A chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protection system and automatic fire and explosion suppression system form part of the vehicle’s equipment fit. The UAE vehicle can be transported at a rate of two vehicles in military cargo planes “Boeing C-17 Globemaster 3.
The super armored vehicle, which has a payload of 10,975 kilograms, can accommodate eleven passengers (driver, commander, gunner and 8 soldiers) with comfortable seats provided with shock-absorbing technology, while the total weight of the military vehicle is about 34,000 kilograms, and its empty mass is 23025 kilograms.
The vehicle can travel distances of up to 750 kilometers, and a top speed of 130 kilometers per hour, as it is powered by an engine of about 540 kilowatts (724 horsepower), of the type (INLINE 6 CYLINDER).
As for the acceleration rate of the “Wahash” vehicle, it reaches from 0 km per hour to 60 km per hour in 19 seconds.
At water level, the entire military vehicle is propelled by two propellers at the rear of the hull, and has a maximum amphibious speed of about 8 km per hour within the Beaufort scale sea state 2 scale.
The energy-to-weight ratio of the Emirati “Wahash” vehicle is about 17 kilowatts/ton.
The Wahash armored vehicle is powered by a 724-horsepower engine with an automatic transmission, an independent adjustable hydro-pneumtic suspension system, and uses diesel fuel that empowers it to travel for a range of up to 750 km. It also has an advanced electrical system and 24 volt lithium-ion batteries.
The Wahash infantry fighting vehicle is designed to accommodate large-caliber weapon systems, as it is fitted with a PMB 3 turret with 105 mm gun and numerous remote-controlled weapon stations.
The modern and digital mission systems and sensors can be seamlessly aligned with C4ISR (Command, Control, Communication, Computing, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) systems.
The vehicle is designed with features that fit and meet the various tactical needs of end users in an efficient and inexpensive manner.
The military vehicle contains advanced display devices and surveillance cameras that rely on modern technological systems and artificial intelligence techniques for the surveillance of the perimeter from all directions.
Because the scenarios and requirements of work, movement and operation are many and varied, the “Wahash” armored vehicle provides advanced technologies and systems that allow the possibility of shooting while on the move.
The vehicle’s steering system provides ample space between the 1600R20 tires and the vehicle chassis. The protected vehicle’s cockpit allows for an excellent field of view and excellent operating ambience for the vehicle’s commander.
(a military researcher)