WAHASH‭ ‬A pioneering model for the UAE defense‭ ‬industries

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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.‬

UAE Manufacture

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.‬

Performance

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 engine

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.‬

Armament

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.‬

By:Ikram Bandala

‭(‬a military researcher‭)‬

 

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