Bruisertech is making swift progress on the blast trials of its Bruiser 112 armoured personnel carrier (APC), with landmine and improvised explosive device (IED) testing carried out at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s facilities at Paardefontein.
Bruisertech asked the CSIR to carry out the tests under worst case scenarios (meaning that positioning of the blast charges was done to inflict most damage and force) and to meet NATO armoured vehicle standards (STANAG 4569 AEP-55 Volume 2/3). The Bruiser 112 prototype was duly transported to the Paardefontein test range north of Pretoria where test equipment was installed.
The first and most demanding test took place on 18 March and involved a simulated IED explosion. 50 kg of TNT was placed five metres away from the vehicle and detonated, shifting the Bruiser 112 from the point of explosion and causing superficial damage (flat tyres, damaged storage bins etc.). No hull rupture was seen and the seats and mannequins were still secured after the test.
Four simulated sets of legs were seated in the cabin while a full crash test dummy was fitted to the driver’s seat on the right hand side of the vehicle. According to CSIR data, all test equipment survived the blast within specified limits, and the risk of injuries (spine, thorax, neck and legs) was recorded as being less than 10%.
After the Bruiser 112 successfully passed the Human Response and Hull Rupture IED tests, it was time for a landmine test under the wheels. This took place on 20 March, and involved 8 kg of TNT. Again, four simulated pairs of legs and a driver were put inside the vehicle. The explosion shredded the rear back tyre and caused superficial external damage, but the ‘occupants’ inside were unharmed. The risk of spine, neck, chest and leg injuries from the explosion was recorded as being less than 10%.
Following the landmine test, the CSIR reported no hull rupture, that the seat and mannequins were secure and no secondary fragments were found inside the vehicle.
“Post-test inspections of the test vehicle have revealed excellent results, with almost negligent hull deformation and the integrity of the hull fully intact,” said Bruisertech’s Jaco du Toit. “Readings recorded were significantly lower than the injury criteria.”
Further blast testing will be carried out to assess the structural integrity of the vehicle, with a third and final hull shot in late April or early May once the CSIR resumes activity at Paardefontein following the COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown, which is due to end on 16 April. (For landmine testing, two tests are required to evaluate the protection levels of the vehicle to NATO standards, one under the wheel and one under the hull.)
Some minor changes will be implemented on the Bruiser 112 after the tests are completed. “The testing programme is designed to improve our product for total peace of mind,” du Toit said. Once final testing is completed, Bruisertech will be able to claim that the Bruiser 112 meets Level 3B protection criteria.
Du Toit said it is important to develop vehicles that can save lives from landmine and IED threats as police, military and peacekeeping forces are consistently facing these challenges, especially as they are choice weapons of insurgents around the world. He added that vehicles need to be tough enough to survive repeated onslaughts considering they will be in use for many years. “Worryingly, countries started lifting moratoriums on the deployment of landmines. Bruisertech aims to address ever-changing threats facing the end-user, today and in the lifetime of our vehicles,” he said.
The Bruiser 112 has been designed for the African and Middle Eastern market where a cost effective, reliable vehicle with only basic maintenance requirements is needed. It can carry a crew of two plus ten equipped personnel. Kerb weight is 9 000 kg, payload 4 000 kg and combat weight is 10-13 000 kg.
The vehicle is powered by a six-cylinder turbodiesel MWM engine coupled to an automatic transmission, giving a top road speed of 115 km/h and an improved range of over 3 000 km.
The baseline vehicle is configured as an armoured personnel carrier, but Bruisertech developed an ambulance version, which has been fitted with medical equipment such as oxygen tanks, medic kits, stretchers etc. The ambulance layout caters for 4 patients lying down, 2 equipped medics, a driver and all medical equipment. Bruisertech has also started development of a weapons carrier. Other variants, including logistics, are possible as well.
An initial ten vehicles are being built on stock for potential customers.