Pretoria-based Land Mobility Technologies (LMT) will next week start delivering armoured cabs to Mercedes Benz Special Trucks in Germany for fitting to a undisclosed number of Actros heavy recovery vehicles ordered for immediate use by German troops in Afghanistan.
The cabs are being manufactured by LMT at its Waltloo factory. The company says it received the contract in March 2011. Mercedes Benz, announcing the order in May, said the supply of the vehicles “will substantially enlarge the capabilities of the Bundeswehr.”
The companies say the vehicles will be of the same configuration and with the same high level of protection as the 120 successfully operated by the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan since March 2008.
“The vehicles will ensure the best available protection in wheeled logistics vehicles for the German soldiers in operation, Mercedes Benz said in its may statement. “With the heavily-armoured Actros 4151 AK 8×8, Mercedes-Benz is setting new standards in special-purpose logistics vehicles. The Actros provides Level 4 ballistic protection and Level 4b mine protection according to STANAG 4569. Thanks to its extremely effective armour against blasts and shrapnel, the Actros is also setting standards when it comes to protection against IED’s and car bombs.
“The systems of the heavily-armoured Actros 4151 AK 8×8 have been further optimised on the basis of many years of experience. Thanks to their excellent cab protection, high-performance chassis and tried-and-tested bodies, the vehicles are able to offer a deployment availability of over 95%.”
Mercedes Benz adds the armoured cab can be tilted forward so as to guarantee access to the engine compartment, which is also armoured. A new seating system with 5-point seat belts provides the optimum basis for protecting the occupants against attack, including from the side. At the same time the seats offer both secure support when driving off-road as well as good freedom of movement. A high-performance air conditioning system helps to ensure optimum temperatures are maintained, even in extreme climatic conditions.
A particular challenge faced by heavy recovery vehicles is the distribution of axle loads in all deployment situations – from heavy-duty recovery applications through to driving when empty. While the weight of the armoured cab lies across the front axles only, in recovery situations the weight of the raised, towed vehicle places a load on the rear axles which can act like a huge lever. The Actros 4151 AK 8×8 Recovery vehicle, however, has been designed in such a way as to ensure a substantially uniform axle load distribution and also enable safe handling in both heavy-duty recovery situations and also when driving unladen, the company says.
The protected Special Vehicle has a weight of 33.500 kg, a length of 10.530 mm, a width of 2.800 mm and a height of 3.400 mm. The wheelbase of the Mercedes-Benz Actros 8×8 is 5.580 mm. The BlueTec 5-V8-engine of the type OM 502 LA has a power of 375 kW/ 510 hp.
The recovery technology consists of the wreckerbody made bei Empl, three Rotzler-winches and a Hiab-front-crane. The Rotzler-winches have a max. tractive power of 25 to with a cable-length of 100 m. The Hiab-crane has a lifting capacity of 7.500 kg with 2,60 m. The arm of the Empl-wrecker has a lifting height of 5m and a lifting capacity of 16 metric tons. The wrecker capacity while driving is more than 12mt.