Eurosatory 2024 – BMC chassis with armoured cabin first appearance

Shaun Connors

At Eurosatory 2024 BMC of Turkey showed for the first time its 8×8 truck chassis with armoured four-door cab. The chassis is in production as part of Turkey’s Arpan 8×8 155 mm Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) project, but according to BMC the chassis is suited for a wide variety of other roles

When used to mount the Arpan’s 155 mm/52 cal ordnance the truck has dimensions of 13 × 3.2 × 3.4 m (L × W × H) and combat weight varies depending on configuration between 32- and 38-tonnes. The design GVW of the chassis is 43-tonnes. In standard configuration the gun has 24 rounds of ammunition available, and it can fire the first round within 30 seconds of coming to a halt. Rate of fire is up to six rounds per minute.

Motive power is provided by an in-line 6-cylinder Cummins ISX water-cooled diesel rated at EURO 3 emissions compliance and developing 503 kW (675 hp), this coupled to an Allison 4900SP fully automatic transmission with 7 forward and 1 reverse gears. The engine and transmission are located traditionally between the frame rails at the front of the chassis, however the cooling back is situated behind the cab.

Drive is transmitted to the rigid beam-type hub-reduction drive axles via a 2-speed transfer case, this and the axles supplied by Base of Turkey. Suspension is provided by semi-elliptic leaf spring, these inverted and shared longitudinally on the rear tandem. A central tyre inflation system (CTIS) is fitted for the 14.00 R 20 tyres. Range is up to 600 km, with a maximum road speed of 80 km/h.

The four-door armoured cab seats up to five and offers Level 2 protection. A roof-mounted self-defence weapon cab be fitted.

BMC commenced development work on the chassis around 12 months before project development commenced, the Arpan project developed by ASFAT in conjunction with other Turkish defence companies including Aselsan, MKE and BMC. The actual Arpan contract was awarded in 2021 and calls for 40 systems, with the first tev examples (including prototypes) to be delivered this year.

Photo by S. Connors