At the 2024 edition of the World Defense Show the prize for the most original system should have probably been assigned to an armoured buggy named Bandria, developed by the Alkhorayef Group, which was starring in Hall 3
Shown for the first time in public, the Bandria 4×4 is definitely a peculiar vehicle under many aspects, its shape being only the first of a series of original solutions, its appearance being only the most eye-catching one.
The vehicle is based on a tubular chassis, the most obvious elements being shock absorbers and the stabilisation system, the company declaring that structural and mechanical components are made of high-grade material, coupling strength to lightness. Shock absorbers are 2.5-inch coilover at the front while at the rear we find 3-inch absorbers of the same type, ensuring a 20-inch (508 mm) travel on the front wheel and a 33-inch (838 mm) travel on the rear one. For both, a 3-inch 3-tube bypass shock absorber is proposed as option.
As for the stability system, this made of four different systems visible on the side of the vehicle, which link the armoured body to the chassis. According to company sources air, oil/pneumatic and oil/hydraulic dampers are part of the stabilizing system, which can be trimmed according to the vehicle configuration, i.e. the adoption of a remotely controlled weapon station, to optimise stabilisation. The Bandria is fitted with 39-inch tires with beadlock, runflat insert being proposed as optional.
The Alkhorayef Group proposes as engine the General Motors LS2 8-cylinder diesel engine rated at 850 hp; considering a 3,300 kg curb weight and a 2,000 kg payload, the worst-case power-to-weight ratio is 160 hp/t! To cool such a powerful engine, which output is greater than that of some 8×8 IFVs, a radiator is installed at the front, two more air intakes being visible right and left of the superstructure that convey the airflow on the rear-mounted engine. Beside the engine, General Motors also provides the TH400 three-speed automatic transmission, some internal parts having been upgraded according to Alkhorayef, a two-speed Atlas transfer case with a 3:1 low rate allowing the driver to select lower gear ratio in difficult situations.
With a race-like look, the Bandria maintains its promises in terms of maximum speed, 200 km/h, no data on acceleration being available, but considering the excess power this should be quite impressive. The vehicle promises outstanding mobility performances, however bad surprises can always happen, a 3-tonnes electric winch is fitted at the front while traction grids were visible at the rear, together with the spare tire.
As said, the Bandria is a rare example of fully armoured buggy; it carries a crew of three, the driver and commander in the two front seats, respectively left and right, while the machine gunner is installed behind them in the middle, in an elevated position. While the two in the front have a wide field of view thanks to the two-piece armoured windscreen and the two windows in the side doors, a 7-inch screen providing them all needed information, while the gunner can see outside through front vision block.
The Alkhorayef buggy is protected at level B6, which means the vehicle can withstand hits from 7.62×51 mm and 5.56×45 mm ball rounds, and of course AK-47 7.72×39 mm bullets. EDR On-Line was told that the armour is made of 5 mm thick Armox Advance 600 steel, 1 mm thick aluminium and an unspecified layer of Carbon and Gladd Reinforced Plastic. The underbelly features a V-shaped bottom that deflects the blast energy generated by mines or improvised explosive devices.
The vehicle seen at the World Defense Show was the first prototype produced by the company and is currently under test. The Alkhorayef Group aims bringing the Bandria to market in 2025.
EDR On-Line understood that a potential contract by the Sami Government is ready to be inked, the Entities interested in this innovative vehicle being currently the Saudi Arabian National Guard, the General Directorate of Border Guard, and the Ministry of the Interior Special Forces for Environmental Security.
Photos by P. Valpolini