The latest on the new 6×6

Paolo Valpolini

The newest product of the company is the 6×6, most of its features having been described in the previous article (click here to read). “There is truly the need for an efficient, highly capable and affordable troop transport,” Janne Räkköläinen tells EDR On-Line, “as there are high numbers of ageing wheeled and tracked troop transports around the world needing replacement, some of them dating from the 1950s and 1960s.”

The first prototype during winter trials (© P. Valpolini)

Based on the heritage and know-how acquired with the XA and AMV series, the chassis subframe design is based on that of the AMV, superior mobility in addition to cost-efficiency was one of the drivers in the design process. “We have one of the best mobility performances in the 6×6 range, the vehicle is easy to operate being designed for conscript armies such as the Finnish one, affordability coming also from the fact that our new three-axles vehicle is not designed as a fighting vehicle for close combat, but it is mostly what we can define a ‘battlefield taxi’, enabling also various so called support vehicle roles , Räkköläinen tells us. Among the lessons learned from previous programmes, access to subsystems has been improved in order to ease the work of maintainers.

The first prototype has been submitted not only to company tests but has also been driven by potential customers, with positive feedbacks in terms of ease of use, mobility and affordability; as already said one of the requests was to have a slightly bigger volume in the driving cabin, which was obtained moving forward the one-piece windscreen, a solution already adopted on the second prototype.

A rear view of the second prototype (© Patria)

This was completed in early 2019, and we could not see it in real as during our stay in Hämeenlinna it was already on the road, logging more kilometres for endurance and mobility trials. This one and the prototype #3 will be used for testing and for marketing purposes, the last proto featuring also the rear propellers to be used for amphibious tests. “We have ongoing discussions with various potential customers,” Räkköläinen says avoiding of course naming them, “some of them looking for new capabilities while other need to replace older wheeled vehicles.” Among new capabilities indirect fire is one of the many, the new 6×6 having been designed to integrate the NEMO turreted breech-loaded 120 mm smoothbore mortar system developed by the company. Patria first developed the AMOS (Advanced MOrtar System), a twin-barrel solution, then designed the NEMO (NEw MOrtar), a one-barrel system.

The AMOS, here on an AMV, should soon be fitted also to the new 6×6. (© Patria)

“The NEMO is lighter, more flexible, and in the recent year the market showed a considerable interest in this system,” our host says, “explaining that “the advent of such a system brings with it a new way of using mortars in indirect and direct fire support, hence the need to update CONOPS.” The 1.9 tonnes of the NEMO are fully compatible with the 8.5 tonnes payload of the Patria 6×6, roughly one third of the maximum combat weight, and customers having various options to think thoroughly to fully exploit this capability. One way to use part of the payload is to improve protection, clearly less than half of it being needed to bring the basic Level to up to Level 4. Patria has developed its own solutions for standard armour however it is cooperating at numerous solutions provided by armour specialists “in Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Israel” we were told, mostly in the passive and in the active domains. The Finnish company is also very open in terms of weapon systems installation, its 8×8 AMV having already seen the integration of seven small calibre RCWS of six different companies, 14 medium calibre turrets, manned and unmanned, of 12 different sources, three 120 mm mortar systems and four big calibre or missile antitank solutions.