F-550-based Senator MRAP armored car built to survive road blasts
Roshel Smart Armored Vehicles has rolled out its Senator Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored fighting vehicle at the CANSEC show in Ottawa. Based on the Ford F-550 pickup truck, it's been specially modified to withstand mine blasts and ballistic rounds.
Armored cars have been around since the First World War and specially made versions with bottom armor to protect against road mines were developed by Rhodesia and South Africa in the 1970s. The modern version, designated MRAP, was created after 2007 by the US Defense Department when American forces suffered heavy casualties from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan.
One drawback of MRAPs is that they tend to be a bit on the pricey side. One way to keep the costs down is to start with an established commercial vehicle. In the case of the Roshel Senator MRAP, it shares the same Ford F-550 chassis as the rest of the Senator line of tactical vehicles.
Powered by a 6.7-L diesel V8 engine punching 330 bhp, the four-wheel-drive Senator is armor plated with multi-layer bullet-proof glass, armored doors with reinforced hinges and latches, mine-protected seats with four-point seat belts for up to 10 passengers, gun ports, and cameras providing the driver with a 360-degree view. Riding on the roof is a remote-controlled Rheinmetall Fieldranger weapon turret that can be equipped with machine guns, automatic grenade launchers, or anti-tank guided missiles.
According to Roshel, the Senator is rated to NATO's STANAG 4569 AEP 55 level 2 and level 2a/2b ballistic and blast standards, which means it can survive 7.62×39mm armor-piercing ballistic rounds at a range of 30 m (100 ft), and anti-tank mines packed with 6 kg (13 lb) of high explosives under the frame or wheels by means of a v-shaped bottom armor hull to deflect blasts.
“We are thrilled to unveil the Senator MRAP at the CANSEC show, an event that brings together industry leaders and defense experts from around the world,” says Roman Shimonov, CEO, Roshel Smart Armored Vehicles. “Successful ballistic and blast tests of the Senator MRAP are a significant milestone for Roshel as we continue to innovate and address the evolving needs of modern security and defense forces. The Senator MRAP combines cutting-edge technology, superior blast and ballistic protection, and enhanced mobility to deliver a robust solution that meets the demand of today’s challenging operational environments."
The video below shows a Senator MRAP being tested against an explosive mine.