Meet the Storm hybrid amphibious MPV, soon to become submersible
Ukrainian company Highland Systems has debuted a unique multi-role armored vehicle at the IREX defense expo in Abu Dhabi. The Storm is an armored MPV with a hybrid powertrain and fully amphibious capabilities, with a submersible version coming.
This is far from the first amphibious, tracked military vehicle; Russia's BT-3F and the USA's AAV-7 have been around for some time now. But the Storm is the first to take advantage of a hybrid-electric powertrain, giving it an impressive 18-36 hour range in hybrid mode with its diesel range extender running, or the ability to operate purely on battery power for 1.5-3.5 hours depending on your speed.
Weighing in at around 8,000 kg (17,600 lb), this versatile six-seater's 2,500-horsepower electric powertrain makes it a seriously quick performer for its category. Top speed on land is 140 km/h (87 mph), and it's capable of an impressive 30 km/h (18.6 mph) in the water, two to three times as fast as larger competitors. It'll currently handle waves up to 1.5 metres (60 inches).
With 50 cm (20 inches) of ground clearance and durable rubber tracks, the Storm can climb vertical step-ups as high as 150 cm (60 inches), or move across a 200 cm (80-inch) wide moat. The tracks are built to be modular, reports GordonUA, so parts can be replaced instead of replacing an entire caterpillar, and this, says Highland, makes it nearly 70 percent cheaper to run than other models.
Its armor offers protection from ballistics, mines and IEDs up to STANAG level 1 or 2, and it can be configured to run entirely by remote control, allowing unmanned or even autonomous missions.
At this stage, the Storm is just a prototype. Testing and development will continue from here, and Highland says this process will include a submersible version capable of diving below the surface of water, and a wheeled version, as well as the integration and testing of standard combat modules. Company representative Alexander Kuznetsov told GordonUA that demand was looking strong and Highland plans to move to serial production.