The Ukrainian company, Highland Systems, launched a unique multi-role armored vehicle at the IREX defense exhibition in Abu Dhabi. The Storm is an armored MPV with hybrid powertrain and full amphibious capabilities, with an upcoming submarine version.
This is far from the first amphibious military vehicle to be tracked; The Russian BT-3F and us AAV-7 have been around for some time now. But Storm was the first to take advantage of the hybrid-electric powertrain, delivering an impressive 18-36 hour range in hybrid mode with its range extender diesel engine running, or the ability to operate purely with 1.5-3.5 hours of battery power depending on your speed.
Weighing about 8,000 kg (17,600 lb), this 2,500-seat multipurpose horsepower electric powertrain makes it a very fast player for its category. The top speed on land is an impressive 140 km/h (87 mph), and is capable of reaching an impressive speed of 30 km/h (18.6 mph) in the water, two to three times faster than larger competitors. It will currently handle waves of up to 1.5 metres (60 inches).
With a ground clearance of 50 cm (20 inches) and durable rubber rails, storm can climb vertical step-ups as high as 150 cm (60 inches), or move across trenches 200 cm (80 inches) wide. The tracks are made modular, GordonUA reported , so parts can be replaced instead of replacing entire caterpillars, and this, Highland said, makes them nearly 70 percent cheaper to operate than other models.
Its armor offers protection from ballistics, mines, and IEDs up to STANAG level 1 or 2, and can be configured to run fully with remote control, enabling unmanned or even autonomous missions.
At this stage, Storm is just a prototype. Testing and development will continue from here, and Highland said the process will include a submarine version capable of diving beneath the surface of the water, and a wheeled version, as well as integration and testing of standard combat modules. Company representative Alexander Kuznetsov told GordonUA that demand looks strong and Highland plans to switch to serial production.