|Manufacturer:||Societe de Constructions Panhard et Levassor|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Modernization of the vehicle|
Panhard has developed an upgrade package for the widely deployed AML (4x4) armoured car used by many countries around the world.
The modernisation package covers three main areas:
- replacement of the existing petrol engine by a more fuel efficient diesel engine
- replacement of infrared night vision equipment by image intensification equipment
- and modification of the Giat Industries' 90 mm F1 gun to fire Giat Industries' APFSDS ammunition
The standard Panhard AML was powered by the Panhard Model 4HD petrol engine, developing 85 hp at 4,700 rpm which gives the vehicle a maximum range of 600 km. The 4HD engine was developed some 40 years ago by Panhard and has now gone out of production.
In addition to providing 15 percent more power, the new Peugeot XD3T diesel engine gives a substantial 50 per cent increase in torque.
The Panhard retrofit package utilises the Peugeot XD3T turbocharged air-cooled diesel engine developing 95 hp. This has been installed in late production AML armoured cars and is also installed in the more recent Panhard VBL (4 x 4) light armoured vehicle in service with the French Army and many other countries. It was originally developed for the civil market, so spare parts are obtainable from a wide range of sources.
Extensive trials in the Middle East and Asia have shown that the new Peugeot XD3T engine will operate in temperatures as high as +50°C.
When fitted with the new engine, acceleration and maximum speed of the AML is increased and, as spare parts are easily available, life cycle costs are reduced. In addition there is a much reduced risk of fire with a diesel engine than a petrol engine.
The modifications include a new rear hull, alternator, Peugeot XD3T engine, mechanical control clutch, reinforced gearbox, hydraulic control cooling system and a new exhaust system. The rear suspension of the AML is reinforced to take into account the increased weight of the new engine.
Modifications are also carried out to the fuel circuit, driver's dashboard, main electrical control box and rear mudguards.
As an option, a more powerful Peugeot air compressor can be installed and a new Citroen brake system fitted, with the front brakes being of the disc type.
The Giat Industries' 90 mm F1 gun currently fires canister, HE, HEAT and smoke projectiles. The HEAT round, however, has limited effectiveness against certain targets, so Giat Industries has developed an APFSDS round that can be fired from a modified Giat 90 mm F1 gun.
This new round has a muzzle velocity of 1,050 m/s and will penetrate 50 mm of conventional steel armour at 0° incidence at a combat range of 1,300 m. In order to fire the new APFSDS round, the muzzle brake and recoil system have to be modified. The ammunition load of the AML remains 20 rounds even when carrying APFSDS ammunition.
The existing infra-red night vision equipment for the commander, gunner and driver has obvious battlefield limitations so in this modernisation package it is replaced by SOPELEM image intensification equipment. In addition, the gunner is also provided with a laser range-finder mounted externally over the gun mantlet to improve its first-round hit probability.
Panhard also offers the Peugeot/Renault/Volvo V6 water-cooled petrol engine, developing 145 hp at 5,000 rpm as a replacement for the Panhard petrol engine. This gives an even greater power-to-weight ratio and acceleration.
Panhard also offers armament upgrades for the AML 60 and the re-engined package for the AML is suitable for the Panhard M3 (4 x 4) APC which is also used by many countries.
Panhard can either modify the vehicles in France or supply kits enabling the user to convert the vehicles in their own facilities. Another alternative is that Panhard upgrades the first vehicles in France with the user's personnel being trained at the same time to undertake the conversion of the remaining vehicles in their own facilities.
Panhard have also developed to the prototype stage an upgrade package for the Panhard ERC (6 x 6) armoured car which includes the replacement of the petrol engine by a more fuel efficient MTU diesel engine developing 170 hp at 1,300 rpm. This increases the range of the ERC from 700 km to 900 km. A new Renk fully automatic transmission is also installed as a replacement for the manual transmission.
Development complete. In production. In service with at least five countries including Ireland and Morocco. By 1999, over 500 kits had been sold.
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