|RAMTA Division IAI
The RAM family of light armoured fighting vehicles has been developed by the RAMTA Division of Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd, as a successor to the company's earlier RBY Mk 1 light armoured reconnaissance vehicle (fully described in the following entry) and was announced at the Paris Air Show in June 1979.
The RAM family has now been expanded into two basic groups, RAM V-1 (Open), which has an open configuration and RAM V-2 (Closed) which has a closed configuration.
The hull of the RAM vehicle is of all-welded thick steel with the bottom of the vehicle having been designed to provide maximum possible protection against mines.
Its very low centre of gravity prevents the RAM from being overturned by mine blasts. The hull provides protection against shell splinters, shrapnel and small arms fire up to 7.62 mm armour piercing.
Battlefield survivability has further been enhanced by the separation of the crew compartment from the wheels. All critical onboard systems such as fuel, brakes and steering have redundant back-up.
The RAM V-1 (Open) has an open roof troop compartment making it easily accessible and easy to leave. It provides 360° view from all positions and is claimed to give excellent observation. There is also an optional canvas roof that can be fitted if required by the customer.
The front of the vehicle is normally used for kit stowage with the open topped crew compartment in the center and the engine compartment at the rear. The commander and driver are seated at the front of the compartment with the remaining crew members sitting facing outwards in pairs. The engine is located at the rear of the vehicle.
The RAM V-1 carries a 106 mm M40 series recoilless rifle which can be traversed through a full 360°. Eighteen rounds of 106 mm ammunition are carried in the vehicle as well as night vision equipment and a multichannel transceiver.
It can also carry a TOW or MILAN ATGW on a telescopic pedestal. In the case of the former, 16 TOW ATGW can be carried plus a 7.62 mm machine gun together with 2,500 rounds of ammunition.
This has a fully enclosed troop compartment that carries a crew of nine and their personal equipment. It has one door each side for entry and exit and it also has folding armour plate hatches which can be fully or partially opened, this providing all-round observation while affording protection against armour-piercing small arms fire and shell fragments. The personnel can easily fire in all directions.
Various types of armament can be fitted according to mission requirements including one 12.7 mm machine gun or 40 mm grenade launcher, 1,500 rounds of 12.7 mm ammunition or six boxes of ammunition for the 40 mm grenade launcher, three 7.62 mm machine guns plus 5,500 rounds of ammunition, one rocket launcher plus six rounds, 24 fragmentation grenades, nine smoke grenades and two smoke flares. In addition, the vehicle carries night vision equipment and a multichannel receiver.
This is the RAM V-1 (Open) fitted with the RAMTA TCM-20 twin 20 mm light anti-aircraft gun system for which a total of 360 rounds of 20 mm ammunition is carried.
In addition, one 7.62 mm machine gun, night vision equipment and a multichannel transceiver are fitted.
This model, which is only based on the chassis of the RAM V-1 has a crew of four consisting of driver/loader, commander, gunner and loader. It is possible to fire against both ground and air targets while the vehicle is travelling.
Production as required. The RAM series and the earlier RBY are in service with many countries including Botswana, Cameroon, Gabon, Lesotho, Morocco (including some with a 106 mm recoilless rifle) and Democratic Republic of Congo.
In mid-2004 Israel Aerospace Industries announced the latest generation of the RAM series of vehicle, the RAM-2000 reconnaissance/surveillance vehicle. This integrates the RAM vehicle with TAMAM Division's Plug-in Optronic Payload 200 (POP200) electro-optic sensor suite.
The latest generation RAM is also referred to as the RAM-III and can carry eight to 10 personnel. The baseline armour protection package provides protection against small arms fire and shell splinters, but additional armour can be fitted to provide a higher level of protection.
POP200 is a modular gyro-stabilised system that was originally developed by the company for installation on helicopters, light aircraft and UAVs.
The sensor package is mounted on a telescopic mast, which is located at the rear of the vehicle on the left side, that can be raised to a maximum height of 11 m. The sensor package is of the plug-in type, allowing a high level of flexibility. Sensors depend on the mission but can include a forward-looking infra-red system, colour charge coupled device, laser pointer and a laser range-finder.
The operator is seated under armour and is provided with a display and operating controls for the mast and sensor package.
The Indian company Mahindra Defence Systems has a licence to manufacture this vehicle. As far as it is known, there has been no production of the RAM-2000 in India.
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