Buffalo Armoured VehicleSubscribe to Projects
Buffalo Armoured Vehicle
The Buffalo Armored Vehicle is inspired by the South African Casspir mine-protected vehicle, which had great success ever since its construction. The Buffalo is designed to take multiple hits without experiencing disruption to its normal operation and function. It has no fatalities so far in any of the armored vehicles.
The Casspir is a four wheeled vehicle; the Buffalo Armored Vehicle has six wheels. It is also fitted with a large articulated arm, used for ordnance disposal. Both vehicles incorporate a "V" shaped monohull chassis. Its role is to direct the force of the blast away from the occupants. It is also now equipped with BAE Systems' LROD cage armor to provide additional protection against RPG-7 anti-tank rounds.
The U.S. Army and the Marine Corps use the Buffalo to detect and remove suspected explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are over 50 Buffalos deployed with more in production to active theaters of operation.
General characteristics of the Buffalo Armored Vehicle: weight: 45,320 lb (20,560 kg); length: 27 ft (8.2 m); width: 8.5 ft (2.6 m); height: 13 ft (4.0 m); crew: 2+4; armor: 7.62 x 51 mm NATO ball standard.
All and centerline wheels of the Buffalo Armored Vehicle mine protected. Engine: Mack ASET AI-400 330 KW (450 HP); payload capacity 38,680 lb; transmission: Allison HD-4560P; suspension: 6x6 wheeled; ground clearance: 410 mm (15 in); fuel capacity: 85 gal; operational range: 483 km (300 mi); speed: 105 km/h (65 mph).
The Buffalo uses steel wheels and disc rollers which allow the vehicle to be driven over and detonate anti-personnel mines without sustaining damage. An unusually large number of mines can be neutralized in a short period of time. The Buffalo Armored Vehicle retains all round (including roof) ballistic protection from 7.62mm NATO ball cartridges. This armor is upgradeable to protect against Dragunov AP cartridges. There was an incident in which a Buffalo Armored Vehicle was involved: it ran over an anti-tank mine, the blast tore off a wheel and destroyed an axle on the vehicle. There were no casualties to the crew inside the Buffalo and the vehicle was capable of maintaining its mobility and drove itself out of the minefield. The repairs were perfromed the next day when it was sent back to operation.
14 Buffalos were in service with US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. Additional 21 vehicles were purchased by the Army in May 2004, completed by December 2004. The US Army ordered 15 additional Buffalos in November 2004. On February 7, 2006 Force Protection announced a new order from the US Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, for 19 Buffalo Armored Vehicles, with the possibility of buying 27 more.
The Buffalo Armored Vehicle provides an advantage, particularly in the windowed gun ports. The troops are no longer forced to leave the safety of the armored vehicle to counter oncoming enemy fire. Thus, infantrymen can now safely shoot from inside the Buffalo, while viewing the action from the inside of the vehicle protected by the thick glass window ports. Comparatively, HUMVEE soldiers are exposed either from their .50 caliber perch on top of the vehicle or trying to engage a hidden enemy from behind their bulky fabric or light armor doors with minimal overall visibility of the action.
Production totals of the Armored Vehicle system as a whole with The U.S. Army and the United States Marine Corps is set to achieve 5,000 examples since introduction in the fall of 2004. Production is being handled by several firms to help speed the unit to the frontlines. It remains to be seen what the overall effect.
The Buffalo Armed Vehicle proved to be a very reliable and effective vehicle, which provides safety to the 6 members of the crew, who now are capable of initiating attack or defense from inside the vehicle.