The unparalleled Storm is capable of accelerating to 140 km/h in the desert and getting across a 1.5-meter wave
IDEX-2021 opens in Abu Dhabi—one of the largest "defense" exhibitions. Among 900 samples of military equipment and weapons from 59 countries, the hybrid multifunctional armored car Storm, created under the leadership of the Candidate of Technical Sciences of Ukraine Oleksandr Kuznetsov, will be shown there. The tactical and technical characteristics of the IFV are so sensational that they have already caused a flurry of skeptical questions and comments that could sink more than one ship.
"This is the world's first hybrid multifunctional armored vehicle powered by an electric motor and capable of swimming," Oleksandr Kuznetsov said about his brainchild. —It can withstand waves up to 1.5 m. It can reach speeds of up to 140 km/h on sand and work non-stop from 18 to 36 hours. A diesel generator provides recharging of the electric battery on the way. This vehicle can be used to transfer troops, support the coast guard, deliver goods, and provide medical assistance. In desert conditions where other equipment fails, our vehicle is capable of performing the task."
If the armored vehicle is at least half as effective as reported (that is, close to the characteristics of the IFV from AUVSI Defense), then it will surely change the approach to counter-terrorism and military operations. Just as at one time "Sherp" changed the UN expeditionary logistics and search algorithms for the Ministry of Emergency Situations. After all, none of the existing models of IFV has such autonomy and stability. Plus, when driving on electric motors, the only source of "storm" noise will be the low howl of rubber tracks, and with the diesel engine shut down it will be invisible to thermal imagers. And the use of autopilots of the third and fourth generations will turn it into an ideal war machine.
According to the creators, this is the world's first armored vehicle with an electric drive, capable of going out to sea, that is, "getting across the wave" higher than the river wave. The maximum speed of movement on sand is also beyond mind: driving at 140 km/h on loose soil is not available to most modern SUVs. But the most incomprehensible thing is its autonomy: Storm can drive without stopping for 18-36 hours.
It seems that Kuznetsov's team managed to creatively rework the concept of Ferdinand Porsche that he perfected for nearly 40 years, "curing" it of childhood diseases. The Czech inventor was the first to bring to the serial implementation of a circuit with electric batteries recharged by a diesel generator, but he could not develop it because of the behind-the-scenes games in the military structures of the Third Reich. The Kyiv designer also faced a similar situation—even today the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has no less leapfrog than in the first months of the ATO (Anti-terrorist Operation). Due to the impossibility of motivating the military and finding funding, Kuznetsov's team did not manage to go beyond the"mule"—a riding model equipped only with a diesel engine. Tests on the Dnipro showed the correctness of the chosen concept, but for the creation, testing and fine-tuning of a full-fledged model, a more substantial basis was required than the enthusiasm of a team of six designers, mechanics, and fitters. As a result, in 2020, the Kyivans moved to the UAE, where, with the assistance of the Streit Group, a defense company well-known to our military, they built a full-fledged prototype in five months.
"We could not do all this in Kyiv," Oleksandr Kuznetsov told about his brainchild.—Our idea was perceived as a curiosity in Ukraine. There was no support or finance. The economic and administrative conditions in the Emirates are much better. We quickly found partners who provided us with premises and technical support, while at the same time they did not interfere with the process at all. We came in September, registered the company within a few days and started working. We don't have to pay any taxes here, not even 5% VAT, since our production is located on the territory of a free economic zone. When the car was sent to the exhibition, the customs officers helped us solve all the problems with paperwork. They helped us a lot here".
With funding, the designers were able to order the required components around the world. For example, an electric battery was manufactured according to their drawings at the very Chinese plant that produces batteries for Tesla. The armor protection arrived from Finland, shock absorbers withstanding a load of 65 tons (a hint of the landing possibility?)—from Australia, and unique rubber tracks were cast by a company from neighboring Sharjah. Their main advantages are lightness (and that means better cross-country ability and dynamics), maintainability and low cost. If the standard track breaks, it is easier to throw it away than to repair it, while with the rubber one it is enough to replace the damaged segment. And that, according to the designer, reduces the price of the track by almost 70% compared to other world models.
Oleksandr Kuznetsov did not make a reservation, calling his brainchild a car. The fact is that initially the IFV was supposed to be 8-wheeled, and even now, when it is equipped with tracks unique in its technology, the designer plans to create a faster and more maneuverable 8x8 version.
"Our car has already attracted a lot of interest," continues the designer. "We plan to conduct one more test and finalize the prototype. We want to install additional equipment to be able to dive under water. We also want to equip the car with weapons—a machine gun, an anti-tank system, the Ukrainian complex "Sarmat" produced by the Design Bureau "Luch". The demand for such machines is great, so we are going to start mass production."