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Saur 8x8 wheeled armored vehicle

The multi-role vehicle Saur is basically a modified B33 "Zimbru" 8x8 wheeled armored vehicle - a BTR-80 copy. The Saur 1, initially called the Zimbru 2006, is an armored personnel carrier developed by ROMARM in 2006. The SAUR 2 is a wheeled multi-role armored vehicle developed by ROMARM in 2008. The Saur is anmanufactured by Romania-based Uzina Automecanica Moreni (UAM), a subsidiary of the state-owned company Romarm.

ROMARM completed the first prototype of the new Saur multirole armored infantry fighting vehicle in 2006. This vehicle has also been referred to as the Zimbru 2006. The Saur line was developed by ROMARM as a private venture, based on its experience in the design, development and production of a wide range of wheeled armoured fighting vehicles for the Romanian and export markets. Saur was specifically developed to meet the 2006 Strategic Plan requirements of the Romanian Army, but as of mid-2012 no production orders had been forthcoming.

The hull of the Zimbru 2006 is welded steel, providing the occupants with protection against small arms fire and shell splinters. The highest level of protection is over the frontal arc. ROMARM reports that the vehicle has the following levels of protection:

  • Ballistic - STANAG 4569 Level 4
  • Under wheel station - STANAG Level 4569 3a (8 kg TNT anti-tank mine)
  • Under hull - STANAG Level 4569 2b (6 kg TNT anti-tank mine).
The layout of the Zimbru 2006 AIV is consistent to recent 88 developments in other countries, with the driver's position in the front on the left, and the power pack on the right, making the chassis easier to adopt for a wide range of battlefield missions. The troop compartment extends to the rear of the hull, with the roof hatch arrangement depending on the mission. In a typical AIV role the commander would be seated to the rear of the driver and provided with a single-piece hatch cover. The drivers' and commanders' hatch covers both open to the rear. Three day periscopes are at the immediate front for forward observation. The middle one can be replaced by a passive periscope for night driving. The weapon station would be in the center of the roof with two hatches over the rear troop compartment opening outwards, which can be locked in the vertical position.

To meet an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR), Romania placed a contract with MOWAG of Switzerland for a total of 31 Piranha III (88) armored vehicles with deliveries running from 2007 through to 2008. Operating the MOWAG light armoured vehicles (LAVs) offered doctrinal and technical benefits that can be applied to future indigenous AIFV design and production.

The SAUR 2 is a wheeled multi-role armored vehicle developed by ROMARM in 2008. Late in 2008, ROMARM completed the first prototype of the the successor of the first generation of the SAUR vehicle. The SAUR 2 was presented for the first time during the Defense Exhibition, Expomil 2009. The SAUR 2 is equipped to carry 11 personnel: commander, driver, gunner and 9 soldiers. The design is based on a modular structure selected to give the maximum flexibility for multi-purpose operation.The driving axles are fitted inside the hull. The SAUR 2 is developed and manufactured to meet the new needs of the army and new threats frome the battle field. The SAUR 2 is a great improvement as regards of armor protection and comfort compared to the first generation of wheeled armored vehicle SAUR.

Malaysian Army Chief General Tan Sri Muhammad Ismail Jamaluddin announced in 2010 that the Joint Chiefs Committee had agreed to equip all five cavalry and mechanized regiments with new type of 8x8 APC. He said the acquisition program was already registered under the Tenth Plan. He added Condors and Sibmas APC will reach its service life in near future, and it is not cost effective to refurbish those obsolete platforms anymore. Apart from that, he said the Army is also planning to equip those 8x8 APC with long range Anti-Tank Missile missile. The traditional local shipbuilder - BHIC, is devoting itself in promoting 8x8 APC. BHIC is colloborating with Romanian ROMARM company to sudy the posibility of assembling Zimbru 2000 8x8 APC in Malaysia and supply to the Army.

Romanian troops in Afghanistan used some 60 Navistar Defense MaxxPro Dash mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles. SC Uzina Automecanica Moreni SA offered the Saur 88 AIFV for the tender, but it was rejected for multiple reasons, including delivery times and the desire to operate state of the art Western systems.

On 21 July 2010 the U.S. Embassy announce that the United States was providing 60 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicles to Romanian land forces to use in Afghanistan. The first batch of 40 MRAPs arrived in Afghanistan in July, and another 20 arrived later in the fall. Once the vehicles were processed they will be delivered to Romanian forces for training and use as long as they are in Afghanistan. The MRAPs are various models of the MaxxPro vehicle designed to reduce casualties and increase survivability for soldiers subjected to mine explosions, improvised explosive devices and small arms fire. Blast forces are deflected away from the crew by the vehicles v-shaped hull.

"One of our highest priorities is force protection for all of our allies. Romania has been our stalwart ally and Romanian land forces have fought side-by-side with us in Zabul province and elsewhere in Afghanistan, said U.S. Ambassador Mark Gitenstein. These MRAPs will be very helpful in protecting the Romanian soldiers from roadside bombs when they go on patrol." Each nation supporting the NATO mission in Afghanistan is responsible for providing the best equipment and force protection capabilities it can for its own troops. The US works o assist every partner in operations in Afghanistan, as it did in Iraq, to fill in equipment and force protection gaps. The United States already provided armored Humvees and these MRAPs will provide even greater protection.

On loan from the US, this number included 20 new vehicles and 40 refurbished vehicles. The new vehicles were a US Foreign Military Sales program as part of a US$61 million order announced in May 2010. This order covered a total of 80 new vehicles, with Poland receiving 20 and Romania receiving 60. Romania's vehicles were not acquisitions by Romania. They were ordered by the US Marine Corps Systems Command through the Foreign Military Sales program.

In 2011 it was stated that Romania had started a new research and development program for a new wheeled Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) with an initial USD700,000 budget. This initiative was led by the Romanian Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Economy, Commerce and Business Environment. The research and development work on the new 8 8 APC, the Transportor Blindat Trupe (TBT), will be led by Automecanica Moreni, part of the state owned CN ROMARM with extensive experience in the design, development and production of 88 APCs and variants.

total mass 12880 kg 12880 kg
Max speed 100 km/h100 km/h
Water speed 10 km/h10 km/h
Engine Cummins, 285 HP Euro 3CV: AllisonMAN, min 326 hp
Protection Stanag level 1Level 2 Stanag Kit
Armament RCWS-12.7 mm Caliber, or
Turret with 25 mm Oerlikon Cannon
Turret with 25 mm Oerlikon Cannon
  • BMS,
  • Fire-Autoprotectie (engine, crew compartment, ceiling and rotate)-
  • Automatic detection laser radar with masking and release smoke grenades 76 mm cal.
  • NRBC Protection-
  • BMS,
  • Autoprotectie (fire-engine, the crew compartment, ceiling androtate)-
  • Automatic detection laser radar with masking and release smoke grenades 76 mm cal.
  • NRBC Protection--
  • High thermal Camera surveillance desant
  • Variants
  • Ambulance
  • Post Command
  • Troop Transport
  • Logistic Vehicle
  • Recovery Vehicle
  • Antitank Vehicle
  • 82 mm Mortars horse.
  • Ambulance
  • Post Command
  • Troop Transport
  • Logistic Vehicle
  • Recovery Vehicle
  • Anti-tank Vehicle
  • Cal 120 mm Mortars.

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    Page last modified: 12-07-2012 22:10:34 ZULU