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B33 Zimbru (Bison)

The Romanian B33 Zimbru (Bison) 8x8 armored personnel carrier, also referred as the TAB Zimbru and by a few sources a the TAB-80, it is a Romanian produced variant of the Russian BTR-80 APC, with modifications to meet Romanian Army requirements. This armored personnel carrier is fitted with a different engine diesel engine than the BTR-80. The TAB Zimbru replaced the previous TAB-77 in production. As of 2010 about 70 Zimbru APCs were in service with the Romanian Army. Production is complete and the type is no longer marketed.

The all-welded steel armor of the B33 provides all-round protection against 7.62-mm rounds and artillery shell splinters, while the front arc withstands 12.7-mm round hits. This APC is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems. The vehicle is also fitted with a one-man manually operated turret, armed with 14.5-mm heavy machine gun and coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun.

The B33 Zimbru has a crew of two and can carry 8 fully equipped infantrymen. Troops enter and leave vehicle through side doors or roof hatches. A number of firing ports are provided for the troops. Front bulletproof windows are covered with shutters in a combat area.

The vehicle is fully amphibious. On water it is propelled by a single waterjet, mounted at the rear of the hull. The B33 Zimbru can be airlifted by the An-22, Il-76 or C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

Zimbru 2000 APC is a further development of the B33 Zimbru, with a higher hull roofline providing greater internal volume. The main difference is that the roof line to the rear of the commander's and driver's position at the front of the vehicle has been raised to provide greater internal volume. Roof hatches, side door/hatch between the second and third road wheels and the firing ports/associated vision devices are retained. In addition there is also an aisle for access at the right rear of the hull. It was proposed with 25-mm or 30-mm remotely controlled weapon stations. The Zimbru 2000 is powered by a new Deutz BF 6M 1013 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 260 hp / 195 kW at 2,300 rpm which meets EURO II emission requirements. This is coupled to an Allison MD 3060 PR fully automatic transmission rather than a manual transmission as fitted to the earlier vehicles. The installation of an automatic transmission reduces driver fatigue as well as reducing driver training and reducing damage to the power pack by changing gears at the wrong time.

The Saur-1 APC, previously known as as the Zimbru 2006, features a completely redesigned hull. The first prototype was completed in 2006. The Saur-1 was tested by the Romanian Army, but failed to received orders. Instead, the Romanian MoD purchased MOWAG Piranha III C APCs. Development of the Zimbru 2000 is complete, however as of 2012 it had received no production orders and it is not expected that the Zimbru 2000 [or more recent Zimbru 2006 (8 8)] will enter production.

total mass 14,000 kg
Max speed 90 km/h
Water speed 9 km/h
Engine 8-cylinder, 1280 hp.
Weapons twin Turret with two machine guns: 14.5 mm KPVT PKT 7.62 mm
  • antitank-vehicle with a 25 mm cannon
  • Troop-Transport
  • Recovery Vehicle
  • 82 mm Mortar

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    Page last modified: 03-08-2012 18:34:21 ZULU