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Kaiman recon vehicle enters Belarusian service

Kaiman recon vehicle enters Belarusian service 23 May 2017

Kaiman recon vehicle enters Belarusian service

Date Posted: 23-May-2017
Author: Nikolai Novichkov, Minsk
Publication: Jane's Defence Weekly

The Kaiman (Cayman) armoured reconnaissance vehicle has entered service with Belarusian armed forces, a source in the company told Jane's at the MILEX 2017 defence show, held in Minsk from 20-22 May.

"The Kaiman is a new vehicle. It has successfully passed state trials and the military has brought it into service," the source said.
Developed by the Belarusian 140 Repair Plant, the Kaiman is a light 4x4 armoured reconnaissance vehicle fitted with independent torsion bar suspension and two waterjets for amphibious operation. The vehicle can accommodate a crew of six and features a fully loaded weight of up to 7,000 kg.
The Kaiman's monocoque hull has a length of 6 m, a width of 2.82 m, a height of 2.07 m, and a ground clearance of 490 mm when fully loaded. The hull has two side doors and three roof hatches. The front of the vehicle protects against 7.62 mm bullets fired from a Dragunov SVD sniper rifle (Level 2 STANAG 4569), while the sides ensure protection against 5.45 mm and 7.62 mm bullets fired from Kalashnikov AK-74 and AKM assault rifles (Level 1 STANAG 4569). The armour is reinforced with detachable spall liner. 

The Kaiman is powered by a D-245.30E2 engine coupled to a mechanical transmission and a five-speed gearbox. It has a road speed of up to 110 km/h, a swimming speed of up to 8 km/h and a cruising range of 1,000 km. The vehicle is also fitted with a centralised tire inflation system.
The basic variant of the Kaiman features a pintle mount for a weapon along with an armoured shield that provides the gunner with all-round protection against splinters and small-calibre bullets. The vehicle can be armed with a 7.62 mm Kalashnikov PKMB medium machine gun (MG) (with an ammunition load of 2,000 cartridges), a 12.7 mm NSV Utyos heavy MG (with an ammunition load of 300 cartridges), or a 30 mm AGS-17 Plamya automatic grenade launcher (with an ammunition load of 174 cartridges). The manufacturer has also integrated the Adunok remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) onto the vehicle. This is MG (with an ammunition load of 200 cartridges).
The vehicle's main armament is complemented by six Tucha smoke grenade launchers installed on the vehicle's sides in two banks.
A number of other systems and sensors have been integrated with the vehicle, including a navigation system, video cameras, and an engine control device. The vehicle's armament suite can be replaced with a satellite communication suite with a parabolic antenna. A combat management system and an air cooling unit are available at customer's request.
According to the representative of the 140 Repair Plant, the extent of localised production of components for the Kaiman has been maximized and consequently reaches up to 90%.
A whole family of light armoured vehicles based on the Kaiman chassis is planned, including a signals vehicle, a medevac vehicle and an engineering vehicle.

COMMENT
The Kaiman seems to be a derivative of the Soviet-designed BRDM-2 armoured reconnaissance vehicle and is believed to have retained the lower hull and the rear part of the basic BRDM-2.
However, the changes introduced to the Kaiman's design significantly enhance its combat effectiveness compared to the ageing BRDM-2. The armour protection on the Kaiman's hull, for example, has been significantly reinforced.The firepower of the Kaiman has been reduced due to the replacement of the 14.5 mm KPVT heavy MG with smaller-calibre weapons, but it can instead be fitted with the Adunok RCWS.At MILEX 2017 the Radar Design Bureau unveiled a new variant of the Adunok armed with two RPG-26 rocket-propelled anti-tank grenades, thus increasing its combat capabilities.


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