Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971

2021-06-01

Cutting-Edge Tech Keeps Rabdan 8x8 at the Forefront

The battlefield scenario is changing constantly and rapidly. A diversified and complex environment with ever-more challenging combat situations mean armies need to pick up a new generation of land vehicles that could provide swift insights and intelligence, flexible planning, and responsive tactics.
 
This is where Al Jasoor’s latest Rabdan 8x8 Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) steps in, offering exceptional operational advantages on both land and water.  
 
As a next-generation amphibious vehicle, Rabdan comes with a modular, multi-wheeled structure for both tactical and technical benefits. Its integrated suite of military-grade support services makes it a complete unit. 
 
Rabdan’s advanced exterior armour is designed to enable life-saving protection against blasts, ballistics, and impacts, protecting ground troops and advancing mission success.
 
Al Jasoor, the UAE’s armoured vehicle specialist and exclusive supplier of Rabdan armoured vehicles, is part of the Platforms & Systems cluster within EDGE. EDGE Group is a group of companies and organisations that develop disruptive solutions for defence and military equipment, devices etc. EDGE ranks among the top 25 military suppliers in the world. It is headquartered in the United Arab Emirates. 
 
Superior Design
The Rabdan vehicle is 8.1m long and 3.25m wide. Height over hull is 2.35 m.  The Rabdan has the capacity to carry as many as 11 Military Personnel, including driver and commander. It has gross weight of around 30,000 kg. The Rabdan is powered by a Caterpillar 12.5-liter turbocharged diesel engine, developing 600 hp. It could be a Caterpillar C9.3 diesel engine, which is used on some of the latest 8×8 armoured vehicles. 
 
The engine is located at the front of the hull. It is mated to an Allison automatic transmission with 6 forward and 1 reverse speeds. Vehicle is fitted with a central tyre inflation system and run-flat tyres. It has Pneumatic service brakes with ABS and Pneumatic release independent park brake. The platform houses a 24V electrical system. 
 
Advanced Laser System
Among the major developments adding to the might of the vehicles, Al Jasoor is collaborating with Raytheon Emirates and Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S) to embed a High-Energy Laser Weapon System onto Rabdan 8x8 platform.
 
EARTH a leading facilitator of state-of-the-art R&D, engineering, and technology integration, and sister entity of Al Jasoor within EDGE, is responsible for the seamless integration of the Rabdan vehicle with the advanced laser system.
 
Raytheon’s High Energy Laser Weapon System is powered by technologies that use photons, or particles of light, to carry out military missions. As is known, unmatched precision holds the key in such endeavours and Raytheon’s laser systems provides this decisive advantage. Connected to an adequate power source, they demonstrate “infinite magazine depth,” or a virtually unlimited supply of ammunition. Complementing their pinpoint accuracy, lasers represent a low-cost-per-shot option, making them an ideal solution for low-cost threats, such as those posed by drones.
 
As an additional feature that reinforces its suitability for the Rabdan amphibious vehicle, the laser weapon system boasts high survivability, while providing 360-degree coverage in a rugged package that can be scaled to accommodate the demands of the mission.
 
The laser system’s open architecture allows for seamless installation across military platforms. This will enable EARTH to leverage its engineering excellence with flexibility to address dynamic tactical requirements with high-performance and mission-ready solutions. 
 
The High Energy Laser Weapon System is one of the most advanced in the market for counter-UAV capabilities. As drone incursions become increasingly widespread, Al Jasoor delivers Rabdan as a vehicle that caters to the operational requirements of armed forces across the world. 
 
Manoeuvrability 
Another huge advantage of Rabdan 8x8 is its manoeuvrability. Highly mobile on land and water, it has a top speed of over 105km/h. Rabdan steering is hydraulically assisted with steerable 1st and 2nd axles. Axles and suspension are enabled for 8x6, 8x8 wheel drive and has fully independent, telescopic type shock absorber and helical spring. 
 
The vehicle has a max amphibious speed greater than 9km/h. The climbing capability is 60 per cent and side slope capability is 30 per cent. The minimum ground clearance is 0.40m with a vertical obstacle crossing of 0.7m. The vehicle has a cruising range of 700km. 
 
Available in a number of specialist configurations, and with capacity for up to 11 frontline troops, it is highly mobile on land and water. The Rabdan can be airlifted by a C-130 Hercules or larger military transport aircraft.
 
Amphibious Capability
The Rabdan is fully amphibious. On water it is propelled by two waterjets. Amphibious speed on water is up to 10 km/h. It has been reported that all Rabdan IFVs will have amphibious capability as standard. However, on other armoured vehicles of this family this capability will be optional.
 
Armour Protection 
Rabdan can be equipped with different armour protection and high-calibre turret-based weapon systems (up to 105mm cannon). It offers Level-4 ballistic and mine protection and is fully certified to international standards. The vehicle can be fitted with Russian BMP-3 combat turret. RABDAN was showed for the first time to the public fitted with a Russian-made BMP-3 turret with 100mm 2A70 gun capable of firing ordinary HE-FRAG projectiles, as well as 9M117 Bastion laser-guided anti-armour missiles. 
 
The 9M117 missile has a maximum range of 4 – 5.5 km. It penetrates up to 550-750 mm of rolled homogenous armour equivalency after Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) providing this infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) a considerable anti-armour capability. The 30 mm cannon fires at a rate of 330 rpm and has a maximum range of 2 km against ground targets and 4 km against low-flying helicopters. There is also a coaxial 30mm 2A72 automatic cannon and 7,62mm PKT/PKTM machine gun. 
 
Remote Weapon System
Rabdan 8x8 fleet can be fitted with the EOS R800, a remote weapon system (RWS) that offers lighter-weight gimbals, advanced electro-optics applications, transformative stabilisation and multiple weapon mounting options.
 
The EOS R800 features modular state-of-the-art capabilities and boasts the added capacity to mount the Mk44S 30x173 mm cannon with dual ammunition feeds as well as a coaxially mounted machine gun and an anti-tank or air defence artillery missile package.  
 
As the name implies, the EOS R800 weighs 800 kg with a traverse of 360° and an elevation from +55° to -30°. The remote weapon system is optimised for tracked and wheeled vehicles, such as the Rabdan 8x8, and features a direct-drive sensor unit that minimises high-frequency road and vehicle vibration from degrading the operator video image. The remote weapon system is equipped with various sensors including a day camera, a thermal camera, and an eye safe laser rangefinder.
 
Ballistic Shield
The Rabdan has a welded steel armour hull. It offers all-round ballistic protection for the crew and occupants against 14.5 armour-piercing rounds. Front arc withstands hits from heavier weapons. The vehicle withstands explosions of 155 mm artillery shells detonating 30 m away. This wheeled vehicle survives mine blasts and improvised explosive devices equivalent to 10 kg of TNT anywhere under the hull or under any wheel.
 
Reliable Partner 
Rabdan’s adaptability makes it a crucial and reliable partner for a range of high to low intensity missions. The platform boasts maximum driving stability on extreme off-road conditions as well as exceptional amphibious capability at combat weight. 
 
Rabdan is a future-proofed 8x8 vehicle built for a range of mission objectives and terrain styles. Supplied as a complete built unit, it is backed – today, tomorrow and for years to come – by an integrated suite of military-grade support services from Al Jasoor. The new Rabdan 8×8 IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle is now in service with the UAE Armed Forces.
 
Reference Text/Photo:
 
 
 

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