DESPOT 4×4 APC: A mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Author: Eric Sof

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DESPOT 4×4 APC is a multipurpose, armored, multifunctional vehicle with a 4×4 drive. It is a mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle – now in service with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s entity of the Republic of Srpska. The armored personnel carrier (APC) configuration belongs to the category of modern armored vehicles designed to carry out an extensive range of missions from the domain and scope of the police and armed forces units.

Introduction

DESPOT 4×4 APC was designed and manufactured by the Tehnicki Remont Bratunac (TRB)  in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Founded in 1955, TRB is a state-owned enterprise with two workshops for the maintenance, repair & overhaul of vehicle systems. The company’s long history guarantees quality and stability.

Concept

The basic concept of the vehicle is based on a multipurpose chassis made up of modern powertrain drives and power transmission and an independent suspension system that provides a high level of mobility in all terrain and weather conditions. The vehicle can be used for: patrol missions, reconnaissance missions, command vehicles, various transportation, support of special operations units, counter-guerrilla and counter-terror combat, anti-coup, border control, territory control, surveillance, and medical vehicle.

DESPOT 4x4 APC was designed and manufactured in TRB, Bosnia and Herzegovina
DESPOT 4×4 APC was designed and manufactured in TRB, Bosnia, and Herzegovina (Photo: TRB)

Design

The vehicle was developed by TRB in cooperation with the Republika Srpska entity, with the first production Despot vehicle delivered late in 2018 and shown for the first time during the National Day of Republika Srpska in January 2019, when it was deployed by the Ministry of the Interior’s anti-terrorist unit (SAJ).

According to Gregor, the DESPOT 4×4 APC has a monocoque all-welded steel armor hull protected to the NATO STANAG 4569 Level 2 standard, but with higher levels of protection available if required by the customer Waldhauser, the senior consultant at TRB.

APC Despot - 4x4 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle
DESPOT 4×4 APC mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle (Photo: XY)

The front-mounted powerpack consists of a Mercedes-Benz OM 926 LA 7.2 liter diesel developing 322hp, coupled to an Allison 3000 SP automatic transmission with six forward and one reverse gear, a two-speed transfer box, and differential locks, Waldhauser said. This gives a top road speed of more than 120 km/h and, with a typical gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 14 tonnes, provides a power-to-weight ratio of 23hp/tonne.

Steering is powered on the front two wheels, and the tires are 395×85 R20 fitted with run-flat inserts. The vehicle has an independent suspension and a central tire inflation system, said Waldhauser.

Equipment

DESPOT 4×4 APC crew compartment has 12 cubic m of internal volume and has positions for the driver, commander, gunner, and six dismounts. The vehicle is in left-hand drive configuration, and both driver and commander are provided with a forward opening door. Dismounts are seated three on each side facing outwards on blast attenuating seats. According to Waldhauser, they can enter and exit the vehicle via the power-operated ramp in the rear.

Various weapon stations can be integrated into the vehicle. The spectrum ranges from operated ring-mount systems to advanced remote control weapon stations.

Technical specifications

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