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Iranian Halftrack

Prototype armored personnel carrier

Iranian halftrack

The Iranian halftrack ultimately proved a failure and was not selected for production

 
 
Entered service -
Crew ~ 2 men
Personnel ~ 10 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 9 t
Length 6.15 m
Width 2.25 m
Height 1.95 m
Armament
Machine guns ?
Mobility
Engine diesel
Engine power ?
Maximum road speed 65 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 10 km/h
Range ~ 500 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step ~ 0.6 m
Trench 0.6 ~ 1 m
Fording Amphibious

 

   In 1996 a new type of halftrack was first spotted on trials in Iran. Its development began in 1988. It is uncannily similar to the Chilean BMS-1 Alacran, which was developed a couple of years earlier but never reached production. The Iranian halftrack is slightly smaller, has different wheels, tracks, firing ports, and a pump jet outlet similar to that on the BTR-60 APC, but its hull architecture is too similar to the Alacran to be a coincidence. More than one prototype of the Iranian halftrack has been built. Its designation is unknown.

   Advantage of halftrack design is that it has a cross-country mobility of a tracked vehicle and handling of a wheeled vehicle. Driving such vehicle do not require specialized training. It has good mobility over difficult terrain, such as sand, snow and swamps. However it requires more maintenance than wheeled vehicles.

   It is worth noting that Iranians faced shortage of armor in the marshlands of southern Iraq during Iran-Iraq War. Iranians were forced to use rubber boats that offered no protection and could only carry light arms. So an amphibious armored vehicle with good cross-country mobility was required.

   The Iranian halftrack has a distinctive appearance. It has a chisel-shaped glacis plate that has a steep underside and a shallowly-sloped topside. Its roof is long, flat, and largely featureless. It has a very large, long well for the track, spanning more than half the length of the vehicle.

   Vehicle has a welded steel armor hull. It is likely that front arc provides protection against 12.7-mm rounds. All-round protection is likely to be against 7.62-mm rounds and artillery shell splinters. Interior is lined with spall liners. It is unclear if this vehicle was to be fitted with NBC protection system.

   Prototypes of this APC are not armed. It is also unknown what kind of weapons this halftrack was intended to carry. Possibly the main armament had to be a cupola-mounted 7.62-mm or 12.7-mm machine gun, or 40-mm automatic grenade launcher. Other weapons could be recoilless rifle, cannon, anti-tank guided weapons, 120-mm mortar or other weapons.

   Iranian halftrack presumably has a crew of two and accommodates about 10 fully-equipped troops. There are a number of firing ports provided for the passengers. Troops enter and leave the vehicle via side or rear doors. In case of emergency troops leave the vehicle via roof hatches. These are also used to fire anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons.

   Engine is located at the front. This halftrack is amphibious. On water it is propelled by a single waterjet.

   This Iranian halftrack ultimately proved a failure. It received no production orders. It is likely that Iranian armed forces deemed it too expensive and poor in comparison to contemporary wheeled and tracked APCs. Instead a Boragh fully-tracked APC, based on the Soviet BMP-1 was selected for production. At the moment it is the last military halftrack ever developed.

 

 
Iranian halftrack

Iranian halftrack

Iranian halftrack

Iranian halftrack

Iranian halftrack

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