Gerlach: Light armored vehicle for the 21st century


18.03.2018

Gerlach 4x4 is a new generation light tactical armored vehicle (LATV). The latest 21st-century engineering and design requirements have been taken into account in the development of this vehicle, alongside actual experience in military conflicts. The concept is unique due to the emphasis on safety, agility, and versatility.

Gerlach has demonstrated superior terrain skills during the army tests. The vehicle had overcome a 0,5-meter step, and a 1-meter wide trench, carrying 6x120 kilograms (six member crew in full gear ) and transporting a 1- tonne load in cargo space.
Excellent off-road skills among other construction features are supported with an excellent torque of 1300 Nm.

In other stress tests conducted by the manufacturer, the vehicle climbed gradient of a 100% on a short stretch by overcoming a 45-degree approach angle with a full weight of 14 t. On long stretches, it can comfortably climb 60%.

The cabin is designed as an armoured capsule with an unprecedented SAFETY space of 7.7 cubic meters. Compared to standard space for four or five people, it has enough room for a six-member crew up to 190 centimeters tall and weighing 120 kilograms including gear. In case of emergency, space can be provided for an additional two crew members (without a seat). The cabin is anchored independently of the vehicle undercarriage, so the crew remains protected even if the vehicle itself is damaged. The cabin is also designed to enable the crew to evacuate it very quickly.

Gerlach can be equipped with various degrees of ballistic and anti-mine-blast protection provided in STANAG 4569 – up to Volume 1 and Level 3 ballistic protection and Volume 2, Level 3a and 3b anti-mine protection. Besides fire from the small assault weapons used in current conflicts, the vehicle is also prepared both under the axle and under the cabin to withstand anti-tank mines with the equivalent of up to 8 kilograms of TNT.
An important parameter of vehicles in this class is their dynamics, which is measured by the ratio of power to vehicle weight. Gerlach has an exceptional ratio of 17.1 kilowatts per tonne. The vehicle is dynamized by a German six-cylinder MTU engine with 240-kW and excellent torque of 1300 Nm. The engine is supported by a 6-gear automatic transmission for maximum engine power across a wide scale. The independently suspended wheels are powered by a set of uniquely balanced drive shafts through a downward GHN transmission that is among the world’s leaders in torque distribution on all-wheel drives.
In tests conducted in rainy weather at the Slovakia Ring racetrack, it reached a maximum speed of 125 kilometers per hour. The vehicle also demonstrated its tractive force by pulling a 28-ton tractor and circling for one hour along a circuit while keeping to the required temperature.

Gerlach is a highly variable vehicle that can carry a further 1.5 tonnes of necessary gear and equipment. Vehicle versions can be rapidly altered to meet requirements of a given mission. The basic version has a curb weight of 12 tonnes with filter ventilation plus air conditioning and protection against chemical, biological and nuclear weapons already installed.