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Spotted At SOFEX ~ JMSS Al-Mared

Al-Mared guarding the runway at Marka Airfield during SOFEX 18 - no weapon in cupola [© BM]

Previously only seen in model form, Jordan’s new Al-Mared 8×8 Armoured Personnel Carrier was one of the stars of SOFEX 2018 with three examples on display at the defence expo in Amman this May.

 

Another product of KADDB, the King Abdullah II Design & Development Bureau, the Al-Mared is manufactured by affiliate company Jordan Manufacturing and Service Solutions (JMSS).

 

Rear right of runway guardian [© BM]

Established a decade ago initially to refurbish and rebuild medium and heavy tracked vehicles, including the CVR(T) and Saxon fleets bought from the UK and both BMP and Ratel personnel carriers, as well as to convert Tariq tanks into tracked APCs, JMSS also manufactures the Snakehead family of armoured cupolas and pillboxes.

 

The first heavy armoured vehicle to be entirely manufactured by JMSS, the Al-Mared is a 25-tonne infantry section vehicle built on a Tatra heavy duty 8×8 cross-country truck chassis powered by a 420hp diesel engine which gives it a top road speed of 110km/hr.

 

Left side of runway guardian [© BM]

The vehicle has a V-shaped hull for blast protection and the manufacturer claims it offers STANAG Level 4 skin protection upgradeable to Level 5.

 

In addition to driver and commander, Al-Mared can transport a full eight-man infantry section with weapons and personal equipment in the spacious rear rear compartment, which even includes a refrigerator for keeping water and food cool.

 

Second Al-Mared outside KADDB pavilion – no machine gun is fitted in cupola [© BM]

One of the Snakehead cupolas, mounting either one or two 7.62mm general purpose machineguns or a 12.7mm heavy machinegun, is standard fit but a two-man Scimitar turret version with 30mm cannon has also been manufactured and one of these was displayed inside the KADDB pavilion at SOFEX.

 

Designed to offer good off-road capability in addition to a 600km high speed road range, Al-Mared has 400mm ground clearance, four-wheel steer on the front axles, 30% side slope capability, 60% grade climbing ability, 40° approach and departure angles and CTIS (Central Tyre Inflation System) with bead lock and runflat tyre inserts.

 

Second Al-Mared with rear door open [© BM]

Measuring 7,950mm long by 2,550mm wide by 2,840mm high to top of hull, Al-Mared is slightly longer and taller than the ageing in-service Ratel 6×6 fleet but offers better off-road ability and protection level, albeit at a higher weight penalty.

 

To date this massive 8×8 is the largest wheeled armoured vehicle fully manufactured in Jordan and it is understood at least ten have been produced so far with an initial production batch of possibly as many 50 being projected.

{ images © Bob Morrison }

Third Al-Mared, inside the KADDB Pavilion – note steerable front axles [© BM]

Rear view of third Al-Mared – note rear ramp is dropped and roof hatches are opened [© BM]

The third vehicle at SOFEX had a two-man Scimitar 30mm turret fitted [© BM]

Interior of Snakhead variant with three infantry seats on right – note firing port below vision block and roof hatches overhead [© BM]

 

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