A company from Ukraine called Highland Systems is showing off an interesting armored vehicle at the IREX Defense Expo in Abu Dhabi. The Storm uses a hybrid powertrain and has fully amphibious capabilities. That means it’s able to operate on land and can operate in water as well. Interestingly, the company is working on a version of the vehicle that will launch soon that’s also submersible.
The Storm is a tracked military vehicle, and while it’s certainly not the first amphibious tracked vehicle, it is the first to use a hybrid-electric powertrain. The vehicle has an 18 to 36-hour driving range in hybrid mode with its diesel range extender running. It can also operate on battery power for up to 3.5 hours, depending on operating speed.
The vehicle is quite massive weighing 17,600 pounds, and it seats six people inside. Its hybrid powertrain produces 2500 horsepower. With that much power on tap, the massive vehicle is an impressive performer with a top speed of 87 mph on land or 18.6 mph and water. That’s as much as three times faster than other competitors in the segment. It’s also able to handle waves in the open ocean of up to 60 inches.
The vehicle has 20-inches of ground clearance, and its tracks are made out of durable rubber. It can climb vertical steps as high as 60-inches and move across an 80-inch wide moat. Its tracks are modular and designed to allow individual treads to be replaced rather than the entire track. That design element makes the vehicle up to 70 percent less expensive to operate than other tracked models.
Storm is also armored, providing protection from ballistics, mines, and IEDs up to STANAG level 1 or 2. The vehicle is also able to be run by remote control allowing uncrewed or autonomous missions. Currently, Storm is a prototype the company is working on, the submersible version and a wheeled version. The company does plan to move the vehicle into production, stating that demand is strong.