Israeli company Plasan Reem develops specialized vehicle for coronavirus testing

The Israeli company Plasan Reem specialized in vehicles designed for special forces has developed in a record time a prototype of a vehicle for coronavirus testing intended for medical services. It includes a crew cell that allows extended stay without needing outside assistance. Hillel Possek, Senior editor, ynet-automotive, reports.

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As a base for the proposed coronavirus testing vehicle, the Mercedes Sprinter 516 is used (Picture source: Plasan Reem)

Plasan Reem, a Plasan Sasa subsidiary known as a protected vehicle manufacturer, has designed a dedicated prototype for coronavirus testing. The vehicle will be completed within a few weeks as part of the Innovation Chief Scientist tender. It is then expected to undergo a series of experiments and, if approved, will immediately proceed to serial production.

The coronavirus testing vehicle which the chief scientist seeks to promote should allow for a significant increase in the amount and variety of tests that also include access to a wider population without requiring independent testing centers. According to the company, the prototype was developed in record time, thanks to Plassen's knowledge and experience in military-armored vehicles required to cope in an environment where there is a threat, and therefore equipped with a sealed and sterile passenger compartment.

For example, the original air conditioning system was abolished and instead a dedicated CC system, which uses air in the vehicle space, was installed. A cell air purification system is similar to that used for dedicated-protected vehicles, allowing the cabin crew to work without restrictive protective equipment. The goal is to place around the vehicle between six and eight test positions. The tests will be carried out with fixed and sealed rubber gloves, as is customary in laboratories.

The cabin is designed to allow for a complete working day including a computer system, chemical services, tens of gallons of drinking water and a refrigerator. For electricity, the vehicle will be equipped with an independent generator or a suitable battery system and recharged as per the customer's requirement.

As a base for the proposed vehicle, the Mercedes Sprinter 516 is used with a long-haul SUV, with a 2.1-liter (163 hp) turbo-diesel engine and seven-speed automatic transmission. The choice of a van compared to large commercial vehicles was made to facilitate mobility in city centers, and their streets, as well as unlimited practical parking options.

Plasan Reem was established in 2014 from Plasan Sasa and is responsible for the production of civilian-armored vehicles, unlike the parent company responsible for vehicles for military use. Felsen Ram is also a provider of security bodies such as the Israeli police and the prime minister's office, and her most recent projects include security vans for transporting students in Judea and Samaria, security pickup for security coordinators and converting Toyota Land Cruisers for personal security bodies.