Dracon, a Romanian light armored vehicle created in 45 days

The Romanian manufacturer Stimpex is proud of this achievement:  a "light" armored vehicle prototype designed and manufactured on a Ford F550 chassis in less than two months.

Drakon a Romanian tactical vehicle created in 45 days
This "Dracon" prototype was designed and manufactured in some 45 days by the Romanian company Stimpex (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Stimpex has some relevant experience in designing and building armored vehicles but rather for civilian or police use. They decided to dare a challenge to be won on time for BSDA 2018: to design and manufacture a "light" armored vehicle based on a Ford F550 chassis and engine, aiming at making it a low-cost but highly versatile vehicle, available in two chassis lenghts, the long one being displayed at BSDA 2018.

As Catalin Enescu, mechanical design engineer, explained to Army Recognition, one of the goals was namely to use as many components available on the civilian market as possible to lower the operating cost and facilitate the purchase of spare parts. The chassis of the bg Ford F550 appeared the right choice.

The vehicle poffers a protection level 2 (STANAG 4569). The 1,200kg payload enables the vehicle to be adapted to various purposes: platform for AG9 antitank launcher or Israeli Spike antitank missiles platform, 81 or 120mm mortar platform, personnel carrier, logistics, some police tasks, etc. Basically, all what an armored pickup truck could do.