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IDEX 2021: UAE-made Rabdan 8x8 armored vehicle armed with laser weapon system.

| 2021

During IDEX 2021, the International Land Defense Exhibition that was held in Abu Dhabi, the UAE-based company Al Jasoor presented a new version of the Rabdan 8x8 armored vehicle armed with a High-Energy Laser Weapon System from the American company Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S).

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The Al Jasoor Rabdan UAE-made 8x8 armored vehicle fitted with an Energy Laser Weapon System mounted on the roof of the vehicle at IDEX 2021.  (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The Rabdan is an 8x8 armored vehicle designed and manufactured in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by the local company Al Jasoor, based on the Arma 8x8 armored vehicle developed by the Turkish company Otokar. At the edition 2019 of IDEX, the Rabdan was unveiled fitted with a Russian-made turret of the BMP-3 tracked armored IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) which is also in service with the UAE armed forces. In 2017, the UAE ordered a total of 400 Rabdan infantry vehicles jointly developed by the company Al-Jasoor and Otokar from Turkey.

The Rabdan is a further development of the Turkish-made Arma, offering a high level of mobility and protection. Tomorrow’s fluid and dynamic theatres of operation demand ever more flexible capabilities. Rabdan meets that challenge, as a next-generation amphibious, modular, wheeled armored vehicle system with superior tactical and technical performance.

The Rabdan is a versatile 8x8 armored vehicle able to perform a wide range of missions on all types of terrain. The vehicle can be configured as an armored personnel carrier (APC), an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), a command and control vehicle, a reconnaissance vehicle, a mortar carrier, a recovery vehicle, and an ambulance. In the APC version, the vehicle can accommodate up to 12 military personnel.

The Rabdan is powered by a 6-cylinder water-cooled turbocharged Diesel engine developing 600 hp and coupled to an automatic transmission with six forward and one reverse gears. The vehicle can run at a maximum road speed of 105 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 700 km. The Rabdan is also fully amphibious and propelled on the water at a maximum speed of 9 km/h thanks to two propellers mounted at the rear of the hull.

The Rabdan offers ballistic protection against the firing of projectiles up to 14.5 mm caliber. It is protected against mines: it can withstand an explosion of 10 kg of TNT under the wheels and the hull. It can be equipped with different levels of armor protection to ensure tactical and technical advantages.

The Rabdan has a Gross Vehicle Weight of up to 30,000 kg with a length of 8.10 m, a width of 3.25 m, and a height of 2.35m over the hull. The vehicle is able to climb a gradient of 60%, a side slope of 30%. It can cross a 2-meter wide trench.

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Al Jasoor Rabdan 8x8 IFV variant fitted with a BMP-3 turret. (Picture source: Army Recognition)

At IDEX 2021, the Rabdan 8x8 was presented with an Energy Laser Weapon System mounted on the roof of the vehicle that can be used to destroy small aerial targets like drones of loitering ammunition. Raytheon’s High Energy Laser Weapon Systems is powered by technologies that use photons, or particles of light, to carry out military missions. The cutting-edge product uses an advanced electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor, to detect, identify and track multiple threats, primarily from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Once targeted, the system is designed to rapidly and precisely engage and neutralize the UAV.

One of the decisive advantages of Raytheon’s laser systems is its unmatched precision. In addition, connected to an adequate power source, it demonstrates "infinite magazine depth" or a virtually unlimited supply of "ammunition". Complementing their pinpoint accuracy, lasers represent a low-cost-per-shot option, making them an ideal solution for low-cost threats, such as those posed by drones.

As an additional feature that reinforces its suitability for the Rabdan amphibious vehicle, the laser weapon system boasts high survivability, while providing 360-degree coverage in a rugged package that can be scaled to accommodate the demands of the mission.

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