Source: Army Technology
IRBIS is a 6×6 wheeled armoured personnel carrier (WAPC) designed for patrol and reconnaissance missions. Image courtesy of Spike78.
IRBIS is a 6×6 wheeled armoured personnel carrier (WAPC) manufactured by the Poland-based Wojskowe Zaklady Motoryzacyjne (Military Automotive Works, WZM).
WZM commenced the construction of the first IRBIS prototype vehicle in 2004. The vehicle was completed in 2005. IRBIS made its public presence at the International Defence Industry Exhibition (MSPO) at Kielce in Russia, in September 2005.
IRBIS WAPC was primarily designed to meet the requirements of Polish Land Forces. It is deployed in patrol and reconnaissance missions.
IRBIS is available in two variants, wheeled armoured personnel carrier IRBIS RCWS 30 and wheeled armoured personnel carrier IRBIS ORCWS 30.
Both the variation models feature identical specifications and systems, except for their turret configuration. IRBIS RCWS 30 is fitted with Rafael RCWS 30mm turret, while IRBIS ORCWS 30 is fitted with Elbit ORCWS 30mm turret.
IRBIS design and features
IRBIS 6×6 wheeled armoured personnel carrier fitted with Elbit ORCWS 30mm turret. Image courtesy of Pibwl.
IRBIS features a monocoque hull of welded steel sheets. It is a 6×6 variant based on the Rys 8×8 armoured personnel carrier. About 80% of the IRBIS components are interchangeable with the Rys.
IRBIS can accommodate five occupants including a driver, commander, a gunner and two infantrymen. The internal layout of the troop compartment can be configured according to the requirements. The base variant is provided with individual seats for troops.
The driver and commander enter the vehicle through a single door provided on either side of the vehicle. The left side of the body has a door for troop entry.
A hydraulically lowered rear ramp with a single door allows the rapid entry and exit of troops. Each side of the landing compartment is equipped with a firing port.
The vehicle has roof mounted hatch covers adapted from BWP-1. Fonet military intercom system and digital communication management system are installed in it.
IRBIS has a length of 6.43m, width of 2.5m and a height of 2.37m. The maximum combat weight of the vehicle is 13,500kg.
The special equipment fitted on the vehicle includes an air-condition system, air filtration and ventilation system, fire-extinguishing system and a launching winch with an electric drive.
Armaments and self-protection
A rear view of the IRBIS 6×6 wheeled armoured personnel carrier produced by Wojskowe Zakłady Motoryzacyjne (WZM). Image courtesy of Spike78.
IRBIS can be installed with a range of weapon stations mounting different types of armament. Rafael RCWS 30mm turret fitted on the vehicle is mounted with a 7.62mm machine gun.
The elevation angle of the barrel is -20° to +60°. The turret can rotate at a maximum speed of one radian a second.
The remotely controlled weapon station is equipped with a day and night sighting system and turret stabilisation electric system.
The Elbit ORCWS 30mm turret aboard the IRBIS includes a 7.62mm machine gun. The elevation angle of the barrel is -16° to +60°.
The overhead remotely controlled weapon station features an independent dual axis stabilised system as well as day and night sighting system.
The vehicle can protect the crew from small arms fire and 7.62mm calibre artillery shells. The flexible design allows the additional panels of composite armour (ceramic) to enhance protection. The add-on armour provides resistance against armour piercing rounds.
Engine and mobility
IRBIS is powered by either an Iveco Cursor 8 259kW or Cursor 10 312kW water-cooled diesel engine. The engine, with a gearbox, hydraulic and pneumatic installations, is integrated in a rapidly replaceable drive unit.
The entire unit can be replaced in 20 minutes. The sealed vehicle hull is attached with two hydraulically driven screw propulsors for amphibious operations.
IRBIS has a maximum road speed of 100km/h and amphibious speed of 10km/h. The service disk brakes equipped with anti-lock braking system (ABS) provide better control while travelling on uneven and skiddy surfaces.
The vehicle has a ground clearance of 400mm. The maximum range of the vehicle is more than 600km. It can cross a trench of 2m and vertical obstacles of 0.4m. IRBIS is airportable by C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.