While slightly off our usual patch, we thought that these two brand new models from the world of military technology were definitely interesting, and cool, enough to warrant a mention. Launched today at the Eurosatory fair in Paris, they come from Plasan, whose director of design, Nir Kahn, is a good friend of ours and occasional CDN contributor – he wrote this fascinating and in-depth story on armoured vehicle design.
“The Yagu, which was revealed in Mexico in April and got a lot of press coverage, is getting its European debut,” he explained. “It incorporates new composite armour technologies that allowed us to break away from the previously necessary flat surfaces, and Yagu is the first vehicle on which we have started to explore and develop the new design opportunities that this offers.”
Aimed primarily at use for border protection, counter-terrorism, and anti-trafficking missions, it can carry a crew of 3 (driver, commander/navigator, plus gunner), who are protected against AK47 fire all around in a fully composite body built with innovative new technologies that keep the weight right down as well as allowing new styling possibilities.
Another optional extra is a fully integrated hardened drone that can automatically follow overhead and feed a birds-eye view of the territory directly to the Yagu, allowing the driver to see over the next hump or around the bend or to generally see where his target is. This drone can also be tethered for long-term surveillance duties.
“Our other big news,” said Nir, “is the 4th Generation SandCat. The SandCat has evolved over three generations plus facelifts since it was first shown in 2005 and has become a very successful product, and a real class leader. Replacing it was the equivalent for us of having to design a new Golf or 911, and the challenge was to change just enough to move it forward while maintaining the recognisable DNA of the brand.
“The new design also has a lot more designed-in modularity and this will become clearer as we roll out alternative variants over time. It is designed in a way that we can more easily tune and change the styling for local requirements and tastes.”