The Pindad APS-3 "Anoa" (also known as the "Pindad Panser") is an indigenous medium-class armored personnel carrier design effort put forth by Indonesia to help modernize its wheeled armored vehicle inventory in conjunction with ongoing conflicts. After Indonesian authorities laid down the groundwork for a new vehicle system in 2003, the government-owned PT. Pindad concern began design work on a Izuzu truck-based 4x4 vehicle in 2004. Limited production of this system then followed, as did development of a failed 6x6 version. All this led to the development of the modern APS-3 which, to date, 150 of the type have been produced after a public unveiling in 2006. Unlike Pindad's previous attempts, the APS-3 is not based on a commercial truck chassis but instead on an all-new dedicated chassis specific to the APS-3 design. Subsequent procurement contracts have called for a 4x4 and 6x6 wheeled version of the series. Indonesian Army forces have utilized the new vehicle in combat operations since 2009, proving the design sound, flexible and capable, leading to possible foreign export orders and design of a family of related vehicles based on the same chassis.
Design of the APS-3 Anoa is conventional by modern wheeled armored personnel standards. She fields six large rubber-tired road wheels to a vehicle side. The vehicle is suspended by a torsion bar control, independent suspension system. The front of the design sports a sloped glacis plate for basic ballistics protection. The hull and superstructure are also given sloped angles. There is seating in front for two personnel behind thick glass vision ports. Hinged automobile-style doors at the front sides of the hull allow for this crew's entry/exit. These doors also sport heavy, thick vision blocks. To the rear of the driver is a bulged cupola installation that makes up the turret system for the mounting of various weaponry to suit mission needs. The roof of the superstructure is flat. "Pioneer" equipment can be stowed along the sloped vehicle sides and a tall communications antenna is seen at the rear left corner of the roof.
The APS-3 is crewed by three standard personnel including a driver, vehicle commander and gunner. There is room in the fighting compartment for up to 10 combat ready infantry personnel with main access through a rear hatch. Vision blocks with associated firing ports along the side of the vehicle hull superstructure allow the passengers within to fire their weapons in relative safety. Armor construction is of steel and built to specific NATO standards.
The APS-3 chassis is driven by a French Renault MIDR 062045 series inline, 6-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine delivering 320 horsepower at 2,500rpm. A German Behr cooling pack is also installed on the powerpack. The engine is mated to a German ZF Friedrichshafen S6HP502 series automatic transmission system featuring six forward gears and a single reverse. The APS-3 can reach top speeds of 56 miles per hour with an operational range equal to 321 miles. The APS-3's modular design leaves room for the installation of an indigenous powerpack in the near future.
As an armored personnel carrier, the APS-3 comes rather lightly armed for its intended role, meant to provide point defense, suppression and cover fire to entering/exiting infantry. Primary armament is the fitting of a 12.7mm heavy machine gun or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher in a turret cupola providing for unfettered firing arcs over the vehicle roof. The heavy machine gun can tackle infantry and light armored vehicles as well as combat low-flying aircraft including helicopters. The 40mm grenade launcher can be used effectively against infantry concentrations, either in suppressing return fire or dislodging elements from dug-in positions. There are two banks of three 66mm smoke grenade dischargers which can be used to smoke screen an offensive move or cover a tactical retreat.
Beyond the basic APC version of the APS-3 Anoa being produced by Pindad, there are other variants currently in the works which include an infantry fire support vehicle (armed with a 90mm Cockerill Mk III series main gun in a powered CMi Defense CSE-90 series turret system), battlefield ambulance, a command and control vehicle featuring increased communications capabilities, an ammunition/fuel carrier, an engineering vehicle, a light reconnaissance platform and a dedicated mortar carrier.
The Pindad Anoa-2 is the latest major variant under development as of this writing and adds limited amphibious capabilities through the installation of waterjets. A single pilot vehicle is believed completed.
While the APS-3 is currently only in quantitative service with the forces of Indonesia, several foreign operators have lent their interest to acquiring the vehicle for security and military needs. Oman is seen as a very possible customer with rumors of a 200-strong order in the works as of this writing. Malaysia is another possible operator as is Bangladesh. Nepal is looking into the APS-3 for their UN participation and future internal security requirements.