MANUFACTURER(S): Kader Factory; AOI - Egypt / Thyssen Henschel; Rheinmetall Landsysteme - West Germany-Germany
OPERATORS: Algeria; Bangladesh; Congo; Egypt; Kuwait; Iraq; Oman; Sudan; United Nations
Detailing the development and operational history of the Fahd AFV Multirole Armored Fighting Vehicle.
Entry last updated on 2/5/2019.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Lacking the industry know-how to design and develop a multirole Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) from scratch, the Egyptian government contracted German defense player Thyssen Henschel for such a product during the 1980s. The result was the 4x4 wheeled TH390 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) which entered Egyptian Army service in 1986 as the "Fahd". Local production was then undertaken at the Kader Factory works to which manufacture has yielded nearly 2,000 of the type with sales to foreign parties as well. The Fahd continues in service today (2015) now across a variety of roles beyond its original APC offering that includes an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) form, a Command Vehicle (CV), and anti-riot platform with water cannon.
Production of the series began in 1985. Thyssen Henschel has since become Rheinmetall Landsysteme.
In its base form, the Fahd is something of an unspectacular yet wholly functional ARV design. It offers small arms protection to its crew of two (model dependent) and seating for up to ten passengers as well as bulletproof windows. Gun ports allow occupants to engage outside enemies and high ground clearance provides for both a commanding view of the surrounding action and obstacle/water crossing. As the Fahd is built upon an existing Mercedes-Benz truck chassis, the driving cabin is at front with the passenger cabin at middle-rear while roof hatches and hinged automobile-style doors provide the needed access to the internal spaces. The 4x4 wheel arrangement allows for all-terrain travel as well as strong road speeds allowing the Fahd to fulfill a variety of roles for government forces as well as local security elements. A Central Tire Pressure Regulation System (CTPRS) gives customization to the driver and is standard equipment. The wheels are also power-assisted for improved controlling. Drive power is from a Mercedes-Benz OM-366 LA diesel liquid-cooled, turbocharged engine of 275 horsepower to which performance includes a maximum road speed of 100 km/h with an operational range out to 700 kilometers.
The Fahd 240 mark represents an upgraded Fahd version with increased armor protection and uprated engine and retains the standard operating crew of two with seating for ten. The Fahd 240-30 fits the complete two-man turret of the Soviet-era BMP-2 IFV and its 30mm autocannon, broadening the tactical usefulness of the vehicle - this weapon system also fires the AT-series of Soviet Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) that includes the "Spigot" and "Spandrel" missile lines.
The versatile Fahd vehicle has been further developed into other useful battlefield forms beyond its standard APC offering: mine-layer, ambulance, Command Vehicle (CV), anti-riot platform, and Repair and Recovery (RAR) system. The mine-layer model fits the "Nather-2" mine-dispensing system for anti-tank work and the ambulance carries a crew of three with room for four patients. The CV model incorporates a broadened communications suite and installs 3 x 7.62mm machine guns for local defense. The anti-riot vehicle fits a turreted water cannon and grenade launchers for non-lethal work. A "barricade busting" spade-type panel is also fitted to the front of the hull. The vehicle retains its ten-passenger seating capacity. The RAR variant sports a boom arm with 2-ton lifting crane as well as other special mission equipment.
Beyond its APC form, the Fahd can also serve in the Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) role. The advanced Fahd 280 installs a turreted 12.7mm/7.62mm machine gun combination weapon arrangement. Its crew is three with the passenger-hauling capability retained. The Fahd 280-30 is an offshoot fitting a turreted 30mm 2A42 autocannon over the rear roof hull for light anti-armor work.
Most any Fahd version can install smoke grenade dischargers either along the hull or at the applicable turret installation.
To date (2015) Egypt remains the largest operator of its Fahd armored vehicle with some 1,400 in service across various marks. Kuwait operates several hundred followed by Algeria with at least 200 in circulation. Bangladesh has retained some 60 or so units. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Oman, Sudan are also active users as far as is known. The Iraqi Army is a former operator of the Fahd, having given up their stock in 2003 following the U.S.-led invasion.
The Fahd compares somewhat favorably to the larger, more expensive, wheeled APCs currently in service elsewhere making the Fahd a sound investment for what is the largest standing army on the African continent.