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Saur 3 (TBT 8x8)

Romania (2016)
Picture of Saur 3 (TBT 8x8) 8-Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)

The Saur 3 is a projected Romanian Army 8x8 armored vehicle with a modular systems approach to fulfill a variety of battlefield roles.

Detailing the development and operational history of the Saur 3 (TBT 8x8) 8-Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier (APC).

 Entry last updated on 5/21/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©

The Saur 3 (also "TBT 8x8") is an 8x8 wheeled Armored Fighting Vehicle being developed for the Romanian Army by the local concern of Automecanica Moreni (UA Moreni). The vehicle competes with Western European offerings like the Finnish Patria AMV and others designed around a modular approach to fulfilling multiple battlefield roles with a single vehicle. These types of products allow customers to outfit their vehicles with appropriate mission armament, communications kits, and sensor equipment to suit the mission need. The Saur 3 is set to provide up to STANAG 3 level protection for its occupants, allow for various armament types to be fitted (including Remote Weapon Stations (RMSs)), and be powered by a German MTU diesel engine of 420 horsepower output. The vehicle has an estimated road speed of 65 miles per hour on roads and will be fully amphibious, treading water by use of waterjets at speeds reaching just over 6 miles per hour. Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) protection will be standard.

In its standard guise, the Saur 3 will feature a standard operating crew of three - driver, commander, and gunner. The typical internal arrangement will seat the driver at front-left with the commander directly behind and the gunner under the central portion of the hull roof. At the rear of the hull will be the fighting compartment with bench seating for up to eight combat-ready infantry. A large, powered rectangular door at the rear hull face will provide the appropriate exit/entry measure and serve as the embarking/disembarking ramp when fully lowered. A smaller rectangular door will be seated into this large panel for more protected exiting. Roof hatches along the rear hull roof will also allow occupants to engage with personal weapons as needed. The driver's position will be at the typical front-left placement with the engine to his immediate right. A grille will be featured along the right side of the sloping glacis plate over the engine installation. Periscopes at each primary crew position will provide the necessary situational awareness when the vehicle is fully "buttoned" down.

The standard armament fitting will be a fully-powered, remotely-actuated turret system that could field a variety of capable autocannons (25mm Oerlikon with 7.62mm coaxial mg), machine guns (12.7mm DShK), automatic grenade launchers, field mortars (120mm) or a perhaps mixed set (machine gun with grenade launcher for example). Additionally, the turret may also support Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) launchers for an even heftier battlefield punch -particularly against armored threats such as tanks. Smoke grenade dischargers will be standard. Surface-to-air missile launchers are also in the scope of the project.

As with other 8x8 armored vehicles of this class, the Saur 3 will take on battlefield roles beyond that of direct enemy contact. Its chassis is expected to appear in MEDEVAC, Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV), command vehicle, and data collection forms (the latter in case of nuclear war).

The Romanian move to design, develop, and produce a local AFV solution is intended to revitalized Romanian military industry as well as promote less reliance on its usual military suppliers - historically the Soviet Union/Russia. The direction of an 8x8 wheeled vehicle is also an industry-wide shift away from the typical tracked solutions seen throughout the Cold War. Wheeled vehicles have proven cheaper to produce and maintain in number and are far less complex in operation and repair while showcasing better road speeds and increased tactical flexibility (at the expense of armor protection). Indeed, several European armies have given up on tanks altogether, focusing defense budgets on more cost-effective solutions such as modular, wheeled carriers like the Saur 3. The introduction of the Saur 3 will also put the Romanian Army more in line with other NATO participants - it became a member of NATO on March 29th, 2004 after decades of alignment with the Soviet Union through the Warsaw Pact (1955-1991).

Romanian defense industry has produced some local solutions in the past - namely the Model 89 self-propelled howitzer, the TR-85 main battle tank, and the TAB-77 armored personnel carrier. Of course these were largely modifications of existing Soviet equipment.

Any available statistics for the Saur 3 (TBT 8x8) 8-Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering initial year of service, country-of-origin, manufacturer and total production numbers. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed armament and ammunition carried, global users (from A-to-Z) and model variants in the series.

Saur 3 (TBT 8x8) Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Year: 2016
Type: 8-Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)
Manufacturer(s): UA Moreni - Romania
Production: 1
Supported Mission Types
Troop Transport
Infantry Support
High Mobility
Tank Destroyer
Special Forces
Towed Artillery
Self-Propelled Artillery
Rocket Artillery
Airspace Denial
Special Purpose
Crew, Dimensions and Operating Weight
Operating Crew: 3
Length: 21.00 ft (6.40 m)
Width: 8.86 ft (2.70 m)
Height: 8.86 ft (2.70 m)
Operating Weight: 21 ft (19,000 kg; 41,888 lb)

Installed Power
1 x MTU diesel engine developing 420 horsepower.

Base Performance
Maximum Road Speed: 62 mph (100 km/h)
Maximum Road Range: 404 miles (650 km)

Armament and Ammunition
1 x 25mm Oerlikon cannon
1 x 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun

1 x 25mm Oerlikon cannon
1 x 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun
1 x 120mm mortar

1 x 25mm Oerlikon cannon
1 x 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun
8 x Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) (estimated)

1 x 25mm Oerlikon cannon
1 x 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun
8 x Anti-Aircraft Missiles (AAMs) (estimated)

Dependent on armament configuration.

Optional Systems
Nuclear-Biological-Chemical (NBC) Protection: Yes.
Nightvision (NV) Equipment: Yes.
Aircraft Defense: This vehicle can protect itself from low-flying aerial threats.

Nuclear danger symbol
Biological hazard symbol
Chemical danger symbol
Nightvision green screen symbol
Crosshairs graphic symbol

Operators List
Romania (planned)

Model Variants
• Saur 3 - Base Series Designation
• Saur 3 MEDEVAC - Battlefield Ambulance (proposed)
• Saur 3 COM - Command Vehicle (proposed)
• Saur 3 LOG - Logistics Vehicle (proposed)
• Saur 3 ARV - Armored Recovery Vehicle (proposed)
• Saur 3 AT - Anti-Tank Vehicle (proposed)
• Saur 3 AA - Anti-Aircraft Vehicle (proposed)
• Saur 3 MOR - 120mm Mortar Carrier (proposed)