To enhance the capabilities of the ground forces, in 2015 an indigenous multi-purpose armored vehicle was developed, the Caiman 4×4.

Belarus inherited a pretty good arsenal from the Soviet era, and a respectable defense industry in Europe. The Belarusian army today does not maintain complex or expensive weapon systems in its armed forces. This republic has a small territory but in return the climate conditions are not too harsh, there are no mountains, deserts or tundra areas. With all those advantages, Belarus can build a simple army without too much expense.

Despite limited financial resources, the Belarusian defense industry has achieved some remarkable achievements. To enhance the capabilities of the ground forces, in 2015 an indigenous multi-purpose armored vehicle was developed, the Caiman 4×4. The first vehicles to be put into service are believed to be in 2018. In 2019, the first batch of 9 Caimans was delivered to the 103rd Airborne Brigade of the Belarusian Special Operations Forces. It is considered the first indigenous armored vehicle of Belarus.

The Caiman is said to be developed based on the Soviet BRDM-2 armored reconnaissance vehicle, with modifications and upgrades to suit the modern battlefield. The Caiman has a completely new design, and is very close to the design of the German-made Fennek 4×4 reconnaissance vehicle in service with the German and Dutch armies.

The vehicle features an unconventional layout with crew cab at forward, troop compartment in the middle and power-plant at the rear.  Caiman can accommodate a crew of six, who can enter and exit through either the side door or two roof hatches above the driver and passenger seats. A large hatch is also provided in the centre of the fighting compartment for firing weapons. The on-board cooling system enables the vehicle to operate at ambient temperatures up to 50°C.

The forward and rear sections of the hull are installed with cameras offering superior field-of-view. The vehicle is also installed with an on-board information control system and a built-in navigation system. The rmoured vehicle measures 6m-long, 2.82m-wide and 2.07m-high and has a gross weight of 7 tons. Protection level is rather light and is similar to that of the BRDM-2. Maximum level of protection over the front arc is against 7.62 mm armor-piercing rounds. All-round protection is against 7.62 mm ball rounds and small caliber artillery fragments.

The Caiman is motorized with a diesel engine developing 170 hp. coupled to a five speed manual gearbox. The vehicle can run at a maximum road speed of 100 km/h and has a maximum cruising range of 1,000 km. The vehicle is fully amphibious and propelled in the water thanks to two propellers mounted at the rear of the hull.

The vehicle can be armed with a range of weapon stations and armament according to the requirements of the customers. The roof of the vehicle can be fitted with a ring mount weapon station which can be armed with a 7.62mm Kalashnikov PKMB medium machine gun a 12.7mm NSV heavy machine gun, or a 30mm AGS-17 Plamya automatic grenade launcher. There is also three smoke grenade launcher and storage basket on each side of the vehicle.

Some Caiman armoured reconnaissance vehicles were delivery to Cote d’Ivoire in 2018. Cote d’Ivoire became the first known export user of Caiman armored vehicle.


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