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At-large correspondent for ESD Curtis Hand interviews Tan Pek Tong, Deputy President of Land Systems at ST Engineering, as the company showcases the civilian variant of its Bronco all-terrain tracked carrier (ATTC) at this month’s Eurosatory defence exhibition in Paris, where ST Engineering will be unveiling the new variant in Hall 5a, Stand B-344.

Named the ExtremV, the civilian variant of ST Engineering’s Bronco amphibious all-terrain tracked carrier (ATTC) was developed for emergency response, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and civil resilience tasks. Tan Pek Tong, Deputy President of Land Systems at ST Engineering, spoke at length about its role in various aspects of homeland security and emergency response duties. In Europe, these often fall to national defence forces to make up for a lack in manpower and materiel.

Curtis Hand for ESD (ESD): Why develop the ExtremV – aren’t there enough emergency vehicles on the market?

Tan Pek Tong (TPT):  The ExtremV is an emergency vehicle that has the mobility to access disaster hit areas whether it’s an earthquake or flooding. Its ability to traverse difficult terrain and swim through rivers and flood waters to get emergency crew and their heavy equipment to the disaster area quickly is a vital capability that emergency services need today. Its modular payload also makes the vehicle highly versatile and configurable to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations and a range of other missions.

ESD: Why is it called ExtremV and not some variant of Bronco, on which the platform is based?

TPT: We wanted to differentiate between commercial and non-commercial use of the Bronco family of ATTCs. The name ExtremV reflects the vehicle’s design for missions in extreme terrain and climatic conditions.

At ST Engineering we are committed to apply our technology and innovation to solve real-world problems and improve lives. This includes serving communities in times of crisis. Amid the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters worldwide, we saw an opportunity to leverage our expertise and resources to make a meaningful impact. With over 55 years of experience in defence technology and engineering, we possess the expertise necessary to deliver effective solutions tailored specifically to the unique challenges faced in disaster response.

An ExtremV deployed in Mexico in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Otis in October 2023. The vehicle’sability to traverse difficult terrain and swim through rivers and flood waters to deliver emergency aid and equipment in a disaster area is a vital capability for emergency services. (Photo: SUCRE)

ESD: What are some of the advantages that make the ExtremV ideal for its role?

TPT: The ExtremV offers good terrain accessibility thanks to its low ground pressure. It also features a differential lock to address slippery slopes and soft ground, such as snow or swamp land. With its push-pull feature between front and rear chassis, the ExtremV can navigate difficult terrain and even extricate itself from ditches – an achievement that single-chassis tracked or wheeled vehicles are unable to accomplish. Additionally, it excels in navigating tight spaces and climbing slopes. Furthermore, it is designed with the ability to operate in temperatures ranging from -46oC to +49oC.

ESD: What makes this land platform useful for HADR and resilience tasks?

TPT: With a high payload capacity of 4 to 6 tonnes, the ExtremV is an ideal first responder to HADR situations requiring the transportation of aid, equipment, and personnel. It goes where other wheeled or single-body tracked homeland security/emergency vehicles get mired. It is amphibious – ideal for flood relief. Its modular payload provides versatility for the vehicle to support different types of missions. It is also designed to be easy and intuitive to operate, with a driving experience similar to that of a commercial truck.

Tan Pek Tong, Deputy President of Land Systems at ST Engineering, says the company continues to expand the roles and capabilities of the ExtremV ATTC. (Photo: ST Engineering)

ESD: How successful has it been to date?

TPT: The ExtremV has been sold to more than five countries. Germany, Mexico and Japan, for example, have all deployed it as a first responder in disaster relief missions.

ESD: When did the ExtremV first go into production as a concept vehicle, and when did it enter serial production?

TPT: The new version of ExtremV has been in production since 2020 and entered serial production two years later in 2022.

ESD: Where is it currently deployed and how has it been used to date?

TPT: The ExtremV has been used in supporting missions for hurricane relief, flood and earthquake rescue in Mexico and Japan last year. It has also been deployed in Germany and Finland for forest fire fighting and off-road power transmission line/gas pipeline repair and inspection.

ESD: What is the future for the ExtremV?

TPT:  We see the growth potential of its usage in HADR, civil resilience and commercial applications and are expanding the ExtremV’s roles and capabilities for other commercial uses where versatile mobility is essential.

ESD: Thank you, sir, for your time and expert insights.

An ExtremV deployed in Mexico in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Otis in October 2023. With a high payload capacity of 4 to 6 tonnes, the ExtremV is ideal for responding to HADR situations requiring the transportation of aid, equipment, and personnel. (Photo: SUCRE)