Pioneer P35M1 – Indian Army Military Version
The Pioneer P35M1 is our latest design and based closely upon the well proven parameters and components of the very successful Pioneer Mk3 series but modified to meet the exacting demands of the Indian Army as published in their Request for Proposal (RFP) of 08 October 2014. The included systems of the Pioneer P35M1 are already well established and proven in our Pioneer Mk3 series but we have taken the opportunity to offer enhancements which considerably improve the dynamic performance and the payload and make the P35M1 an outstanding hovercraft from any perspective.
The P35M1 is of modular construction which is easier to maintain, easier to transport and easier to build. Operational redundancy of the P35M1 is outstanding in its class due to the complete duplication of all engineered power, transmission and control systems to the port and starboard sides. This means that the thrust system, the lifting system and the control systems are completely independent of each other so the port side and the starboard sides can be operated independently and regardless of the condition of the opposing side. This gives a level of redundancy which is very hard to beat in any hovercraft of this size range. Twin thrust propellers provide steering control while travelling in the reverse direction, capability to turn on the spot and even to reverse park into a tight space. This is only possible with a twin thrust propeller layout, single propeller hovercraft do not have this level of precise control.
Performance of the P35M1 is ensured in the most arduous conditions by the combination of the lightweight yet tough composite construction and the twin General Motors V8 diesel engines which are NATO rated ‘heavy duty’ to provide a slow turning ultra-reliable 340 hp from each engine all day long 24/7 in the hottest of climates. That is 163% more peak power and about 194% higher MCR than the Pioneer Mk3 from an engine that has worldwide spares and service availability. The body shell of the P35M1 is a new design driven by the requirements of the RFP and provides removable sides and removable thrust modules for easy transport and easy maintenance. A raised wheelhouse with ballistic protection can accommodate two crew and up to three observers.
The majority of the P35M1 control systems are located in the crew cabin and are protected by the ballistic protection system. The main cabin design is modular construction and can be quickly reconfigured or removed entirely for top loading of freight. Additional ballistic protection has been added to the main cabin sides to protect the soldiers when standing to fire upon the enemy. A self-contained toilet assembly is located at the starboard rear end and may be easily removed as required.
The galley is at the port front corner and accommodates all crew needs with ample storage space and refrigeration space along with cooking and hot water facilities. The 2-crew are located side by side in front of a wide visual display which seamlessly integrates the visual and surveillance systems along with the craft control systems and warning systems. The P35M1 can be operated by one crew alone, however better surveillance quality is provided by dual crew stations, each with a control wheel and easy reach to the craft control interfaces. Because the P35M1 has a ‘fly-by-wire’ control system the crew stations may be pre-programmed for different configurations such as captain to port and navigator to starboard, or vice versa at the change of a switch.
The crew stations can be optimised for either a single control scenario (1- person) or a dual control scenario (captain and navigator). The dual control station arrangement is particularly helpful for crew training and driving sharing to relieve crew stress during long duration sorties. Configurations can literally be changed with a switch while the P35M1 is underway.
The navigation equipment and the night vision devices are fully integrated, with collision avoidance warning and capable of tracking up to 10 targets simultaneously. The side bodies provide ample flat working deck space and are completely removable to reduce the transport width of the P35M1 to less than 3 metres. They are full 3-dimensional side bodies with intact buoyancy (certified non-flammable foam) to ensure buoyancy even in the event of suffering ballistic damage, unlike competitors who only have a top surface side body without intact buoyancy.
The side bodies are easily attached or detached by 2-3 crew. The fresh water tanks are mounted in the side bodies and are easily removable for cleaning. The wide deck surfaces are easy to walk around and may have quickly detachable hand-rails fitted if required. Full walk around with safety harness attachment points is provided along the sides and around the bow for boarding parties and handling the deck equipment. The Design and Construction of the Pioneer P35M1 is in accordance with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements, the HSC Code, the British Hovercraft Safety Requirements (BHSR) and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974.
See new Pioneer P35M1 – Indian Army Military Version! (PDF)
|Cockpit length||2.17 m|
|Cockpit width||2.00 m (@ bottom of windows)|
|Wave Height Clearance||1.5 m at a pitch of 18 metres or more|
|Normal operating speed||46 to 55 km/hr (25 to 30 kts) on smooth water|
|Accommodation||The control cabin is accessed from the main cabin by a vertical hinged door. The control cabin incorporates laminated ballistic protection glass to NIJ type 2.
The main cabin is accessed by 4- gull-wing doors, each horizontally hinged and easily removable. The main cabin windows are polycarbonate glazed aluminium frames hinging inwards and upwards to facilitate the firing of weapons from within.
|Payload (for a water-start)||3,300 kg normal. Overload capable to 3,800 kg with reduced performance.|
|Engine||2 x Gale Banks 866T diesels with NATO certified heavy duty rating of 253 kW @ 2,800 rpm.
Higher ratings available for short time if required.
|Endurance (good conditions)||Normally 11 hours or 330 nautical miles in good conditions.
Optionally 20 hours or 600 nautical miles if using ballast fuel.
Maximum duration is about 36 hours in loiter mode using all fuel.
|Skirt type||Pressurised bag tapered from front to back with larger sections at the front for improved wave clearance. All fingers are separate and detachable.|
|Thrust system||2 x IFA propellers featuring 5x wide blades x 1400mm dia. Capable to go from full forward to full reverse <6 seconds while running at maximum rotational speed.|
|Lift System||Two sets (port set and starboard set) of co-axial fans direct coupled to hydraulic motors. Under each set is a non-return valve to prevent backflow when either set is operating alone. Each set alone capable of providing adequate lift.|
|Steering||By 3-power assisted rudders fitted behind each of the thrust ducts.
(Total of 6-rudders). Steering assistance at low speed and in the reverse direction is managed by changing the propeller pitch to give differential or reverse thrust from the propellers and steering in reverse motion. This allows the P35M1 to pivot on the spot and steer while going backwards to provide exceptional control capability, particularly when manoeuvring with crosswinds in tight places.
|Dynamic Pitch & Roll Control||Dynamic control by 4 – power assisted elevators fitted behind each thrust duct (total of 8-elevators).|
|Static [weight shift] Pitch & Roll Control||By transferring fuel load between the front and rear ballast tanks. Note there are limits to this system depending on the fuel load available to shift.|
|Instrumentation & Displays||Instrumentation by combination of analogue type displays and flat screen displays.|
|Controls||Machinery monitoring and control is byJ1939 compliant CANBus networks. Navigation and power distribution is by a NMEA 2000® compliant CANBus network.|
|Navigation & Communications||Standard equipment includes: Magnetic Compass 70 mm, VHF transceiver and matching antenna (NMEA2000 compliant), SIMRAD GPS with co-ordinate display to radio and navigation system, SIMRAD Chart Plotter (Including World maps), SIMRAD X-Band Digital radar overlay on the chart plotter, Man Overboard System distress signal broadcasting position, AIRMAR PB150 weather station with wind velocity, temperature, air-pressure, apparent and true wind direction indication.|