The Desert Chameleon was developed by Advanced Defense Vehicle Systems (ADVS) company. Previously this company was known as the General Purpose Vehicles (GPV). It developed a number of APCs, such as the GPV Captain and FNSS Pars with active suspension systems. Development of the Desert Chameleon started in 2007 to meet Kuwaiti requirement. Kuwait ordered some of these armored personnel carriers for Ministry of Internal Affairs. First production vehicles were delivered in 2010. Currently Kuwait is the only operator of this armored vehicle.
The Desert Chameleon is available in 4×4, 6×6, 8×8 and 10×10 configurations. It is claimed that 90% of the parts are interchangeable. This APC has a number of innovative features.
The Desert Chameleon has a welded steel armor hull. All-round protection is against 7.62-mm armor-piercing rounds. Add-on armor kit can be fitted for all-round protection against 14.5-mm armor-piercing rounds. Kuwaiti vehicles have this level of protection. This armored personnel carrier has a V-shaped hull for improved protection against mines and IED blasts.
The Desert Chameleon can be fitted with remotely controlled turret, armed with 30-mm Bushmaster cannon. There is also a coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun. This turret is designed to carry up to 40-mm caliber cannons. The turret is also fitted with a multi-sensor ball.
The 6×6 version accommodates crew of three and 7 fully-equipped troops. Troops enter and leave the vehicle via a large rear ramp, two side doors. In case of emergency troops exit the vehicle via roof hatches. There are some unusual firing ports provided for the troops. These can accommodate various weapons, but protection can not be compromised from the outside.
The Desert Chameleon is powered by a Caterpillar turbocharged diesel engine, developing 600 hp. Engine is coupled with Caterpillar automatic 6-speed transmission. Both engine and transmission are commercially available. There is also an auxiliary power unit, which can export power. This armored vehicle has selective all-wheel drive and selective all-wheel steering. The Desert Chameleon has an active suspension system with variable ride height. Such suspension smooths out the ride regardless of terrain. Vehicle can also lean in any direction which comes handy on on grades and slopes. Active suspension improves weapon control and improves crew comfort on extended operations.
The Desert Chameleon’s core design has amphibious capabilities. It can cross rivers and lakes. However this APC is not suitable for operation at sea.
Desert Chameleon 8×8
Desert Chameleon 8×8
|Desert Chameleon 6×6|
|Dimensions and weight|
|Main gun||30-mm cannon|
|Machine guns||1 x 7.62-mm|
|Engine power||600 hp|
|Maximum road speed||~ 100 km/h|
|Range||~ 700 km|
|Vertical step||~ 0.5 m|
|Trench||~ 1.5 m|
|Fording||~ 1.2 m|