The Royal Norwegian Army will soon deploy its M113A2 series armoured personnel carriers to Afghanistan fitted with Canadian Soucy International rubber band tracks. These will replace the currently deployed vehicles with conventional steel tracks.
The installation of a rubber band track offers the user a number of significant operational advantages, including a 50 per cent reduction in weight, noise and vibration. According to Soucy International, the vibration level in the M113 has been reduced by almost 70 per cent.
Soucy International is supplying rubber band tracks for installation on a number of current production vehicle programmes. They have also undergone extensive trials on US Army M113 series vehicles and a Bradley infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration is currently testing the system on a CV9040 IFV.
Other users include the Alvis Hägglunds BvS 10, Bv 206 and Bv 206S and the Singapore Technologies Kinetics Bronco All-Terrain Tracked Carrier.
Its rubber band tracks have also been fitted to numerous trials vehicles, including the Alvis Hägglunds SEP and the defunct UK/US TRACER (Tactical Reconnaissance Armoured Combat Equipment Requirement), so could be a candidate for FRES tracked versions. Soucy is under contract to deliver a rubber band track for the second prototype of the SEP, which is now being built.
"I'll tell you what pressure is. Pressure is a Messerschmitt up your arse. Playing cricket is not."
They aren't all the rage, but there are quiet a few around. Cat are one brand doing it, Case/International are another. They are a fair bit better for our fragile soils but it will take a bit to get old farmers to change their old habbits.