Израильская техника будущего



Should a Real Military Vehicle Look Like Something from a Sci-Fi Movie?

Plasan Yagu

Published on May 2, 2018
Nir Kahn
Director of Design for Plasan

Is it okay for a military vehicle to look cool? Can we implement the sorts of designs usually only seen in fiction into actual real life vehicles? Should we?

My company, Plasan, recently unveiled our new ultralight armoured vehicle, the Yagu, to an overwhelmingly positive response, not just from the intended paramilitary target market but also from the general public. This is unusual in the military industry. The design hit a chord and a lot of articles described it as looking like something from a sci-fi movie, or a "military Batmobile". This helped it break out of the bubble of the defence press and be covered by car magazines like Top Gear and also an assortment of "cool stuff" websites, garnering a large amount of "cool, I want one!" type responses from a public not normally exposed to military vehicles. I usually avoid delving too deeply into the comments sections that form the bottom half of the internet but something interesting was happening here. There was a public conversation being had about the design of military vehicles.

Eccentric British comedian, Eddie Izzard, has a very funny routine about how fine the line is between looking cool and "looking like a dickhead" and as the launch of Yagu approached I must admit that I was a little nervous about how it would be received. Had I crossed that line with this design? But when the day came virtually the only negativity about the appearance of the vehicle was from people uncomfortable with an armed vehicle having such an overt element of styling to it, like this somehow trivialises or glamourises its purpose. So even most of the people who disliked it disliked it because it looked good in their view and shouldn't have been allowed to. But why shouldn't it? My flippant answer to people questioning why an armoured vehicle should be styled has always been that "even people who are being shot at have the right to look good". I have gone in depth into the whys and hows of styling armoured vehicles and the priorities when designing them in other articles, and I am not going to go over that ground again now, but I do want to look a bit closer specifically at a recurring theme of the Yagu feedback, its supposed movie prop aesthetic.
even people who are being shot at have the right to look good

As it happens we've had a few of our vehicle designs in movies. The Oshkosh M-ATV and Navistar MaxxPro MRAPs have of course appeared in their correct context in recent war films but in addition the SandCat played a supporting role taking Brad Pitt to fight zombies in World War Z, and the Gotham City Police SWAT cars in The Dark Knight Rises were also SandCats.

But what about purpose-designed movie vehicles. When do movies put deliberate effort into giving practical military props a conspicuously styled aesthetic? The answer is when they want to show the users as being from a particularly advanced civilisation. There is an interesting and quite sharp contrast between the aesthetic of the fleets of the original Star Wars trilogy and those of the prequels. In the original films the starships are dirty, fussy, and have a clear look of practicality devoid of a deliberate styling element. Don't get me wrong, the X-Wings and TIE-Fighters look fantastic, but they are not pieces of flowing parabolic sculpture like the polished Naboo Starfighter is. So what happened in the intervening generation to cause an apparent retrograde aesthetic evolution? The Empire took over. The Dark Side saw no need for the frivolities of styling and the high aesthetic values of The Republic were abandoned in favour of a much more engineered look. This was an Empire that had lost its positive values.

So these are two opposing military aesthetics of the movies - the high aesthetic of the advanced society, and the much more industrial-looking aesthetic of the machines of an evil warring civilisation. But the movies, as in life, have a third aesthetic. The despair of needing to defend yourself or fight without the luxury of time and resources leads to improvised tools and vehicles and what is probably best represented by the Mad Max look. This is what happens when you take existing vehicles and hurriedly add armour to them. There are some real-life versions of this that have been put together by insurgents and the likes of IS that really do look like they were knocked up in a barn by The A-Team, but there are also a disturbing number of vehicles that belong to supposedly developed countries that also look more than a little thrown together. Yagu could easily have been one of them. Underneath all of the advanced engineering and ballistic technology the Yagu is a commercial Arctic Cat Wildcat ATV that has had armour added to it. Without careful attention to the three key elements of car design; proportions, surfacing, and detailing; it would have looked very Mad Max, and not in a good way. At Plasan we are very conscious of what image and messages our vehicles project, and desperation or improvisation are certainly not desirable traits to display.

Without careful attention to the three key elements of car design; proportions, surfacing, and detailing; it would have looked very Mad Max

So having ruled out the Mad Max look, there were two ways to go. Cold and practical machine of war, or a more progressive aesthetic that makes it clear that this vehicle belongs to the good guys. I make no apologies for choosing the latter. The Batmobiles were not a conscious inspiration when I designed Yagu, but it is not surprising that it has been described as something that Batman would drive because both Bruce Wayne and the users of Yagu are people without any actual superpowers but who are out fighting crime using the advanced technology at their disposal. If I can help them to assume that identity of a positive force for good then I am happy to do so and don't feel that this is either trivialising nor glamourising the important, noble, and dangerous job that our society is sending them out to do.

both Bruce Wayne and the users of Yagu are fighting crime using the advanced technology at their disposal

This isn't the only reason that we put effort into the appearance of our vehicles. There is also an internal factor - what it says about Plasan, and yes, a marketing element. Would Yagu have generated so much buzz and positive feedback if it had not looked like it does? Had it just been some sheets of the same advanced composite armour simply flat-pressed and bolted onto the Wildcat tube frame would it have achieved such wide exposure? Would you have read this article?

Nir Kahn is the Director of Design for Plasan and has been responsible for vehicle design in the company for over 16 years, including the design of the Navistar MaxxPro MRAP, Oshkosh M-ATV, and the Plasan SandCat.
Судя по нашлепке на крыше это не стандартный командирский офек, это что-то специализированное для связистов.
В статье написано "Офек пикуди"... а еще там написано что он на базе Намера с ветровкой.... когда невооруженным глазом видно, что то что на фотке во-1 на базе двойки и во-2 ветровки не имеет.
Вот и чему верить? Статье или фотографии?
Вот и чему верить? Статье или фотографии?
Своим глазам. То что на фото, это явно не то что описывается в статье. Тут два варианта вариант 1 это то что фотография не соответствует описанию Но то что описывается на самом деле существует, вариант 2 существует командная версия двойки а то что в статье написано что это базируется на намере и имеет КАЗ это лажа.
Есть намеры в варианте 10алеф, но без ветровки, возможно просто анонсировали что будущие десятуи будут с КАЗ.
то что на фотке это точно Офек, тк на бвзе симан2, но уже видно что у него есть нестандартнле оборудование.
В статье написано "Офек пикуди"... а еще там написано что он на базе Намера с ветровкой.... когда невооруженным глазом видно, что то что на фотке во-1 на базе двойки и во-2 ветровки не имеет.
(הערה: בנוסח הקודם חלה טעות. כלי הרכב מבוסס על טנק המרכבה סימן 3 ולא על נגמ"ש הנמר כפי בפורסם)
Вопрос в том, почему оно теперь на базе Тройки.
Возможно в тройку возможно поставить трансмиссию от Намера, а движки у них и так одинаковые. Ну и греет мысль ,что списание части троек,возможно самых первых, связано с увелечением количества четверок.