- Yes, don’t care how
- Yes, as a researchable vehicle
- Yes, as a premium/squadron/event vehicle
- Belgian or BeNeLux tree
- French tree
- I said no
Time for another variant of the Belgian SIBMAS APC, this time we have an SPAA variant of the vehicle which mounted the H.20 turret.
The SIBMAS originated in 1975 as a private venture by B N Constructions Ferroviaires et Métalliques. The design was based on an earlier concept thought up by a South African subsidiary of the German company Büssing. This original vehicle was called the Springfield-Büssing Buffel, it would not only lead to the Belgian SIBMAS vehicle, but also to the more widely know Ratel APC. This is the reason why both vehicles are so similar. The first prototype of SIBMAS was finished in 1976 and underwent extensive trials in Belgium and Malaysia. The first prototype was visually slightly different from the final production model that would be adopted by the only export customer, Malaysia. Unlike the later model, the early SIBMAS did not feature a driver’s position with big armored glass windows. Instead, the driver had to look through a much smaller periscope or simply poke his head through the hatch. The second prototype also brought a more powerful engine with it, which gave a nice boost to the mobility of the vehicle. Both versions of the platform had been marketed with a wide variety of turrets to show the vehicle’s flexibility. One of these combinations was the SIBMAS H.20, a SIBMAS chassis mated with the Hispano-Suiza H.20 anti-aircraft turret. This turret was capable of mounting a radar, and our prototype seems to have been mounted with it as well for some time (special thanks to @mr_boo for finding the image). The SIBMAS SPAA sadly did not attract any orders and never left the prototype stage.
The main feature of this variant is obviously its twin 20mm armament. These guns were H820 L 20 mm cannons and were capable of firing APHE-I,APIC-T,HE-I,HEI-T ammo types. This turret was a two-man turret, which brought the total crew of the vehicle up to 3: a gunner, a commander/loader, and a driver. Just like other SIBMAS vehicles, this version was amphibious. It featured a set of two propellers at the back of the vehicle to provide thrust when the vehicle is in water. This setup allowed the vehicle to reach a top speed of 11km/h in water. A propeller can be seen at the back-left of the vehicle in the image. A 320hp engine provided power for the roughly 17t vehicle and was capable of pushing it to a (theoretical) top speed of 100km/h. The vehicle is however rather large at more than 7m long and 3m tall, this combined with an armor layout that protects the vehicle against no more than 7.62mm rounds makes it very vulnerable to enemy fire.
- Mass: 16-17 ton
- Length: 7.32 m
- Width: 2.5 m
- Height: +/- 3m
- Crew: 3 (commander/loader, driver, gunner)
- Engine: MAN Diesel D 2566 MK six-cylinder water-cooled diesel producing 320 hp at 1,900 rpm
- Power/weight: 17-19 hp/ton
- Operational range: 1,000 km
- Maximum speed: 100 km/h
- 2x 20mm H820 L cannons.
This vehicle could be a mobile and flexible anti-aircraft vehicle, being able to quickly get to unexpected positions from where it can make quick work of enemy aircraft with its twin 20mm guns. The small caliber of the main armament will severely limit your options against heavier ground targets, but light tanks could still be taken by surprise by your firepower as well. The exceedingly light armor of the vehicle will only give you very basic protection against enemy rounds and even aircraft with more than light machine guns will probably be able to do serious damage to you. The large amount of open space inside the vehicle should serve as some sort of protection of its own though, allowing some rounds to pass through without doing any damage. All-in-all this should be a fun support vehicle, adding extremely valuable anti-air firepower to any team it chooses to spawn in.