A tank’s turret is designed to accommodate two personnel – a gunner and a commander – or sometimes even three positions if there is an assistant gunner or loader, together with the equipment they need to operate in order to do their job. Space is tight, even with the seats carefully placed in specific positions, and there is a pressing need to maximize use of the available ‘real estate’ to ensure optimal functionality, comfort and safety for the crew. As the specifications of vehicles varies between models, so do the limitations, meaning that it is impossible to find a one-size-fits-all solution. What is needed is a customization approach, based on years of experience and knowledge.
Crew safety is a top priority, and it has many implications for seats. Textiles used in padding and covers must be highly resistant to fire, while the materials used in paint and protective coatings must be capable of withstanding extreme environmental conditions – such as very high or low temperatures, solar radiation and high humidity resistance – to prevent rust and other deterioration that could compromise the integrity of the seat, and ensure that it can withstand many years of use.
In terms of their construction, seats must be robust enough to withstand being stood on by personnel exiting the turret, even if the crew members is a male on the 95th percentile for height and weight.
Finally, in the event of an explosion, the seat needs to be capable of absorbing a sudden blast of energy by stroking down into the space beneath it.
Mobius seats offer all this, and more, to optimize the safety of turret crew.
Accounting for variations
As already mentioned, different turret models present different constraints and requirements. Cabin size has a huge impact on optimal layout and the possible dimensions of seats, while the presence of elements such as an electronic box or air ducts may require seats to positioned in another location. Available space also has implications for ergonomics, including whether it is possible for seats to recline at all for enhanced user comfort, and whether the seat can be adjusted in terms of height, or to offer a fore-aft option.
The size of the typical passenger is another important factor to be taken into account – percentiles indicating average weights and heights differ around the world, and depending on whether the user is male or female.
Seat design has to suit the seatbelt spec, whether it has three, four or five points. Optimal eyeline and viewing angles for the different viewing elements in the cabin must also be factored in, to ensure visibility by passengers.
The Mobius approach
With 100 different seat models, 15 of which are for drivers/ commanders, and ten of which have been specifically designed for turrets, Mobius has a sound base from which to mix and match tried-and-tested features.
Thanks to our vast experience and knowledge of the issues involved, and with a deep understanding of each customer’s vehicle constraints, we are able to quickly tailor many seat characteristics to the precise needs of our customers, and we do so at no extra charge. Ideally, we work with the OEM from the design stage, so that we can have input into the spec of the vehicle’s other features, to optimize seating.
Our solutions comply with the US’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and European road regulations (ECE). The result is a tailored seat that is safe, adjustable, comfortable, and operational.