Skip to content

Armored Cars: Minotor Service Cayman

May 25, 2020

Via BelTechExport.

Since it was unveiled by the vehicle manufacturer Minotor Service the Cayman has become symbolic of Belarus’ emerging status as an arms exporter. Even if records of its foreign sales are vague the seven ton 4×4 is already in service at home alongside other protected trucks. A lot of commentary about this vehicle traces its origins to the Soviet vintage BRDM scout cars but the Cayman has little in common with its supposed ancestors. In form and function it’s closer to the German-made Fennek recce vehicle albeit with fewer modular features. The main selling point of the Cayman is its unique status as a vehicle whose parts are made exclusively in Belarus.

With its D-245 engine housed at the back of the vehicle the Cayman seats a crew of three or four in its cab–the driver and co-driver along with the machine gunner and a radio operator behind them. The three panel windshield maximizes the crew’s situational awareness and lamps above and below the cab make driving at night easier. Top speed is an impressive 110 kilometers per hour on smooth roads although the Cayman has few problems in rugged terrain and manages water crossings thanks to its twin propellers at the back of the hull. A vague characteristic of the Cayman is its ballistic resistance since according to Belarus’ state-owned arms exports agency its monocoque hull is protected up to “BR4, BR5.” This is quite telling since “BR5” is roughly equivalent to STANAG I or resistance against 5.56mm and 5.45mm ammunition.

Combat optimization is modest, being limited to a single roof hatch with a semi-enclosed cupola for a light machine gun turret. If larger calibers and other weapon systems will be offered on the Cayman in the future this remains to be seen. The Turkish PARS 4×4, itself based on the Fennek, is able to mount a remote controlled turret with two missile launchers and a coaxial machine gun. Considering the state of Belarus’ military technology a similar weapon station is possible for the Cayman. There are two rows of smoke grenades on the roof should the need arise to conceal the vehicle. The extent of armor upgrades and other protective accessories that can be installed on the Cayman haven’t been specified. Countries who need a protected 4×4 for missions such as convoy protection, rapid intervention reconnaissance but wish to avoid Western export controls are the likeliest end users of the Cayman.

Comments are closed.