The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has revealed its latest achievement in defense technology with the Black Widow Spider 8×8, a highly advanced wheeled armored personnel carrier (APC) developed by the Defense Technology Institute (DTI). This formidable prototype was put through rigorous testing, including a remarkable water mobility trial, reaching speeds of 8km/h for one hour, showcasing its versatility as a combat vehicle. Initially conceptualized in 2020, the Black Widow Spider 8×8 was a result of DTI’s commitment to enhancing Thailand’s defense capabilities and fostering a thriving domestic defense industry. The APC is equipped with the state-of-the-art ADDER DM 40/50 remote turret, designed by ST Engineering Singapore, boasting a potent combination of a 40mm automatic grenade launcher and a .50 caliber heavy machine gun for both self-defense and fire support.
Evolving from a project aimed at self-sufficiency in defense technology and reducing dependency on weapon imports, the BWS 8×8 draws inspiration from various high-performance prototype vehicles worldwide. The DTI’s team of researchers collaborated to create a design tailored to meet Thailand’s specific military requirements. The introduction of the Black Widow Spider 8×8 took place during the International Defense and Security Exhibition held in Bangkok in November 2015. Since then, the prototype has undergone significant upgrades, including the installation of a Remote Weapon Station (RWS) that remarkably resembles Singapore’s Terrex II turret, further elevating its combat capabilities.
The RWS turret, known as ADDER DM 40/50, features a 40x53mm STK 40 AGL automatic grenade launcher with a 32-shell capacity, and a .50 caliber (12.7mm) STK 50MG heavy machine turret, capable of holding 100 rounds. The turret’s stabilization system enables effective operation day and night, with an uncooled thermal imaging camera and a wide range of motion. Additionally, the system weighs less than 350kg and is controlled through an in-vehicle fire station using a user-friendly touch screen display. With the Black Widow Spider 8×8 APC taking center stage as Thailand’s first major military vehicle program, the RTA is poised to bolster its defense capabilities significantly. As it continues to refine and perfect this groundbreaking armored vehicle, Thailand’s Defense Technology Institute leads the way in advancing the nation’s security landscape.