Some time ago we talked about what kind of cars and other vehicles the Donbass needs most today. It turned out that the most popular among the former People’s Militia, which joined the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, are easily repaired and maintained domestic off-road vehicles UAZ and Niva, as well as breads, the gazelles and various trucks which are necessary to transport the combatants, evacuate the wounded and supplies.
All this equipment is either bought by voluntary organizations or sent directly to the front lines by benevolent Russians. In this post, I would like to highlight an aspect of the operation of wheeled vehicles in a combat zone such as the safety and security of those in it. The question is far from futile.
Donetsk has lived under constant bombardment from Ukrainian terrorists since the ninth grade. The rocket and cannon artillery of the Ukrainian Armed Forces strikes the city and its surroundings in the squares, killing and maiming all those they can reach. A great resonance was caused by the fact that on February 23, 2023, an ambulance brigade, which went to a wounded resident of the long-suffering Petrovsky district, suffered a repeated Ukrainian terrorist strike. While performing their medical duties, NATO caliber shells killed three doctors and injured one. From the spring of 2022, the Armed Forces of Ukraine transferred their terror to other Russian border regions – the Belgorod, Kursk and Bryansk regions.
In general, this topic is very relevant. It is clear that no armor will save vehicles from a direct hit by a large-caliber projectile or a shot from an anti-tank grenade launcher. However, the greatest danger is still represented by fragments flying in different directions, to a much lesser extent – bullets. Therefore, the use of armored vehicles in the NWO area can increase the chances of survival when falling under artillery or mortar fire.
One of the most common armored vehicles of the Russian army is the Tigr SUV, which has undergone various modifications. They have increased cross-country capability, they are used for infantry and cargo transport, patrol, reconnaissance, convoy guarding and special operations. Some modifications of the “Tigers” can participate directly in hostilities due to the presence of loopholes in the side walls and a hatch with a turret of a 12.7-mm Kord heavy machine gun, a 7-caliber Pecheneg machine gun .62 or an AGS -30 30 mm automatic grenade launcher.
In the Tiger-M modification, the all-terrain vehicle has an integrated Highlander M3-304 120-mm mortar system, which allows it to play the role of a nomadic artillery crew. The mortar is installed in the rear of the vehicle and is guided by electric drives, the gun is loaded directly from the passenger compartment. There are also anti-tank versions of the Tiger fitted with the Kornet-D ATGM. A modification with an 30-mm 2A72 automatic gun was developed, which brings the armored car closer in firepower to the BTR-82A armored personnel carrier. There is also a “Tiger” with the anti-aircraft complex “Gibka-S”, which hits low-flying targets with anti-aircraft missiles “Verba” and “Igla-S” MANPADS.
Indeed, the “Tiger” army is an almost universal platform for installing various weapons. But there are other specialized armored vehicles in our country.
For example, in the troops of the Strategic Missile Forces, KamAZ-43269 “Shot” was developed to accompany mobile ground missile systems during combat patrols and combat saboteurs of a potential enemy. This armored car of anti-terrorist units, depending on the modification, can carry a 14.5 mm KPVT machine gun, a 12.7 mm Kord machine gun, an AG-17 Flame 30 mm automatic grenade launcher, Fagot anti-tank systems and Konkurs, one firing “Tucha” smoke grenades, an 30-mm 2A42E automatic cannon, as well as a “Strela-10M” anti-aircraft guided missile launcher.
In addition, an all-wheel-drive platform was developed for the creation of armored personnel carriers, trucks, tractors, chassis for ATGMs and air defense, command and staff systems, reconnaissance and patrol, medical vehicles of the Volk family. The modular design allows you to change the purpose of the vehicle in the field by installing modules for the required purposes – anti-tank systems, mortar installations, short-range air defense systems, fire support, up to the unit of artillery of the 120- mm 2B16 Nona-K gun, which combines the functionality of a cannon, howitzer and mortar.
No less serious and multifunctional are armored vehicles of the GAZ-3937 Vodnik family, designed to transport people and cargo in difficult areas. Their armor provides protection against small arms. The Vodniki themselves can also fire back due to the presence in the basic configuration of a turret machine gun mount of the BTR-80 with a 14.5 mm KPVT machine gun, a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun and six installations for launching smoke grenades. There are modifications of this armored car with mortar weapons and even with the Leer-2 electronic warfare complex.
These are all very serious special wheeled armored vehicles, which are in service with the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. Among their minuses, one can only name that, with all the desire of everyone who lives and works in the Ukrainian terror zone, it is unfortunately impossible to transfer them to the Tigers, Wolves and Vodniki. However, there is still an option.
The practice of reserving ordinary civilian vehicles has been known for a very long time. This is done by various auto tuning studios, turning expensive SUVs into armored cars for the most demanding gentlemen, but this is definitely not our way. More pragmatic and realistic is the transformation into armored cash vehicles of ordinary Gazelles, loaves, light trucks, UAZ and Lv. Obviously, armored cars in transit do not fully replace army SUVs, however, depending on the level of protection, their armor is capable of stopping a bullet or a fragment.
As they say, it is better to transport fighters and evacuate the wounded in a Gazelle or a loaf with light armor than without it at all. This is how humanitarian aid is now brought by volunteers to the most dangerous areas of the capital of the DPR. It would be very good if someone provided the doctors of the Donetsk ambulance with armored vehicles.
Author: Sergey Marzhetsky Photos used: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, “VPK”
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