New Vehicles for Russian SOF

New Vehicles for Russian SOF

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Russia`s Rosgvardiya and the Special Operations Forces Command (Russian acronym: KSSO, Komandovanie Sil Spetsialnyh Operatsiy) will receive unique off-road buggies developed by the Chechenavto company in conjunction with the Special Forces Training Center (Gudermes, Chechnya), according to the Izvestia newspaper..

The new vehicles are supposed to receive a heavy armament suite. They will be able to cross pieces of rugged terrain, namely, swamps, snow banks, demolitions, trees, and stones. The Special Forces operators will get the ability to conduct rapid strikes and retreat immediately after the skirmish.

According to Izvestia, the buggy has a length of slightly over 4 m, a weight of 1.5 t, a payload of 800 kg, a speed of 130 km/h, an operational range of about 800 km, and a passenger capacity of six servicemen. It can be armed with a 12.7 mm Kord heavy machinegun, a 7.62 mm Pecheneg machinegun, and a 30 mm AGS-17/AGS-30 automatic grenade launcher (AGL). The vehicle can transport a catapult to launch unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or stretches to evacuate casualties.

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“The decision to acquire the new buggies has already been taken. We are waiting for the finish of the trials that are being conducted at the training center in Gudermes. Once the preliminary trials have been completed, Russia`s Ministry of Defense (MoD) will test the vehicle. When all the relevant tests are completed, the military will acquire the buggies. Previously, the MoD bought foreign-originated light vehicles for KSSO. The operators of the Special Forces have been using such buggies to accomplish a wide range of missions for a long period of time. Therefore, the units (of KSSO) have mastered the relevant tactics,” a source in the MoD told the Izvestia newspaper.

Several sources within Rosgvardiya have confirmed the plans to acquire new buggies developed by Chechenavto for the service`s special and reconnaissance units.

“The demonstrators of the buggy are being intensively tested at the Special Forces training center in Gudermes. We are planning to launch the serial production of the new vehicle in the first half of 2017. Both combat and sport buggies are planned to be produced,” the head of Chechnya`s associate, Daniil Martynov told Izvestia.

According to him, the buggy is a specialized vehicle originally intended for the military. “The buggy is a multipurpose car. It can be easily transformed into a cargo and passenger transporter, a medical evacuation vehicle, or a combat car. The car is a really multifunctional tool. However, the sport variant of the vehicle does not need such functionality. The sport buggy will retain the speed and cross-country performance of the basic model,” Martynov added.

Buggy emerges as a special class of the sport cars intended for races in rugged terrain, a defense analyst Oleg Zheltonozhko told the Izvestia newspaper.

“Buggy has the lowest weight and dimensions, owing to the outer pipe frame. The dismantling of doors, machine bed, and other components of a car allow the improving of payload. The extremely low ground pressure significantly increases the buggy`s cross-country performance,” Zheltonozhko said.

It should be noted that light vehicles are being intensively used by the special forces of the Western countries. For instance, the US Delta team and the 75th Rangers Regiment, the German KSK (Kommando Spezialkräfte) special group, and the British 22th SAS (Special Air Service) Regiment have received buggies, 4×4 all-terrain vehicles (ATV), and technician gun trucks. Such vehicles are being exploited in Afghanistan and Iraq. Previously, Russia`s MoD acquired the buggies developed by the Israeli Zibar company for KSSO, according to the Izvestia newspaper.

It is noteworthy that the buggy developed by the Chechenavto plant will get a heavy armament suite. According to the technical specifications provided by the Degtyarev Plant (Russian acronym: ZiD, a subsidiary of the High-Precision Weapons holding; the manufacturer of the Kord, Pecheneg, and AGS-30 firearms), the pinpoint-mounted Kord heavy machinegun has a combat weight of about 60 kg, a firing rate of 600-750 rounds per minute, a muzzle velocity of 820-860 m/s, a firing range of 2,000 m, a service life of 10,000 shots, a length of 1,980 mm, a height of 500 mm, and a width of 810 mm. It is chambered for 12.7×108 mm rounds.

The Pecheneg machinegun is chambered for 7.62x54R mm rounds, according to ZiD. It has a weight of 8.2 kg, a firing rate of 600-800 rounds per minute, a muzzle velocity of 825 m/s, a maximum firing range of 1,500 m, a cartridge belt capacity of 100 or 200 rounds, a length of 1,200 mm, a width of 115 mm, and a height of 213 mm.

The AGS-30 AGL is chambered for 30×29 mm grenades. It has a firing rate of 400 rounds per minute, a maximum firing range of 1,700 m, a combat weight of 29.7 kg (including the tripod-mounted body of 16 kg and a 30-round drum magazine of 13.7 kg), and an ammunition load of 90 grenades. The AGL can be complemented by the PAG-17 2.7x optical sight.

Therefore, Russia`s Special Forces will get a brand-new light and high-speed vehicle that will be able to support troops on the battlefield. The aforementioned armament suite allows the effective eliminating of enemy`s manpower and soft-skin vehicles.

As reported by TASS Russian News Agency