Vehicle built to army specs may also do well on the civilian market
Originally appeared at Russia Beyond the Headlines
Russia’s new modified military version of the UAZ Patriot SUV has passed all the necessary tests and will be put into mass production, UAZ PR executive Artyom Zheltikov told journalists during the Interpolitech international exhibition of state security equipment, held in Moscow from Oct. 20-23.
The main difference between the military and the civilian version is an upgraded suspension system, complete with forged steel wheels.
The four-wheel-drive military Patriot, which has a curb weight of 2 tons and a top speed of 150 km/h (90 mph), comes with a 128-hp gasoline-powered engine. It can carry up to nine people.
According to the press service of Russia's Central Military District, over 30 UAZ Patriot vehicles are already in service with the district troops. Furthermore, the district has adopted the Patriot-Okapi – a Patriot-based radar system capable of detecting and identifying both stationary and moving targets at ranges up to 15 km (9 miles).
Colonel Vadim Demik, deputy head of the 31 Test and Research Institute of Russia's Defense Ministry, announced previously the Patriot vehicle had been modified in accordance with the Ministry's requirements, which concerned in particular its performance in the harsh climate of the Arctic.
”The UAZ Patriot can be used as a command vehicle, but it also can be equipped by virtually any small-sized hardware or weapon weighing up to 1,000 kg, like communication and radar systems or anti-tank missile systems, including guided missiles,” Russian independent military expert Kirill Kudryashov told RBTH.
According to Kudryashov, unlike the American Humvee, which delivers great off-road performance but only on level, desert-like terrain, the Patriot performs well even on rough, bumpy terrain and deeply rutted roads.
Another advantage of the vehicle is that it is suited both for military and for civilian needs – unlike, for instance, Russia's Tigr armored vehicle, said Kudryashov. This will surely attract attention from both domestic and foreign buyers, civilians included, he said.
The Patriot is unavailable for export – at least for now.