By Alexei Sakvasin and Elisaveta Komarova
The KAMAZ Remdiesel plant in Naberezhnye Chelny has ramped up production of the new Akhmat armored personnel carrier (GMTF), the company’s chief designer Igor Zakharovich said. According to him, a significant number of these vehicles have already been delivered to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
The vehicle has a wheel formula of 6×6 and the interior offers space for ten soldiers. Its special feature is that it does not have a load-bearing body that is difficult to manufacture, as can be found on similar vehicles in the Taifun family, for example. According to Remdiesel, the production of the Achmat takes only a seventh to a tenth of the time. Experts believe that the new GMTF is intended to meet the needs of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation for a large number of simple, spacious and at the same time well-protected vehicles.
Igor Zakharovich, chief designer of joint-stock company Remdiesel, informed the news agency TASS with, the production of the new armored vehicle Achmat has increased almost fivefold. He emphasized:
“I can’t name the number, but the vehicles are already in use. (…) For us, these are high numbers: we have almost quintupled our production. These numbers are significant.”
In July, the GMTF Achmat was recognized by Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Chechnya.
“These armored vehicles were created taking into account the wishes and experience of our soldiers who took part in the special operation in Ukraine. The technology is of good quality, powerful and reliable. Despite its cumbersome appearance, the Achmat is a maneuverable vehicle that performs an important function in the Combat mission accomplished – fast movement in urban conditions with maximum safety for personnel,” Kadyrov wrote on his Telegram channel last month.
A series production chassis
The GMTF Achmat was part of the Victory Day parade on May 9 in Grozny, and in the second half of August it was presented to the public at the International Military-Technical Exhibition, Armee-Expo 2022.
Apart from troop transport, the vehicle can also be used for sanitary purposes, such as transporting the wounded. Due to its dimensions, the Achmat can be transported by military transport aircraft Il-76 and An-124 as well as by train.
When developing the Achmat, the Remdiesel team incorporated the experience of the special operation. The vehicle was designed in just 25 days. According to Zakharovich, the special features of this vehicle are the simple handling, the high protection class and the simple series production.
Zakharovich agreed on the sidelines of Army Expo 2022 RIA Novosti:
“The chassis is mass-produced in order to equip the troops with protective equipment as quickly as possible. (…) The result is a vehicle that can be produced quickly and has a very high protection class.”
The chief designer of Remdiesel emphasized the seven to tenfold time savings in the production of the Achmat compared to the armored vehicles of the Taifun family. Such a high production speed was achieved by doing without a load-bearing (frameless) body.
Among other things, the armored vehicle Taifun-WDW(WDW refers to the Russian airborne troops) has such a body with a capacity of seven people. This vehicle is built on a KAMAZ chassis and is also a Remdiesel product. It is designed to carry personnel, cargo and medical supplies.
The advantages of the Taifun-WDW are high thrust and dynamic properties, maneuverability and high off-road mobility. In addition to the supporting body, the vehicle is equipped with ceramic armor and an armored capsule for accommodating the crew.
Further, the Russian Armed Forces operate Taifun vehicles on the platforms KAMAZ-63969 and KAMAZ-53949 with wheel formulas of 6×6 and 4×4. According to Rosoboronexport’s website, the vehicles have good combat and performance characteristics (mobility, protection, combat effectiveness, design and ergonomics).
A typhoon is able to cross fords up to 1.5 meters deep and slopes with a slope of up to 30 degrees without preparation. The diesel engines with 350 or 450 hp and the automatic transmission enable motorway speeds of over 100 km/h and a range of up to 1,000 kilometers without refueling, reports Rosoboronexport.
In a comment for rt Military expert Nikita Buranov noted that the Typhoon is indeed an effective product and indicated that the Achmat is close to this family of vehicles in terms of performance.
However, because of the design features, the Taifun is difficult to produce. At the same time, as a result of the special operation, the need for armored vehicles in the Russian armed forces has increased significantly.
The Achmat is the answer to the Russian army’s great demand for armored vehicles. According to Buranov, they must meet the following criteria: good protection, high transport capacity of soldiers in equipment and with armament, and rapid mass production using only domestic components.
According to the specialist, the Remdiesel engineers chose a simple but reliable design and integrated only the most necessary electronics into the Achmat in order to provide the troops with new armored vehicles as soon as possible.
“I don’t want to speak of a specific evaluation of the Achmat. However, from the available information, it can be concluded that the vehicle meets the military’s requirements for more capacity. According to the idea, ten soldiers in uniform, with grenade launchers and ammunition should be able to be accommodated more comfortably. “
To carry out combat missions
The framework system integrated into the Achmat represents a structure to which the body, engine and steering units are attached. It is easier to manufacture, but can carry less payload than the supporting body fitted to a Typhoon.
According to Buranov, the absence of a load-bearing body on the Akhmat and a number of other army vehicles makes it possible to use a standardized chassis with quick assembly of various superstructures on it.
“Both the box and frame construction have advantages and disadvantages. In the case of the GMTF Achmat, the frame greatly facilitates the production process. The Achmat should not be inferior to the Taifun in terms of mine protection and projectile and fragmentation armor, that’s important,” added Buranov.
Doctorate in military science Sergei Suvorov explained rtthat the supporting body causes a weight reduction. This allows the vehicle to carry more load.
“Often the weight gain is translated by designers into increased protection. In my opinion, the Taifun, with its supporting body, is a more protected platform than the Achmat. However, I am confident that the Achmat meets the criteria for protecting the life of military personnel fulfilled,” says Suvorov.
In addition to the Achmat, the armored vehicle family Tigr, which was developed by Wojenno-Promyschlennaja Kompanija GmbH and is widely used in the armed forces, also has a frame construction. The Russian troops are currently receiving modernized vehicles of this type. It is used for reconnaissance purposes, for raids and to combat subversive activities.
“The hull of the Tigr-M in the special forces version (ASN 233115) is welded from steel plates and attached to the frame in ten places by rubber buffers. The vehicle can withstand small arms fire and maintains its mobility even with a detonation of 0.6 Kilograms of explosives under the wheels and underbody.
The armor of multipurpose and special vehicles provides protection for the crew, the most important components and aggregates under all-round fire from steel-core projectiles from the AKM assault rifles of 7.62 mm caliber and the AK-74 caliber of 5.45 mm, which was about the first ballistic protection level according to STANAG 4569 [Anm.: NATO-Standard für den Schutz gepanzerter Fahrzeuge] corresponds,” says the Rosoboronexport filing.
The Tigr vehicle family is used in the field of air defense. Among other things, the vehicles are used by military police officers to escort convoys of the Russian army. The procurement of these vehicles continues: the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation concluded the next contract at the last Army Expo 2022.
Taking into account the peculiarities of the special operation and the design features of the Akhmat, Suvorov assumes that the Remdiesel novelty has the fifth class of protection according to the national classification and the second level of ballistic protection according to STANAG 4569.
“If my assessments are correct, that’s not a bad result considering the frame construction of the Achmat. I believe that in the future the protection level of this vehicle could be increased to 6th class [Anm.: Schutz nach der nationalen Klassifizierung]. If you consider the cross-country ability of this GMTF, it is most likely on the same level as the vehicles with the KAMAZ platform,” says Suvorov.
According to the experts, the Achmat has a relatively low payload due to the frame construction. However, the vehicle allows various equipment and weapon systems to be mounted on the roof, including a remote-controlled module called Arbalet-DM, which is already being installed on the modernized Tigr.
This weapon system consists of a 12.7 mm Kord machine gun, a recording camera and a thermal imaging camera. The sighting is 2.5 kilometers, the firing distance is two kilometers, the ammunition set is 450 rounds, and the total mass of all components of the Arbalet-DM is 250 kilograms.
Translated from the Russian
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