The Russian Interior Ministry has issued an order for new anti-riot trucks, heavily armored vehicles capable of driving through and dispersing crowds. Tests of these vehicles could begin next month.
Riots are increasingly common in Russia. New riots are even possible on Monday. This new order suggests that the Kremlin may be sending a message.
Note: The vehicle is capable of taking fire from sniper weapons. Initially, we posted that the vehicle was equipped with a sniper rifle. – Ed.
In 2014, the Ural automobile factor will manufacture the first batch of eight new Ural-4320VV armored vehicles from an order by the chief command of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Internal Troops [the riot police]. Viktor Surkov, lead design engineer, made the announcement about the order, Interfax reported. According to Col. Konstantin Bystrov, deputy commander of the Center for the Interior Ministry Hero Special Purpose Internal Troops, the vehicle “is ideally suited” for dispersing unauthorized rallies and demonstrations.
“Due to the large overall dimensions and limited range of fire, this vehicle would hardly be used in a battle setting, directly in battle, but for the dispersal of unauthorized rallies and various types of actions by a crowd of hooligans, it is ideally suited,” Bystrov commented.
The new vehicle weighs 18 tons. It is equipped with an armored body with sixth-class defense ([capable of withstanding] fire from a Dragunov Sniper Rifle with 7.62 millimeter caliber bullets with a steel heat-treated core); the sides and top of the Ural-4320VV are covered with fifth-class protective armor ([capable of withstanding] fire from a Dragunov Sniper Rifle with a 7.62 millimeter caliber bullet with a regular steel core).
The body of the vehicle can protect a crew of 18 people from a blast of two kilograms of explosive materials.
The armored body of the Ural-4320VV is one-volume, with two module control side doors and a side door to the manned armored compartment on the right side, and two swinging hatches in back.
“In a word, if necessary, the crew can lock itself in from inside and fire from the loophole, and also from the two upper compartments,” Surkov noted. The vehicle is capable of reaching a speed of 90 kilometers an hour, and its power reserve is up to 1,100 kilometers.
The cost of each Ural-4320VV is about 10 million rubles [almost $310,000]. It is expected that the troop tests of the new armored vehicle will begin in November of this year.