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Armored Cars: Kamaz 53949 Typhoon

November 6, 2014

Via Wikimedia Commons.

The Kamaz 53949 is a belated MRAP that has yet to enter service with Russia’s military. As Kamaz’ newest armored vehicle under the “Typhoon” brand the 53949 is meant to serve as an off-road transport for Russian airborne troops. Judging by its appearance, the Kamaz 53949 shouldn’t be confused with the Gaz Tiger, a 4×4 used by the Russian army.

Unlike the Tiger, the Kamaz 53949 is elevated by four runflat tires on a chassis supported by a V-hull to deflect mine blasts. A robust bumper and reinforced doors complete its menacing appearance although a distinct lack of embellishments is obvious as well.

The Kamaz 53949 offers seating for 10 people, including the driver and co-driver. Passengers enter and exit from four doors and a swing door at the back, where a folding step ladder allows them to climb up. There are a pair of roof hatches above the passenger compartment and another one at front that opens forward.

A smaller circular hatch in the middle of the roof suggests a forthcoming remote control turret.

To further augment visibility, LCD screens are installed at the front and back. Mounted digital cameras feed two LCD screens above the dashboard for the driver and the navigator/co-driver or squad leader. An LCD screen behind the steering wheel serves an information screen and another is found to the left of the rear door.

An external air-conditioning unit is attached to the roof above the passenger compartment. A version of the Kamaz 53949 test-driven in Kazakhstan had an engine snorkel. Aside from less than a handful of photos published online, detailed information on the Kamaz 53949’s engine, armor, and performance characteristics are unavailable.

Owing to its size and class, however, it’s possible the Kamaz 53949 uses automatic suspension. As an MRAP, the Kamaz 53949 should have a diesel engine in the 250 to 300 horsepower range. This kind of engine means its top road speed is at least 100 kilometers per hour. Minimum armoring must be at STANAG I.

The Kamaz 53949’s weapons and active protection systems have yet to be determined. The lack of firing ports for its passengers is also noticeable. First revealed during this year’s KADEX arms show in Astana, Kazakhstan, the number of Kamaz 53949’s to be made is a question mark. To better promote it, the Kamaz 53949 was showcased again last month during the 18th Interpolitex exhibition in Moscow.