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Armored Cars: Tumosan Pusat

May 25, 2019

Via Tumosan.

The newest protected 4×4 to come out of Turkey, an unacknowledged world leader in armored vehicle production, is the Pusat. Joining the ongoing craze for hulking yet nimble armored trucks, the Pusat fit nine people and still weighed less (just 12 tons maximum) than a hand-me-down MRAP from the 2000s. First shown to the public in 2017 it soon disappeared from view except for online images and a short video clip shared by its manufacturer Tumosan–a decades old company known for its farm tractors. Based on the promotional media about the Pusat, it was meant to launch a family of vehicles that includes a protected 6×6 cargo transport and a wheeled 8×8 infantry fighting vehicle. But these never materialized.

The Pusat has since made another appearance at the IDEF 2019 arms show that took place in Istanbul in May this year. Displayed along with its chassis and engine, the latest Pusat featured slight alterations in its external appearance. Gone were the original side steps underneath the cab used for climbing aboard; these were replaced by a reinforced hull bottom that served the same purpose. A bumper mounted with a towing wing was also added below the grille.

Beyond its external appearance the little that’s known about the vehicle reveals Tumosan went to great lengths developing a 250 horsepower engine for it. The reason for this is the manufacturer’s goal to enhance technological prowess by “indigenizing” all the relevant parts, including the specially designed chassis with independent suspension. Returning to the engine type, its output gives the Pusat a maximum speed of 110 kilometers per hour and it can travel 700 km on a full tank.

The vehicle’s protective features haven’t been enumerated yet. Besides a v-hull, the armor level of the Pusat is unstated but it’s safe to assume the cab enjoys at least STANAG II ballistic resistance. (Making it impervious to AK-47 rounds at close range.) Bulletproof glass panels cover the windshield and the side doors and the viewing slits over the passenger compartment each have gun ports for combat optimization. Smoke grenade dischargers and a .50 caliber machine gun on a remote weapon station sourced from Aselsan lend the Pusat a real fighting edge. But there’s also a main circular roof hatch for manually operated turrets if these are needed.

It’s interesting to contemplate what other armaments the Pusat can support; it looks like a vehicle meant for a wide range of jobs. But its newness is a hurdle for its manufacturer since the reputation of any armored vehicles takes years to build. The reality of competing with other Turkish protected 4×4’s can’t be ignored either. (When parked next to each other the Pusat and the Cobra II look alike.) Demand for Turkish military products and weapon systems is strong though and Ankara’s soft influence over friendly countries could lead to export success.

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