Russian Army experience in the Chechen wars, as well as observation of the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and a general mass-modernization effort, have led the country to develop a whole new family of Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles. Such vehicles serve ground forces and policing actions by providing protection against small arms fire/shell splinters while, perhaps more importantly, shielding against land mines, rocket/grenade attacks, and improvised devices. The result was the Typhoon initiative of 2010 which begat a family of new generation vehicles. A successful evaluation phase of a Typhoon MRAP from KAMAZ eventually led to a procurement contract forthcoming in 2012 and a public debut in 2014.
The KAMAZ Typhoon is protected against small arms fire and directed explosives by way of a sound armor scheme (utilizing a mix of steel and ceramics), bullet-resistant windows, reinforced seating and chassis understructure, and high ground clearance. State-of-the-art systems within allow for increased situational awareness. The 21 ton vehicle features run-flat tires and an adjustable ride height. Suspension is across all wheels for off road comfort. Additional crew and passenger comfort is provided through an integral air filtration unit and HVAC system. A typical operating crew is two with automobile-style doors fitted for easy entry/access of the cab while passenger seating can fit up to sixteen in the rear cabin. Seats are arranged along the cabin walls facing inwards and contain restraints for bumpy travel or in the case the vehicle overturns. For durability and passenger safety, the seats are joined to the hull at their upper section as opposed to their lower region. A ramp at the rear hull wall lowers to provide wider access to the passenger area and roof hatches are also available as is a starboard-side mounted rectangular door. Gun ports along the hull walls allow passengers to engage outside threats with their personal weapons.
The KAMAZ Typhoon sees up to 86% commonality of parts with other vehicles of the family. The line includes a 4x4 wheeled group which itself includes subvariants covering a base armored vehicle (Model 5388), a dedicated Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), and armored cargo hauler (Model 53888). Similarly, the 6x6 wheeled model (6396/63968) follows suit but also includes a variation (Model 63969) which is more in line with the amphibious APC / IFV role. This model uses an all-new solid-body hull, revised frontal section, and support for a Remote Weapon Station (RWS) fitted to the hull roof. The line completes with the 8x8 wheeled version (models 6398 and 63988).
Performance from the 6x6 wheeled version includes a maximum road speed of 65 miles per hour with an operational road range out to 745 miles. Drive power is through an RM3-5367 I6 diesel-fueled engine mated to an automatic transmission system.
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