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KAMAZ-53949 (Taifun K-53949)

Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) Vehicle [ 2020 ]

The KAMAZ-53949 is a versatile addition to the Russia Army ranks, classified as an MRAP.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/07/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The wars of the late 1990s and 2000s gave rise to a whole new class of armored vehicle called Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) providing frontline ground forces with enhanced protection in urban settings. The MRAP was used to good effect throughout the American and coalition wars in Afghanistan and Iraq where surprise attacks from mines, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), and guerilla-style assaults proved commonplace. A long-time fixture of South African forces, the MRAP eventually became a mainstay of major fighting forces such as the United States, Great Britain, and Russia.

One of the available Russian forces is the KAMAZ-53949 - also known as the Taifun K-53949 - born of the versatile "Typhoon" line of vehicles manufactured en mass by the KamAZ concern of Russia. The general form entered serial production in 2014 and has branched to include various types in 4x4, 6x6, and 8x8 wheeled configurations. The K-53949 is a 4x4 wheeled form serving as both an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) of sorts and an armored cargo vehicle.

MRAPs get their classification from the ability to sustain extensive damage or showcase enhanced resilience from blasts that would otherwise destroy or debilitate a traditional light-armored wheeled vehicle. A typical design quality of such vehicles is a Vee-shaped undercarriage used to deflect blasts away from the vehicle and its occupants. In addition to this, blast-resistant seats are usually part of the design makeup, increasing the likelihood of passenger survival in active warzones. Other notable qualities include blast/bullet resistant walls and windows, gun ports, and multiple entry-exit hatches/doors.

The K-53949 utilizes a conventional automobile-style layout with the engine at front and crew/passenger cabin middle-aft. Large road tires are featured with a run-flat ability and the vehicle is given high ground clearance. Armor protection is against small arms fire and artillery spray. An amphibious quality is granted by way of a ducted, raised exhaust stack originating from the right side of the engine compartment. The rear of the vehicle can be configured for various battlefield roles including cargo-hauling, Command Post (CP), Anti-Tank Guided-Missile (ATGM) missile carrier, and battlefield ambulance (known as the "Linza"). Armament (including Remote Weapon Stations - RWSs) is variable and seated atop the roof of the vehicle for complete 360-degree traversal of the weapon emplacement. Also, any personal weapons carried by the occupants can come into play as needed.

Interestingly, there is heavy reliance on Western components in the general makeup of the Russian-borne Taifun. This includes the Cummins 6ISBe 350 series P-6 diesel-fueled engine which powers the 4x4 wheeled arrangement and coupled to an Allison 6-speed automatic transmission system. The engine propels the vehicle to road speeds of 105 kmh out to a range not exceeding 850 kilometers. The hull is developed by Israel-based Plasan Sasa.

The vehicle measures an overall length of 6.4 meters, a beam of 2.5 meters, and a height of 3.3 meters - giving proper clearance for air transportation in the hold of both tactical- and strategic-type airlifters. Two crew are typically featured with seating for an additional eight personnel. Entry-exit is through four automobile-style hinged doors and a rear access point. The vehicle can ford water sources of 1.75 meters deep (some preparation is required) and cross 0.5 meter trenches. Its gradient traverse limited is 60%. The vehicle sits atop a Timoney (of Ireland) hydropneumatic suspension system which aids in cross-country travel.

This Typhoon entry was developed as a private venture in 2010 and unveiled in 2013. By 2020, it has become a fixture with Russian fighting forces.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

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In Active Service.

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(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Amphibious Assault
Traverse bodies of open water under own power with / without preparation.
Infantry Support
Support allied ground forces through weapons, inherent capabilities, and / or onboard systems.
Armored Car
Design, of typically lightweight nature, providing onroad/offroad capabilities for the scouting or general security roles.
Designed to withstand attacks from mines and ambushes through specialized design and survivability features.
Can conduct reconnaissance / scout missions to assess threat levels, enemy strength, et al - typically through lightweight design.
General utility-minded design to accomplish a variety of battlefield tasks, typically in a non-direct-combat fashion.
Special Purpose
Special purpose design developed to accomplish an equally-special battlefield role or roles.

Wheeled Arrangement
Wheeled arrangement gives this system an inherent road-running capability, enhancing mobility.
Remote Weapon Station (RWS)
Vehicle supports a remote-operated weapons station, reducing crew exposure to outside dangers.
System can enter and traverse open water sources - either rivers, lakes, and streams; Amphibious Assault operation support.
Cross-Country Capability
Design includes such features as a track-link system or high ground clearance to better traverse offroad.
Enhanced Armor Protection
Protection is enhanced by way of additional armor being installed over that of standard levels; plate steel for older designs and reactive armor for modern types.
NBC Protection
Crew is provided (either as standard or optional) protection against Nuclear-Biological-Chemical agents for enhanced survivability in contaminated zones.
Crew has access to night-vision equipment, allowing for low-light or night time operations.
Vehicle features an in-built anti-infantry capability for local defense of the vehicle or general troop suppression.
Troop Carrier
Vehicle (or its variants) has an inherent troop-carrying capability, providing protected cover for embarked allies in contested areas.
Gun Ports
Vehicle allows occupants to engage outside targets from within the confines (and safety) of the vehicle.
Remote Weapons Station
Vehicle supports an unmanned weapons station controlled remotely from within the safety of the vehicle.
Vehicle's proven running gear and overall makeup lends itself well to fulfill other battlefield roles by way of specialized designs.

21.0 ft
6.4 m
8.2 ft
2.5 m
10.8 ft
3.3 m
30,203 lb
13,700 kg
15.1 tons
(Showcased structural values pertain to the KAMAZ-53848 production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x Cummins 6ISBe 350 P-6 diesel-fueled engine developing 350 horsepower to conventional four-wheeled arrangement.
Transmission: 1 x Allison 6-speed automatic transmission.
65.2 mph
(105.0 kph)
512.6 mi
(825.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the KAMAZ-53848 production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
Variable. Dependent upon mission parameters but may include 7.62mm Medium Machine Guns (MMGs), 12.7mm OR 14.5mm Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs), and 30mm Automatic Grenade Launchers (AGLs).

Also any personal weapons carried by the crew.

Supported Types

Graphical image of a tank medium machine gun
Graphical image of a tank heavy machine gun
Graphical image of infantry-level automatic grenade launcher
Graphical image of the M3 Grease Gun submachine gun

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Dependent upon armament fitted.

KAMAZ-53949 - Base Series Designation.
Taifun K-53949 - Alternative Designation.
Command Post (CP) - Command Post variant with additional communications gear.
"Linza" - Armored ambulance variant with revised rear hull section for medical duties; 2 to 4 medical litter capable.
KAMAZ-4386 (Taifun K-4386 / Taifun VDV) - Model of 2020; lighter-weight, three-door model for airborne forces.
Missile Carrier - Equipped with ATGM mount for mobile anti-tank support.

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Images Gallery

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Image of the KAMAZ-53949 (Taifun K-53949)
Image from the Russian Ministry of Defense; Public Release.

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