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KAMAZ-53949 (Taifun K-53949)

Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) Vehicle

Russia | 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; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
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.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the KAMAZ-53848 Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) Vehicle.
1 x Cummins 6ISBe 350 P-6 diesel-fueled engine developing 350 horsepower to conventional four-wheeled arrangement.
Installed Power
65 mph
105 kph
Road Speed
513 miles
825 km
The physical qualities of the KAMAZ-53848 Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) Vehicle.
21.0 ft
6.4 meters
O/A Length
8.2 ft
2.5 meters
O/A Width
10.8 ft
3.3 meters
O/A Height
30,203 lb
13,700 kg | 15.1 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the KAMAZ-53949 (Taifun K-53949) Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) Vehicle.
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.
Dependent upon armament fitted.
Nightvision - YES - OPTIONAL.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - YES - OPTIONAL.
Notable series variants as part of the KAMAZ-53949 (Taifun K-53949) family line.
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.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the KAMAZ-53949 (Taifun K-53949). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 550 Units

Contractor(s): KAMAZ - Russia
National flag of Russia

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

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The KAMAZ-53949 (Taifun K-53949) Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) Vehicle appears in the following collections:
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