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Austin-Putilov Armored Car

4-Wheeled Fighting Vehicle

Russia | 1918

"The Austin-Putilov Armored Car was a Russian modification of an original British car design and saw over thirty of its type constructed."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/07/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
From the period of 1918 to 1920, the British-originated Austin Armored Car (detailed elsewhere on this site) was constructed for the Russian Empire and became locally known as the "Austin-Putilov". These vehicles emerged from a 1916 commitment to fielding a local armored car for Russian Army service during World War 1 (1914-1918). Since Russian industry lacked the capabilities to generate such a product from scratch, some sixty Austin Car chassis (with engines) were purchased from the Austin Motor Company to provide the basic foundation for the machine. The Putilov Works of St. Petersburg was charged with manufacture and installation of their armored hull components and production was set to begin as soon as possible. However, the February Revolution of 1917 did much to hurt the Russian war effort and work on the type was delayed for a time. Instead of the planned 1917 fielding date, the first cars were not available until 1918. From there, thirty-three total cars were delivered.

As built, the Putilov cars had a running length of 4.9 meters with a width of 2 meters and height of 2.8 meters. Weight was 5.2 tons. The crew numbered five and included the driver, commander, a loader-mechanic and a pair of dedicated machine gunners. Power was from an Austin 4-cylinder gasoline fueled engine of 50 horsepower providing road speeds of up to 34 miles per hour and operational ranges out to 125 miles. Armament was typically 2 x 7.62mm Maxim machine guns and approximately 5,000 rounds were carried - the vehicle was more an anti-infantry measure than anything else. The guns were fitted in two individual rotating, cylindrical turrets set over the rear section of the hull roof. Off-road travel was aided somewhat by use of a 2x4 leaf spring suspension system but the Putilov car was no off-road warrior. Armor protection reached up to 7.5mm thickness and riveted over the bow, driving compartment and rear section. A four-wheeled stance was used in which the rubber-tired wheels were set to the extreme corners of the design.

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The "Austin-Kegresse" became another Russian-inspired offshoot of the Austin Armored Car line - its major difference was in its reliance on the Kegresse tracked system fitted under the rear of the vehicle. These essentially marked the first instances of a half-track military vehicle, types that proved popular in the Second World War still to come. Cross-country travel was improved considerably with the tracked component added - particularly in snowy and muddy terrains.

With Russian out of World War 1 in March of 1918, the existing stock of Austin-Putilov Armored Cars fought on into the Russian Civil War years (1917-1922) and the Soviet-Polish War (1919-1921) (one example being captured by enemy forces) but their use and numbers dwindled at a rapid pace during the 1920s. By the early 1930s, all were gone from service.

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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 Austin-Putilov Armored Car 4-Wheeled Fighting Vehicle.
1 x Austin Model 4-cylinder gasoline-fueled engine developing 50 horsepower.
Installed Power
31 mph
50 kph
Road Speed
124 miles
200 km
The physical qualities of the Austin-Putilov Armored Car 4-Wheeled Fighting Vehicle.
16.0 ft
4.88 meters
O/A Length
6.4 ft
1.95 meters
O/A Width
7.9 ft
2.4 meters
O/A Height
11,464 lb
5,200 kg | 5.7 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Austin-Putilov Armored Car 4-Wheeled Fighting Vehicle.
1 x 7.62mm Maxim machine gun in traversing roof-mounted turret.
1 x 7.62mm Maxim machine gun in traversing roof-mounted turret.
5,000 x 7.62mm ammunition
Nightvision - NONE.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - NONE.
Notable series variants as part of the Austin-Putilov Armored Car family line.
Austin-Putliov Armored Car - Base Series Name; thirty-three examples completed.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Austin-Putilov Armored Car. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 33 Units

Contractor(s): Austin Motor Company - UK / Putilov Works - Russia
National flag of Poland National flag of Russia National flag of the Soviet Union

[ Poland (single example; captured); Russia; Soviet Union ]
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Image of the Austin-Putilov Armored Car
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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 Austin-Putilov Armored Car 4-Wheeled Fighting Vehicle appears in the following collections:
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