Speed armored car
First of all, in the new car from Arzamas, the dynamic capabilities surprise: the maximum speed, according to the manufacturer, is up to 150 km / h! For a 4,7-ton armored car, this is a very serious parameter, requiring, firstly, a remarkable engine, and, secondly, powerful brakes. The car, the official name of which is “the light armored vehicle of the military-industrial complex“ Strela ”, is in many ways a unique armored car for our army. If Strela is adopted, it will be the first of its kind. This is stated by the general director of the military-industrial complex Alexander Krasovitsky:
“On an initiative basis, as soon as possible, the designers of the Military Industrial Company LLC developed and proposed a concept for creating light class cars, within the framework of which an experimental model of an armored vehicle from the VPK-Strela family was developed and manufactured. To date, there are simply no such armored vehicles in service with our army. ”
The idea of building a light class armored car looks like a fairly logical marketing step. The military-industrial company at the Arzamas Engineering Plant already produces a bunch of modifications of the 8-ton Tiger, the even heavier Athlete is actively tested (about 9 tons), and last year an experienced 15-ton VPK-Ural was assembled. In addition, the troops operate more than 200 armored vehicles "Lynx", or IVECO LMV, developed in the camp of a potential enemy. There is also a restyled version of the "Tiger", a distinctive feature of which are six small eye-headlights. The market positions of heavy and medium tactical machines are not just occupied, there is also strong competition. Therefore, it seems logical that the company develops a new niche for light airborne armored vehicles. The mass and overall parameters of the Arrows allow you to move on the external sling of the Mi-8 series helicopters. By the way, four eyes protruding around the perimeter of the roof clearly hint at this.
The range of military-industrial complex armored vehicles. From top to bottom: “Arrow” with “Tiger”, restyled “Tiger”, “Athlete” and “VPK-Ural”. Source: autoreview.ru
At the moment, not much is known about the car. Most of the information will be disclosed at the August Army 2020 forum. In the same place, according to the publication "Autoreview", other modifications of the "Arrows" will be presented: floating and utility version. In the cabin of the traditional civil layout fit, depending on the performance, from 5 to 8 people. Unlike the Tiger series cars, the Arzamas Arrow withstands undermining at least 2 kilograms of TNT. The Tiger, as you know, is capable of digesting only about 600 grams of such explosives without critical crew injuries. In this regard, it is interesting to compare the Strela with another new product from the military industrial complex - the 9-ton armored car Athlete. According to the manufacturer, this machine also withstands an explosion of about 2 kg of TNT. Recall that the weight of the "Strela" with a similar resistance to explosion is two times less. What is the secret of such durability of the Arzamas 4,7-tonne news? In the new car, the traditional Kevlar anti-fragmentation lining takes on itself, as well as the instrument panel, unified with the civilian “Next Gazelle”. Of course, this will increase the comfort level of the crew, but will create a number of problems. First of all, it’s a combat vehicle: getting splinters (bullet rebound) inside is quite possible, and civilian plastic scatters from blows into many sharp fragments. In addition, plastic is flammable. This, by the way, is not news for designers from Arzamas: such plastic excesses cannot be found in the Athlete’s cabin. The second problem is the lack of fasteners for special equipment on the dashboard. It is unclear how to mount communications and navigation on a concise "gazelle" panel. In steel cladding, you can at least use a drill or self-tapping screws.
On the presented experimental car, the passenger compartment has the usual passenger seats. If the manufacturer claims resistance to a 2-pound explosion for such an easy car, then anti-traumatic seats are simply obliged to stand in the cabin. They know how to make them in Arzamas, and there is hope that they will appear on the "Arrow". A feature of such seats is the ceiling mount with a shock absorber and footrests that prevent soldiers from contacting the floor of the car. In the event of a car explosion, this reduces the likelihood of ankle and spine injuries. And, of course, the usual three-point seat belts, which are useless in an explosion, became the biggest mistake in the Strela cabin. Four-point belts like sports are mandatory here. However, it is worth repeating that this is most likely the features of a specific prototype. Perhaps this “Arrow” is prepared for life tests and is equipped with a civilian interior for convenience. Moreover, the rest of the designers perfectly prepared the armored car for the explosion: the shape of the bottom is a specific V-shaped.
Armor and motor
On the images of "Arrows", a solid wind-proof bulletproof glass attracts attention. The rest of the military-industrial complex has a strictly divided stack, and here is a luxurious panoramic armored unit. Changing it entirely in case of defeat is impractical, and even very difficult: such a glass weighs more than one hundred kilograms. The novelty is armored in domestic level 2, which implies protection from bullets with a heat-strengthened core of a cartridge of caliber 5,45 × 39 mm from AK-74, bullets with a heat-strengthened core of a cartridge of caliber 7,62 × 39 mm from AKM and bullets with a non-heat-strengthened core of a cartridge of caliber 7,62 , 54 × XNUMX mm from SVD. Strela’s armor is domestic, but the rest of the content is not so simple. The manufacturer does not disclose detailed information about the motor, but so far it is an imported unit, which they promise to localize next year. Another история with the localization of foreign technology and the lack of own developments in this sector. We can only assume that to ensure the necessary power supply, a diesel engine with a capacity of at least 200 l / s will be required.
The outer contours of the "Arrow" body turned out to be okay. The stylistic solutions of the armored hull have something in common with the older brother of the "VPK-Ural", especially the characteristic squint of the head lighting technology. Obviously, this design architecture will become typical of the new armored vehicles from Arzamas. The frame of the armored car is its own and is not borrowed from other military-industrial complex equipment. A bit of technical specifics: the front suspension is independent spring, rear leaf spring, and the gearbox is mechanical. Unified with the "Athlete" and "VPK-Ural" front and rear armored doors are noteworthy. Obviously, the creators of Strela are counting very much on the state order and are reducing production costs.
General director of the military-industrial complex Alexander Krasovitsky tells about the area of application of Strela in the army:
"The machine can be used as a command vehicle, vehicle and operational and service vehicle in special units of executive authorities or as a base for creating a family of cars, as well as mounting weapons and special equipment."
One of the versions of Scorpio-LSHA, the immediate predecessor of Strela. Even the photo shows that the design is overloaded with armor. Source: ru.wikipedia.org
It should be noted that the Strela concept, strictly speaking, is not an absolute novelty for the domestic automobile industry. A few years ago, the Scorpio armored car was trying to get into the army, the curb weight of which was slightly lower - about 4300 kg. The machine carried the LSA index (light assault vehicle) and was developed at ZAO Zashchita Corporation. For some time it was tested in Bronnitsy, there was even information about the adoption of weapons, but the troops did not see it. The reason for the failure, obviously, was an outdated design based on the UAZ, and this negatively affected the reliability of the overloaded machine. If on the civilian "Patriot" many nodes are working for wear, what can we say about the armored car! It is hoped that the fate of the "Arrow" from Arzamas will be more supportive.