A column of Ukrainian armored vehicles. "BTR APU" - Sisu vehicles. Frame from video from NM DPR
A few months ago, Finland handed over a number of Sisu XA-180 armored personnel carriers to the Kyiv regime without prior announcement and in secrecy. Soon, such a technique began to be used in battles - and it predictably suffered losses. To date, it is reliably known about the destruction of several such armored personnel carriers, and at least one in good condition has become a trophy. It is obvious that the process of destroying Sisu will continue, and it will be simplified to a certain extent by certain characteristic factors.
Finland has not officially announced its plans to transfer XA-180 armored personnel carriers to Ukraine. However, deliveries of such equipment were made, and an unnamed number of armored personnel carriers were transferred with the necessary secrecy.
The appearance of Finnish armored vehicles in Ukraine became known in mid-September, when they were already at the disposal of the armed formations. Photos and videos have appeared on Ukrainian resources showing new equipment in the parking lot and on the march. The number of received cars was again not specified, and no more than four units were present in the frame at the same time.
Already at the end of September, the first reports of attempts to combat the use of such equipment appeared. Several Sisu were seen on one of the front sections, but they did not directly participate in the battle. Subsequently, new reports came through various channels about the appearance of the XA-180 in certain areas. It became clear that in the near future there will be news and on the destruction of such armored personnel carriers.
Technique under attack by artillery. Frame from video from NM DPR
On October 24, the press service of the People's Militia of the DPR published an interesting video showing an unsuccessful attempt to use the XA-180 armored personnel carrier in combat, which ended in losses. A reconnaissance UAV filmed a moving column of several enemy armored vehicles, incl. three Finnish armored personnel carriers. The head Sisu explodes during movement from a hit, presumably by an artillery shell. The next shell knocked out another armored vehicle. The crews of the two remaining XA-180s hastened to escape from the dangerous area.
Soon, photos of a wrecked armored personnel carrier appeared in open sources. They show that a single shell penetrated the car's armor and exploded inside it. The explosion knocked out the glazing and doors, dropped weapons from their pursuit, and also tore off and bent the roof of the hull. The internal state of the object is not shown, but is quite clear. The crew had no chance to survive, and the armored personnel carrier is beyond repair.
On November 12, the Ministry of Defense reported that on the eve of the Ukrainian company tactical group attempted an offensive in the area of the settlement. Svatovo. From unofficial sources it became known that this connection used Tanks, several infantry fighting vehicles and three armored personnel carriers XA-180. With the help of the Orlan-10 UAV, the Russian army detected such an offensive and launched an artillery strike. The shells destroyed several armored vehicles, incl. one armored personnel carrier "Sisu". Photo and video materials with the results of this strike have not yet been shown.
In early December, for the first time it became known about the taking of the whole car as a trophy. A photograph of a Russian soldier against the backdrop of a Finnish armored personnel carrier has been published. The combat vehicle shown does not have significant external damage, but it has a flat tire. It is noteworthy that the XA-180, like other wheeled armored vehicles, can continue to move with similar damage. But the unknown Ukrainian unit was in such a hurry to retreat that they did not take advantage of this opportunity.
The wrecked armored vehicles are burning, the rest are leaving. Frame from video from NM DPR
Thus, it is reliably known that by now the Ukrainian formations have lost several Finnish armored personnel carriers. As reported, the bulk of the losses of such equipment falls on the fire of Russian artillery. In addition, at least one "Sisu" in acceptable condition became a trophy. Obviously, the operation and combat use of such equipment will continue - and there will be new losses or trophies.
Technology from the past
The future XA-180 was developed by the Finnish company Sisu Auto in the late seventies in accordance with the requirements of that time. In 1980, testing of experimental equipment began, and in 1984, the finished armored personnel carrier entered service with the Finnish army. Production continued until the early 1300s, during which time approx. XNUMX armored vehicles of several modifications. Most of them entered the Finnish army, while the rest were sent to foreign buyers.
The XA-180 is a wheeled armored personnel carrier with a combat weight of at least 13,5 tons, capable of carrying two crew members and at least 16 paratroopers. The machine is built on a three-axle chassis and, depending on the modification, has a diesel engine with a capacity of at least 235 hp. On land, speeds of over 100 km/h are achieved. The armored personnel carrier is floating and is equipped with a pair of water cannons.
The body is welded from parts up to 12 mm thick, which provides protection only from bullets and shrapnel. The upgraded designs used more powerful protection. The standard armament of the armored personnel carrier is a heavy machine gun on a turret. The shooter may have protection in the form of a turret without a roof.
Destroyed infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers XA-180. Frame from the reportage of the TV channel "Zvezda"
At the time of its appearance, the Sisu armored personnel carrier was a good modern infantry vehicle. However, much has changed over the past 40 years, and now such equipment on the battlefield faces additional risks. The presence of such threats is generally confirmed by recent events in Ukraine.
It should be noted that reports of the presence of the XA-180 in the combat zone are quite rare - in contrast to information about other foreign samples. The same applies to data on their losses. This may indicate a limited supply and a small amount of Finnish equipment in service. Nevertheless, the available information allows us to draw some conclusions about the possibilities and problems of foreign armored personnel carriers.
It is reported that Finnish armored personnel carriers suffer losses mainly from artillery fire. The famous October video shows the result of a direct hit on such a target. It is likely that other armored vehicles were hit without a direct hit. The XA-180 formally has anti-fragmentation armor, but the striking elements of large-caliber projectiles or missiles, depending on various factors, are quite capable of penetrating such protection with certain consequences.
Clearly, the Sisu are facing other Russian weapons as well, from armored small-caliber cannons to guided missiles and loitering munitions. In all cases, the available armor, which met the standards of the distant past, is insufficient.
For self-defense and infantry support, the armored personnel carrier has only a heavy machine gun. Such weapon not in all situations is capable of fighting even light armored vehicles available to the Russian army, not to mention vehicles with more powerful protection. In addition, the machine gun, in terms of effective fire range, is inferior to the armament of our armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles. The installation of more powerful and long-range weapons is not ruled out, but it will not have a fundamental impact.
Trophy Sisu. Photo Telegram / "Corner of Sith"
A photograph of a whole captured armored personnel carrier suggests that the car got stuck on the impassability, they could not pull it out and therefore abandoned it. If this version is true, then it turns out that the XA-180 has limited mobility and terrain characteristics. Breaking through just one wheel seriously worsened the parameters of the car, and she could not leave on her own.
It should be noted that in recent weeks there have been regular reports of problems with wheeled vehicles by Ukrainian formations. In the autumn, mud was expected to come, and wheeled vehicles, incl. foreign-made, are experiencing serious problems. The reduced mobility makes vehicles easier to target, and stuck vehicles often have to be abandoned.
It is curious that the Ukrainian formations actually cannot solve the current problems with the protection and mobility of foreign armored personnel carriers. The level of protection, in theory, can be increased by overhead booking, incl. various handicraft "modules". However, such tools will increase the mass of the machine and negatively affect its mobility - already insufficient. To compensate for the increase in mass and improve driving performance, a replacement of the power plant is required, but such an upgrade is simply impossible under current conditions.
Finnish-made armored personnel carriers, handed over to Ukraine in September, quickly got into the combat zone and took part in the battles. Almost immediately, they encountered characteristic problems - and the result of this was already losses. Negative factors persist or even intensify, which is why the further development of the situation as a whole is predictable. Sisu's losses will continue to grow until vehicles of this type run out.
It should be noted that not only the XA-180 armored personnel carrier encountered technical and operational problems. Ukraine received a host of other foreign combat vehicles with insufficient protection, limited firepower and other shortcomings. And all of them naturally replenish the list of losses of armored vehicles.