Russian army tests Typhoon-PVO vehicle for MANPADS operators

The Russian Defense Ministry held a series of trials of Typhoon-PVO vehicles for operators of man-portable air defense systems (manpads). The vehicle is designed by the Kupol Electro-Mechanical Plant in Izhevsk of Almaz-Antey. Kupol received the task to create the combat vehicle from the air defense of the Ground Forces, which drafted the technical assignment. The plant is financing the R&D at its own expense.
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K-4386-PVO / Typhoon-PVO (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)

Manpads operators did not have a specialized vehicle until recently: they mostly used KAMAZ, Ural trucks and infantry fighting vehicles. The situation was acceptable when manpads were accepted into service. Now the latest automatic means make their engagement from unspecialized vehicles complicated.

Typhoon-PVO has to resolve the problem and increase mobility, protection and effectiveness of manpads units. It is designed on KAMAZ-4386 chassis of the Typhoon family. The chassis was selected as Typhoon-VDV was created when the design of Typhoon-PVO began. The single chassis decreases production costs and simplifies the operation of the vehicle. The weight and size of KAMAZ-4386 Typhoon can accommodate and transport a manpads unit. Instead of eight paratroopers, the armored hull accommodates five people with weapons: commander, driver, shooter and two manpads operators. They can engage various manpads: Igla, Igla-S and Verba.

Besides manpads, the vehicle is armed with a Kord heavy machinegun. It is due to the growing number of micro-drones used in the battlefield which are too expensive to destroy with guided manpads missiles. The machinegun demanded to design the mount and sight for firing at air targets. Shooting range trials confirmed that the task was successfully fulfilled.

Typhoon-PVO has to defend units on the move. It can fire the machinegun and manpads driving at a speed of 20 km/h. A rotating turret with a Kord machinegun and a hatch for the shooter are on the roof of the vehicle. The second hatch is for the manpads operator.

A manpads unit taking place in a Typhoon-PVO with combat gear counts nine manpads, three sets of ground radar operators, nine power sources, a round of munitions for the machinegun, etc.

The vehicle is equipped with voice and digital communications. Data transmission provides guidance to manpads operators from the combat command post. It is now necessary to integrate automatic means so that the operator receives guidance inside the vehicle.

Trials showed that the task to create a combat manpads vehicle according to the provided technical assignment has been resolved in principle. There are some technical issues to be upgraded, but it won’t take much time.

Typhoon-PVO was for the first time displayed at the Clear Sky contest in May 2019. In August 2020, Typhoon-PVO demonstrated combat capabilities at the Ashuluk range in the Astrakhan region. The event was held on the sidelines of Army-2020 forum.

Notice that Verba manpads have been replacing Igla since 2014. They for the first time use three-spectral homing warheads for antiaircraft-guided missile 9M336, which operate in the ultraviolet, short and medium infrared bands. The innovation provides more information about the target. Designers paid specific attention to the higher sensitivity of the homing warhead to simplify the destruction into the front hemisphere and increase the lock-on range of hostile aircraft. The design increases the engagement range against low-emitting targets, such as the US AH-64 Apache helicopter gunships of various modifications.

Verba has a higher aiming precision at the long-range. It also carries friend-or-foe identification. Verba mates with Barnaul-T control system and can receive outside guidance. Verba is a development of Igla-S and experts said it exceeds all foreign analogues by characteristics and capabilities. The new manpads can successfully destroy aircraft and helicopters, as well as low-signature cruise missiles and drones. The three-spectral homing warhead operates in the ultraviolet, short and medium infrared bands to obtain big data about the target. Three sensors constantly check each other and decrease the target chances to escape by using heat traps. The warhead automatically determines the heat traps and selects the real target with a slower thermal emission. The sensitivity of the homing warhead increased eight times. The lock-on and destruction area increased 2.5 times against Igla-S. Verba will gradually replace all previous manpads modifications in the Russian army and Typhoon-PVO will soon carry only Verba.

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