Russia expands Typhoon-K family of 4x4 protected vehicles

The Russian defense industry is expanding the Typhoon-K family of 4x4 light armored vehicles. Typhoon is a Russian family of Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicles in service since 2014.[1][2] Around 120 Russian companies including KamAZ, Gaz-Group, and Bauman University, etc. are taking part in the Typhoon program. The main aim of the program is to design a fundamentally new unified platform for all Russian armored wheeled vehicles

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Typhoon-K Kamaz-53949 Typhoon-K with NSV 12.7mm machine gun. (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)

During the Victory Day parade held on June 24 in Moscow, the army presented three variants of the Typhoon-K vehicle. The first one was armed with a Kalashnikov PKM 7.62mm general-purpose machinegun and an AG-17 30mm automatic grenade launcher, while the second variant was fitted with a light unmanned combat module. The third member of the family, the Typhoon-VDV, was armed with a medium remotely operated weapon station (ROWS) with a 30mm automatic gun. A total of nine Typhoon-K 4x4 vehicles rolled through Red Square on June 24.

The Typhoon-K 4x4 land platform is produced by JSC Remdizel. The baseline armored vehicle (K-53949) weighs some 14-16 tons and transport up to 10 equipped servicemen. According to the manufacturer, the system’s organic armor provides protection against kinetic and chemical threats. The basic Typhoon-K 4x4 (it is often named ‘Typhoonyonok’, Small Typhoon) carries no armament; however, it can be fitted with a light ROWS. Remdizel exercises a number of optional subsystems for the armored vehicles, including an all-round situational awareness subsystem, communications suite, and an electric winch.

In order to equip rapid deployment units with a protected and maneuverable land platform, Remdizel has developed the K-4386 Typhoon-VDV (‘VDV’ for Airborne Troops, Vozdushno-Desantniye Voyska). Compared with the baseline model, the Typhoon-VDV features a lower weight (it does not exceed 13.5 t) and a smaller passenger capacity (seven fully equipped soldiers). The vehicle features tires with run-flat inserts. Unlike the Typhoon-K, the Typhoon-VDV has three doors instead of five and is capable of carrying a medium ROWS with a 2A42 30mm automatic cannon and a Kalashnikov PKTM 7.62mm coaxial machinegun.

The K-53049 and the K-4386 are the first 4x4 light mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) land systems to be accepted by the Russian military. According to Remdizel, the first batch of Typhoon-Ks was delivered to the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in early December 2017.

 K 4386 Typhoon VDV unmanned turret 30mm cannon Russia Victory Day military parade 2020
K-4386 Typhoon-VDV light 4x4 armored vehicle personnel carrier (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)

The Typhoon-K/VDV is the first Russian-made 4x4 patrol car that is fully protected against almost all types of modern threats. While the Tigr-M 4x4 armored vehicle produced by the Military-Industrial Company (VPK) is a utility land platform that is intended for all types of missions (including patrolling), the Typhoon-K/VDV is a dedicated patrol/tactical reconnaissance armored car. Moreover, the land system can be employed as a troop transporter, owing to its high passenger capacity.

The Russian defense industry also used the Typhoon-K 4x4 vehicle as a chassis for various weapon systems. At the Army 2018 defense show held in Kubinka near Moscow in late August 2018, Remdizel showcased a self-propelled anti-tank guided missile (SPATGM) system on the chassis of the K-53049. The SPATGM was armed with two retractable masts with four ready-use Kornet-E-family ATGMs on each.

Remdizel has also developed the Linza medical evacuation system that is based on the chassis of the Typhoon-K.

Russia has already introduced the K-53099 Typhoon-K 4x4 light MRAP vehicle to the international defense market, with the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) being the main potential customers. "The licensed production of the Typhoon-K at a customer’s territory can be easily established. There is a Central Asian example of such production," a military-diplomatic source told TASS on June 29.