May 14, 2021

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Belarus’ 140 Armor Repair Plant has developed the Kaiman (Cayman) ARV

From Army Recognition

Belarusian army receives Chinese-made 4×4 armored vehicles

The Belarusian Armed Forces are receiving Chinese-made CS/VN3 Dajiang (Dragon) 4×4 armored vehicles, according to the press department of Belarus’ Ministry of Defense (MoD).

Another batch of Dajiang vehicles was delivered to Belarus in mid-January. “The Belarusian Armed Forces got Dragon armored cars (…) The Belarusian military introduced the vehicle into service last year. The Dragon participated in the Zapad 2017 joint strategic exercise,” the VoenTV news channel says. However, the number of the vehicles delivered to Belarus was not specified.

The Belarusian military is reported to have modified the baseline CS/VN3. Having passed operational evaluation and trials (OE&T) in Belarus, the Dragon armored cars received new weapon mounts, an updated air cooling unit, a modified which control system and an upgraded driver’s workplace.

The CS/VN3 vehicle can transport up to nine servicemen with individual equipment and personal weapons. The car’s welded armored hull protects the crew and dismounts against bullets and fragments (Level 4). According to the VoenTV broadcaster, the CS/VN3 Dragon has a kerb weight of no more than 8,700 kg and a cruising range of nearly 600 km. The manufacturer of the vehicle, the Poly Technologies corporation, claims that the Dragon has a maximum road speed of about 120 km/h. The car is powered by a diesel engine with a power output of 245 hp coupled to a mechanical five-speed gearbox. The Dragon is fitted with a run-flat tires and a tire-pressure centralized control system. The Belarusian military has armed the car with a 12.7 mm heavy machinegun (HMG), namely, the DShKM or NSV Utyos.

The first batch of CS/VN3 vehicles was delivered to Belarus in June 2017 in accordance with an agreement between Belarus’ MoD and the Chinese Ministry of National Defense on non-repayable military-technical aid. The number of the Dragon cars to be supplied to Minsk is not specified.

Donation seems to be the only reason behind the use of the Dragon by the Belarusian military. Moreover, the indigenous industry has already developed several such vehicles. At the Eurosatory 2016 defense show in Paris, the Minsk Wheeled Tractor Plant (MZKT, Volat) unveiled the V-1 4×4 armored car. According to the manufacturer, the V-1 vehicle has a length of 6,400 mm, a width of 2,550 mm and a height of 2,660 mm. The car is powered by a YaMZ-534.52 turbocharged diesel engine with a power output of 215 hp coupled to an automatic transmission developed by MZKT. The V-1 features a maximum speed of 120 km/h and a cruising range of nearly 1,000 km. The car transports up to 10 servicemen. The V-1 protects the crew and dismounts against bullets and fragments (Level 4). At the MILEX-2017 defense show in Minsk, MZKT demonstrated a self-propelled anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system based on the V-1.

Belarus’ 140 Armor Repair Plant has developed the Kaiman (Cayman) armored reconnaissance vehicle (ARV) based on the chassis of the Soviet-made BRDM-2. The Kaiman can transport up to six servicemen, protecting the crew and dismounts against 7.62 mm armor-piercing incendiary (API) bullets fired from the Dragunov SVD 7.62 mm sniper rifle. The vehicle is powered by a D-245 turbocharged diesel engine with a power output of 122 h.p. coupled to a mechanical five-speed gearbox. The manufacturer claims that the Kaiman has a weight of nearly 7 t, a road speed of up to 110 km/h and a cruising range of nearly 1,000 km. The car also features a V-shaped lower hull fitted with additional anti-blast protection. The Kaiman can cross water obstacles at a speed of up to 8 km/h. The vehicle’s armament suite incorporates a machinegun or an automatic grenade launcher.

Therefore, the Belarusian automotive industry can produce its own 4×4 armored cars. Within the given context, the decision of the military to use Chinese-originated non-reliable CS/VN3 Dragon platforms seems to be at least strange, if not illogical.

IMAGE: Dajiang CS/VN3 (Picture source : Autoreview.ru)

For more on this story go to: https://www.armyrecognition.com/february_2018_global_defense_security_army_news_industry/belarusian_army_receives_chinese-made_4x4_armored_cars.html

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