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The Russian Defense Ministry has organized a series of Typhoon-PVO vehicle tests for operators of portable air defense systems (manpads). The vehicle is designed by the Kupol Electromechanical Plant in Izhevsk Almaz-Antey. Kupol was given the task to create the air defense combat vehicle of the land forces, which drafted the technical mission. The factory finances R&D at its own expense.
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K-4386-PVO / Typhoon-PVO (Image source: Vitaly Kuzmin)


The manpad operators did not have a specialized vehicle until recently: they mainly used KAMAZ, Ural trucks and infantry fighting vehicles. The situation was acceptable when the manpads were accepted into service. However, the latest automatic means complicate their engagement from non-specialized vehicles.

Typhoon-PVO must solve the problem and increase the mobility, protection and efficiency of the manpad units. It is designed on KAMAZ-4386 chassis from the Typhoon family. The chassis was selected because Typhoon-VDV was created when the design of Typhoon-PVO began. The unique chassis lowers production costs and simplifies vehicle operation. The weight and size of the KAMAZ-4386 Typhoon can accommodate and transport one unit of manpads. Instead of eight paratroopers, the armored box accommodates five people with weapons: the commander, the driver, the gunner and two manpad operators. They can hire various manpads: Igla, Igla-S and Verba.

In addition to the manpads, the vehicle is armed with a Kord heavy machine gun. This is due to the increasing number of micro-drones used on the battlefield which are too expensive to destroy with guided missiles manpads. The machine gun required designing the mount and sight to shoot at air targets. Tests at the shooting range confirmed that the task had been successfully completed.

Typhoon-PVO must defend moving units. It can fire machine guns and manpads while traveling at a speed of 20 km / h. A rotating turret with a Kord machine gun and a shooter hatch is located on the roof of the vehicle. The second hatch is for the operator of the manpads.

A manpad unit taking place in a Typhoon-PVO with combat gear has nine manpads, three sets of ground radar operators, nine power sources, a round of ammunition for the machine gun, etc.

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

Tests have shown that the task of creating a combat manpad vehicle according to the technical mission provided has been solved in principle. There are a few technical issues to upgrade, but it won’t take a long time.

Typhoon-PVO was first presented in the Clear Sky competition in May 2019. In August 2020, Typhoon-PVO demonstrated its combat capabilities on the Ashuluk Range of Fire in the Astrakhan region. The event was held on the sidelines of the Army-2020 forum.

Note that the Verba manpads have replaced Igla since 2014. For the first time, they use three-spectral homing heads for the 9M336 anti-aircraft guided missile, which operate in the ultraviolet, short and medium infrared bands. The innovation provides more information about the target. The designers paid particular attention to the higher sensitivity of the homing warhead to simplify destruction in the forward hemisphere and increase the locking range of hostile aircraft. The design increases the range of engagement against low-emission targets, such as the American AH-64 Apache gunships of various modifications.

Verba has higher aiming accuracy at long range. It also wears a friend or foe identification. Verba is associated with the Barnaul-T control system and can receive external advice. Verba is a development of Igla-S, and experts said that it surpasses all foreign analogues in its characteristics and capabilities. The new manpads can successfully destroy planes and helicopters, as well as cruise missiles and low signature drones. The tri-spectra homing head warhead operates in the ultraviolet, short infrared and medium bands to obtain large data on the target. Three sensors constantly check each other and decrease the chance of the target leaking by using heat traps. The warhead automatically determines heat traps and selects the actual target with slower thermal emission. The homing warhead’s sensitivity increased eight times. Lockdown and Destruction Zone increased 2.5 times against Igla-S. Verba will gradually replace all previous manpad modifications in the Russian Army and Typhoon-PVO will soon be carrying only Verba.


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