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Russia develops new light armored vehicle for helicopter airlifting

The Strela vehicle weighs just 4.7 tonnes

MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. Specialists of Russia’s Military Industrial Company developed a family of VPK-Strela new light armored vehicles that can be transported by Mil Mi-8 helicopters on an external sling, Company CEO Alexander Krasovitsky told TASS on Monday.

"Designers of Military Industrial Company developed and offered on their own initiative and within the shortest time possible the concept of making light vehicles, which helped create an experimental armored vehicle model of the VPK-Strela family," the chief executive said.

The Strela vehicle weighs just 4.7 tonnes, which allows quickly transporting it to another area or as part of tactical airborne assault forces by military transport helicopters like a Mi-8 on an external sling, he said.

"As of today, our Army simply has no armored vehicles of this type," the chief executive stressed.

The Strela is designated to transport personnel and various cargos, ensuring the required level of armored protection, Krasovitsky said.

"The vehicle can be used as a command post, a means of transportation and an operational service vehicle in special units of the executive bodies of power or as a basis for creating a family of vehicles and for mounting armament and special equipment," the head of Military Industrial Company said.

The vehicle’s armor provides the 2nd-degree ballistic protection (it shields against bullets with a heat-strengthened core of 5.45x39mm cartridges of the AK-74 assault rifle, bullets with the heat-strengthened core of 7.62x39mm rounds of the AKM submachine-gun and bullets with the non-heat strengthened core of 7.62x54mm ammunition fired from the Dragunov snipe rifle). The vehicle’s anti-blast protection shields the crew inside it upon hitting mines or explosives with a yield of up to 2 kilograms in TNT equivalent.

The Strela can develop a speed of up to 155 km/h on the road and carry eight personnel. The vehicle’s design is based on advanced assemblies, units and accessories planned for their use in mass production in the domestic auto industry. The vehicle’s components are 100% produced on the territory of Russia.