By Rashid Shirinov
Azerbaijan has introduced its first home-made national armored fighting vehicle “Tufan” (Thunderstorm).
The vehicle, produced by Baku Device Making Plant of Agregat Company of the Defense Industry Ministry, was presented in Baku on February 14.
Adviser to the Defense Industry Minister Azad Mammadov, addressing the event, said “Tufan” is a 4x4 mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, which features STANAG 3/3A level of armor.
He said that the prototype of “Tufan” was developed by the National Aerospace Agency of the Defense Industry Ministry.
“Tufan” weights 14.7 tons and has a payload capacity of 2.3 tons. It incorporates a V-hull into a monocoque chassis, offering a mine protection level of up to STANAG 3A. Its 360 hp turbocharged diesel engine allows a maximum road speed of 85 km/h.
Close protection of “Tufan” is provided by a stabilized remote controlled weapon station armed with one 12.7 mm NVS machine gun and up to 10 smoke grenade launchers. The vehicle also features a hydraulic rear door, 360° cameras, and an emergency hatch on the roof.
Director General of the National Aerospace Agency Alchin Shirinzade added that “Tufan” is provided with a remote-controlled special combat module, anti-tank guided missile complex, radio-electronic equipment for combat and intelligence and other systems.
The main specific of the “Tufan” is that all software was developed by local experts. The vehicle easily overcomes steep ascents, descents, water obstacles, and is adapted to move in various terrain conditions.
“The combat module can conduct a productive fight against lightly armored targets, firepower and air targets of the enemy,” he said.
Mammadov added that after the tests, “Tufan” will be produced in four variations medical evacuation, air defense/ anti-armor, anti-riot and armored personnel carrier.
The vehicle was previously presented at the ADEX-2016 exhibition.
Azerbaijan, which is in war with neighboring Armenia over the latter's territorial claims, keeps in focus the armament. The country leaves behind many CIS countries to take its place among the first 70 strongest militaries of the world, according to the U.S.-based Global Firepower survey center.
Azerbaijan, which enjoys the most modern army in the Caucasus, increases the volume of local defense production every year. The number of local defense products increased by 1.8 times during 2015-2016.
Some 10 countries purchase the production of twenty-eight military factories that currently operate within the Defense Industry Ministry of Azerbaijan.
The defense production of Azerbaijan was widely presented at the 2nd Azerbaijan International Defense Exhibition ADEX 2016. They included a high-explosive air bomb QFAB-100SAB, 14.5 mm-caliber NST sniper rifle, sniper machine gun Shimshek, mine protected armored vehicles Ildirim and Gasirgha, the latest advanced types of UAVs, new models of small arms, special reconnaissance patrol vehicle Gurza, fitted with antitank guided missiles, ammunition and their warheads, and other production.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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