The new M-20 MRAP 6x6 armoured fighting vehicle presented
The Minister of Defence, Aleksandar Vulin, and the Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, General Milan Mojsilović, attended today the presentation of the characteristics and capabilities of the new M-20 MRAP 6x6 armoured fighting vehicle in the plant of the "Zastava TERVO" company from Kragujevac.
The purpose of this vehicle is the safe transportation of units and it possesses a high level of ballistic and anti-mine protection. In addition, the possibility of opening fire from inside the vehicle puts it in the rank of the best solutions in this category in the world.
After the presentation of the vehicle, Minister Vulin pointed out that the medium-term goal of our armed forces is that none of our soldiers are transported in a truck under the tarpaulin.
- This vehicle is a great step forward for us because it is able to transport our units safely and quickly and at the same time to protect them from various small infantry weapons’ fire, but also from various types of mines. There are few countries in the world that are able to construct a vehicle like this, there are about ten of them. Today, we have become members of this club of the technologically advanced nations and I am especially proud of the fact that this is a product of our engineers’ intellect. This is FAP’s platform, and everything on it was produced in our country and with the knowledge of our engineers – Minister Vulin said.
According to him, it is a big thing for the armed forces to be able to equip and arm themselves with domestic equipment, produced with domestic knowledge and intellect.
- These armed forces are simply not the same any more. Things are changing for the better. Thanks to the great trust and personal contribution of the Supreme Commander Aleksandar Vučić, the ability to provide significant funds, Serbia is much stronger economically, but it is also more responsible towards itself and its armed forces. These are armed forces that will be able to deal with any other country, that are able to protect all their soldiers, to make them feel safe and secure – said the Minister of Defence.
He pointed out that he is very proud of our engineers, of everybody who participated in the construction of this prototype and that he hopes that they will soon be able to say that we are introducing a brand new vehicle into our armaments.
The Assistant Minister for Material Resources, Nenad Miloradović, PhD, pointed out that the M-20 6x6 vehicle is a key factor for ensuring protected mobility of the Serbian Armed Forces’ Infantry, and its implementation is envisaged through two families of wheeled armoured fighting vehicles of domestic production.
- The first family is already known, these are “Lazar” and “Miloš” vehicles that are based on automotive components with independent suspension produced by world’s top manufacturers and they are in the class of combat vehicles that are generally used in the Western European armed forces. The second family is based on reliable, robust automotive components produced by our FAP. These are 6x6 vehicles like this one, and 4x4 vehicles. It is a very high quality dependent suspension system produced by FAP, under the Mercedes licence, and the rest of the components are also of top quality – Miloradović explained, adding that equipping the armed forces with vehicles from the second family costs significantly less, and that a much larger number of vehicles can be produced in the same time frame and with the same funds.
When it comes to the level of vehicle protection, Miloradović points out that the achieved quality is the result of joint work of engineers from the Military Technical Institute, Zastava TERVO and FAP, and that he is satisfied with the results achieved, more precisely with the spacious interior that provides great comfort for the crew that is transported in it, 3 plus 9 soldiers.
- The vehicle is characterized by modularity that will make modifications possible for various purposes, for the transport of heavy cargo, the wounded, etc. It will be able to carry various types of weapons, and from the aspect of logistics, it is important that these are all components that are mostly produced in our country - Miloradović explains.
According to Lieutenant Lazar Stojnić from the Conventional Armaments Sector of the Military Technical Institute, the project manager for the development of this vehicle, it is a 6X6 armoured fighting vehicle of the MRAP type (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) and it was constructed on the FAP’s 2228 chassis platform which is used in our armaments.
- We have built an armoured version on that platform that serves for the transport of our infantry units for action in the urban environment - Lieutenant Stojnić pointed out.
Speaking about the levels of protection, in addition to the basic level of protection, additional modular armour has been developed, which, as Lieutenant Stojnić added, will be used depending on the purpose that the vehicle will have in the Serbian Armed Forces.
- When it comes to the combat characteristics of this vehicle, it has a 12.7 mm turret and openings on the sides and roof as gun slits for the crew located inside and that can fire from inside the vehicle - said Lieutenant Stojnić, adding that it is a completely armoured vehicle which provides protection to the crew and has anti-mine protection on the underside.
During today's visit, Minister Vulin and General Mojsilović were presented with the characteristics of the new vehicle, and there was a brief demonstration of the emplacement of reconnaissance section in the event of an ambush.
Today's presentation was also attended by the Head of the Development and Equipping Department, Brigadier General Milan Popović, the Head of the Intelligence and Reconnaissance Department, Brigadier General Miroljub Čupić, the Director of the Military Technical Institute, Colonel Bojan Pavković, PhD, and the Director of Zastava TERVO, Zoran Adžić.