Armor: Surviving Afghanistan

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August 7, 2013: Over the last nine years Poland has ordered 687 Finnish Rosomak ("Wolverine") wheeled armored vehicles (and received 88 percent of them so far). The Polish Army recently ordered another 307 Rosomaks, which will continue to be built in Poland. Currently Poland plans to keep using Rosomaks for several more decades. All this enthusiasm comes largely from the fact that several hundred Rosomaks served successfully in Afghanistan for five years and convinced the Poles that they had picked the right armored vehicle.

Rosomak is a Polish version of the Finnish AMV (Armored Modular Vehicle). This is an 8x8 (or 6x6) wheeled vehicle weighing 16-26 tons, depending on configuration (like armor, weapons, or engine). In particular, the vehicle is built to accept several degrees of armor enhancements. Poland is the largest export customer for the AMV, and the vehicles are assembled in Poland, using a lot of Polish components.

The basic infantry version has a 30mm Bushmaster II autocannon in a turret, along with a 7.62mm machine-gun. This version has a crew of three and carries 8-12 passengers. The Rosomaks in Afghanistan tend to be on the heavy side because of increased use of armor. There are several models in Afghanistan (infantry carriers, ambulance, command, and surveillance). The new surveillance models are equipped with an Israeli surveillance package. This includes a radar, thermal sensor, motion sensor, and a small UAV. One of these vehicles can move to some high ground and detect activity over a wide area (out to ten kilometers, night or day, and in any weather).

The success of the Rosomak in Afghanistan has helped the Finnish manufacturer Patria find additional export customers for the original AMV vehicle. So far there are seven export customers, although Poland accounts for most of the 1,500 vehicles ordered.

 

 


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