December 20, 2018:
In late 2018 Iran revealed that it was producing an MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) 4x4 wheeled armored vehicle called Tufan. Iran displayed five completed vehicles with eight more visible on the production line. The vehicle seems to be a copy of the Canadian Typhoon, which is built by the Streit Group in cooperation with Ukrainian firms that supply components. The Typhoon first appeared in Ukraine in 2015 where it was hastily designed and built to deal with the 2014 Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine (Donbas). MRAPs type vehicles have proved a lifesaver against rifle and machine-gun fire as well as many types of landmines and roadside bombs. Iran is facing more of this internally with growing incidents of large protests and armed attacks.
The original Canadian Typhoon was based on Russian trucks that were modified to become MRAP, in this case, a 12.5-ton vehicle with a payload of 2.5 tons (or ten passengers.) It is unclear how close Tufan copied the Typhoon design. Externally is appears identical with four bulletproof windows plus bulletproof front windows for the driver and commander. There is a remotely controlled turret on top for a machine-gun and V-shaped bottom to deflect explosions. There are three doors (two for the driver and vehicle commander up front and one in the back. There are four hatches on top. Inside the Typhoon, the seats are protected from concussion hitting the bottom of the vehicle from an explosion. There are special dome lights inside that do not illuminate the windows. There is an air filtration system and positive air pressure to keep noxious chemicals out (as well as chemical and biological weapons) and air conditioning. Typhoon also has vidcams all around so the crew can better see what is going on inside. Typhoons come equipped with military radio and a GPS navigation system. Typhoon sells for about half a million dollars each and Iran could probably sell their copy for less if many of the Typhoon internal features were left out or made optional. At the moment Iran appears to be building them for internal use by the IRGC (Islamic Revolution Guards Corp) security forces and the national police.
MRAPs are built using the same construction techniques pioneered by South African firms that have, over the years, delivered thousands of landmine resistant vehicles to the South African armed forces. These were a great success. The South African technology was imported into the U.S. in 1998 and was first used in the design of vehicles used by peacekeepers in the Balkans and later in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. military bought over 10,000 MRAPs (from several manufacturers) by 2009 and then canceled orders as the fighting in Iraq died down (with the defeat of the Islamic terror groups there.)