Russia Deploys Armed Pick-Up Trucks In Syria

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Russian Defense Ministry has deployed a group of UAZ Patriot trucks equipped with Kord 12.7 mm heavy machine guns and AGS-17 grenade launchers to Syria.

The gas-powered vehicles will possibly be used to protect humanitarian convoys, Sputnik International reported today.

The firepower in the back of the vehicles will enable their operators to suppress enemy fire in a radius of up to 2 km. The weapons can be mounted aboard a rotary turret, allowing the user to instantaneously change his arc of fire.

Additionally, if necessary, the vehicle can be equipped with Konkurs or Kornet anti-tank missiles, capable of hitting enemy targets at distances of up to 5 km. It can also be fitted with with a 120 mm mortar with an effective range of 9 km.

The new military-use UAZ Patriots were first demonstrated to President Putin this spring. In the summer, they were shown at a closed pavilion for specialists at the Army-2016 Military-Technical Forum.

The vehicles feature upgraded all-terrain capabilities, a one ton carrying capacity, and armor protection. They also feature power plugs for night vision, special tents for protection against shrapnel, and storage for ammunition.

The latest vehicles may replace or complement the UAZ-3132 Gusar, already engaged in Syria and used for operations by Russian special forces, experts said.

The pickups will enable users to engage in agile urban combat, attack and pursue the enemy in the desert, cover humanitarian convoys, which are regularly shelled, on the roads of Syria, and deliver ammunition to friendly checkpoints, Military analyst Igor Korotchenko said.