Russian manufacturer UralVagonzavod and Renault Trucks Defense of France have unveiled ATOM heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), a heavy armored wheeled vehicle at the Russian Arms Expo 2013 on Wednesday.
The ATOM represent UralVagonzavod’s first entry into the wheeled armored vehicle market, which is developed for French Army is reflecting the company’s strategy in strengthening its traditional tracked vehicle production base with wheeled vehicle platforms, for which demand is stable (unlike tracked vehicles), according to Defense Update.
As a heavy vehicle platform, ATOM will be able to adapt to a number of applications, all based on a common chassis. These include troop carriers, command vehicles, combat electronic vehicle, combat engineering and recovery, and fire support platforms, mounting various weapon systems, from the 57mm cannon shown here to the 120mm gun-mortar.
UralVagonzavod’s move is seen as a direct challenge to the traditional Russian Wheeled AFV manufacturer KBM, which is currently geared to produce hundreds of BTR-82 per year. However, the future of this line unclear, as the BTR-82 is in the last variant of the BTR-60 platform that has lasted almost 60 years in service. KBM is expected to release a future APC platform, either 6×6 or 8×8, in the upcoming years. However, at RAE-2013 the company unveiled the wolf, a future tactical utility vehicle that will succeed the TIGR.
Unlike the French VBCI, the ATOM is equipped with an unmanned gun turret mounting 57mm cannon of a Russian production. The cannon is delivering a firing rate of 120-140 rounds per minute, wit effective Irving range of up to six kilometers. The turret stores 80-100 rounds.
The turret is not penetrating the hull, leaving the entire 10.7 cubic meter cabin space for carrying eight troops (a typical squad) and a crew of three, plus equipment. The cabin has four roof hatches and a rear ramp for access and disembarkation. ATOM will be able to travel on road at a speed of 100km/h and have an operational unrefueled range of 750km.