Sep 10, 2021
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“Secret” chemical reconnaissance vehicles will go to the troops

The troops of radiation, chemical and biological protection (RHBZ) will receive new reconnaissance vehicles based on the UAZ Patriot vehicle. The machine can detect hazardous toxins and chemicals in air, water and soil in real time, isolate and mark contaminated areas. Due to the civilian automobile base “UAZ” will be useful not only during military operations. For example, the military will be able, without attracting attention, to use the “Patriot” to ensure the safety of mass events, as well as in the elimination of natural disasters and man-made disasters.

Stealthy reconnaissance

Deliveries of new UAZ reconnaissance chemical vehicles (RHM) to the troops will begin before the end of this year, Izvestia sources in the military department said. The novelty will go to individual RChBZ brigades (there is one such unit in each military district), as well as to individual chemical protection regiments of combined-arms armies.

The machine is designed for operational sampling of air, water and soil samples. The equipment installed on it allows for express analysis of samples. Results can be instantly transmitted over secure communication channels. To conduct more detailed studies, RHM “UAZ” will deliver samples to mobile or stationary laboratories.

According to the sources, the “Patriots” scouts are planned to be used not only for military purposes. The machines can be used to ensure the safety of events with a large crowd of people, as well as to provide assistance to operational services and rescuers during natural disasters and man-made disasters. This technique can be indispensable in the event of equipment breakdowns and toxic leaks.

Today, the troops have a whole family of chemical reconnaissance vehicles created on different platforms. РХМ-4 and РХМ-6 are designed on the basis of the BTR-80, РХМ-7 – on the chassis of the T-72 tank. Cars with numbers 8 and 9 are made on armored vehicles “Tiger” and “Typhoon”, respectively. Unlike samples of previous generations, modern ones allow you to take soil samples without leaving the car and without endangering yourself. When an infected area is detected, a warning sign is placed on its border.

Primary detection

This summer, experts from the RChBZ troops were on duty at the venues of the Euro 2020 football championship in St. Petersburg. For this, the mobile laboratory KM-RKhBR based on the Ford Transit minibus was involved. And last year, such complexes were used in the Irkutsk region, where a technological accident occurred in the town of Usolye-Sibirskoye. Then the military personnel of the RChBZ troops monitored the chemical situation in the air within the city, took samples of water and soil in the local reservoir. The KM-RKhBR complex was specially designed for use in civilian life: unlike armored tracked and wheeled military vehicles, a civilian vehicle does not stand out in an urban environment and does not attract unnecessary attention. From next year, reconnaissance vehicles based on the UAZ will begin to perform similar functions.

“We are talking about a mobile station, possibly with a reduced set of functions in comparison with heavy vehicles,” Oleg Zheltonozhko, a military expert, candidate of chemical sciences, explained to Izvestia. – It targets the dangers that can occur in the civilian sphere, for example, in the areas of man-made accidents. Its task is to initially identify a threat and generate an alarm, after which it will be possible to use more serious equipment. And in urban conditions, the PXM on the basis of a passenger car does not have a psychological effect. It can even be disguised as the transport of city services. In addition, they are easy to use in narrow city streets.

Complex KM-RHBR / Photo:

In Soviet times, the troops received reconnaissance chemical vehicles based on the UAZ-469 vehicle. However, those samples turned out to be unsuccessful, which was demonstrated by the experience of their use in Chernobyl, said Oleg Zheltonozhko.

– They were of little use for real work in conditions of infection. First of all, because of the open body and low power of the equipment. The hull was poorly protected from dust and moisture, and given that the troops were supplied with vehicles with tarpaulin bodies, this is actually an open cart. Therefore, at first these vehicles were pushed into the contamination zone, but then they were abandoned in favor of armored reconnaissance and patrol vehicles (BRDM) RH. Today’s technologies make it possible to make sealed bodies with moisture protection, dust protection, and air conditioning. Therefore, it now makes sense to replace heavy chassis with passenger cars.

In recent years, the Ministry of Defense has been actively using special troops, in particular, railroad and RChBZ, to help the civilian population. In 2019, specialists from the Special Purpose Biological Protection Center of the Ministry of Defense worked in a flood zone in the Irkutsk region. They took samples of water, soil and biomaterials of dead animals. The causative agents of dangerous diseases were not found then.

With the outbreak of the pandemic in the spring of last year, mobile groups were formed on the basis of the regiments and brigades of the RChBZ, which worked at civilian objects. They carried out special treatment and disinfection of the premises with the help of powerful military equipment – in particular, heat engines TMS-65U.

Roman Kretsul, Alexey Ramm

Cover photo: РХМ-4 / Photo:

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