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GAZ Vodnik

Light utility vehicle

GAZ Vodnik

The GAZ Vodnik has modular design. Its modules can be replaced in field conditions

 
 
GAZ-39371 Vodnik
Country of origin Russia
Entered service 2006
Configuration 4x4
Cab seating 3 + 8 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight (empty) 6.6 - 7.5 t
Maximum load 1.5 - 2.5 t
Length 5.38 m
Width 2.6 m
Height 2.15 / 2.57 m
Mobility
Engine GAZ-562 diesel
Engine power 175 hp
Maximum road speed 112 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 4 - 5 km/h
Range up to 1 000 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 66%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step 0.4 m
Trench ~ 0.5 m
Fording 1.2 m / Amphibious

 

   A family of GAZ-3937 Vodnik light high mobility multi-purpose army vehicles was manufactured by the Russian automaker GAZ.  This military vehicle is named after a male water spirit from the Slavic mythology. It was a Russian attempt to build a 4x4 tactical vehicle, similar to the US HMMWV. The Vodnik was first seen in 1995. A small number of pre-production vehicles were built for trials and testing. These vehicles were tested in during the second war in Chechnya. A small number of these multi-purpose vehicles was used by the Russian military. In 2008 these vehicles saw action during the Russian war with Georgia. In 2006 Uruguay ordered 48 Vodniks. Production of this military vehicle ceased in 2013 due to lack of orders. Russian Army preferred a broadly similar Tigr 4x4 high mobility vehicle from the same automaker. The Tigr is cheaper to produce and is more versatile than the Vodnik. In 2015 the Vodnik saw action during the Russian military intervention in Ukraine. In 2016-2017 this vehicle was reportedly used in Syria.

   The Vodnik fills the gap between jeeps and light trucks. This military vehicle has got a modular design. It has front and rear replaceable modules. Engine and driving compartment is located at the front of the vehicle. A wide range of modules can be fitted. Some sources report, that up to 26 modules have been developed. The rear module is used to transport up to 10 troops, cargo, shelters, or specialized equipment. The GAZ Vodnik can be fitted with various weapon systems, including heavy machine guns or even 120 mm mortar. Some vehicles are fitted with a complete turret of the BTR-80 armored personnel carrier. The main advantage of this utility vehicle is that its modules can be easily replaced in field conditions. There are some armored variants of this vehicle. These provide protection for the troops against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. Vehicle can use a mix of armored and unarmored modules, depending on the mission requirements.

   The front module accommodates driver and one passenger. Vehicle can be configured with conventional cab or with a half-cab in which the passenger sits behind the driver. Driver and passenger access the vehicle via conventional doors or hatches. The driving compartment is separated from the combat compartment. This was one of the reasons, why the vehicle was not a success.

   The GAZ Vodnik could be powered by the GAZ-562 (175 hp), YaMZ-460 (160 hp) or HINO JO7C (165 hp) diesel engines. Some sources claim that Vodnik can be fitted with Caterpillar diesel engines. The engine is set back and is contained within the front module. Such position was deliberately selected on order to provide vehicle amphibious capability. Engine is coupled with a 5-speed manual transmission. Chassis uses components of the BRDM-2 armored scout car and BTR-80 armored personnel carrier. The Vodnik has a 4x4 configuration and is fitted with a central tyre inflation system. However this military vehicle reportedly has poor cross-country mobility.

   This vehicle has hermetic hull and is fully amphibious. On water it is propelled by its wheels, however a single waterjet can be mounted. This military vehicle can operate in climatic conditions ranging from -40C to +50C.

 

Video of the GAZ Vodnik light utility vehicle

 
GAZ Vodnik

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GAZ Vodnik

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GAZ Vodnik

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Personal appeal from Andrius Genys

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