Ukrainian Special Forces have ‘Stug -Buggies’ Out Searching Russian Tanks

A peculiar Ukrainian navy buggy has been noticed being utilized by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to struggle off Russian tanks. How do we all know that these all-terrain autos are blowing up tanks? Nicely, it has a Stugna-P anti-tank guided missile mounted on high of it. The resourceful Ukrainians are at it once more with their distinctive weapons, with this Stugna-P mounted on a buggy.

It’s no secret that the Ukrainians have been utilizing their ATGM methods to lethal use. The variety of tanks destroyed by Ukrainian forces has been well-documented because of the web and navy consultants who commit their time to figuring out every one. A good supply of those destroyed tanks is Oryx. To date, they’ve recorded that some 312 Russian tanks have been destroyed in the course of the virtually 3-month-old battle, with one other 17 broken, 49 deserted, and a whopping 222 captured. Extra so, the Russians aren’t trying too good as their tank producer Uralvagonzavod had halted manufacturing and servicing as a consequence of a low provide of components and international parts and they’re pressured to attract tanks from restore depots and put them again into operational situation.

Stugna-P ATGM, Mykhaylivska sq. in Kyiv (VoidWandererCC BY-SA 4.0, through Wikimedia Commons)

That being stated, it’s unknown which tanks have been destroyed by which ATGM as Ukraine operates quite a few them, amongst them the Javelins, NLAWs, and the Panzerfaust 3. These weapons have gained nationwide recognition among the many regular populace of Ukraine. Each the Javelin and the NLAWs have obtained “sainthood” standing as Ukrainians created imagery of Mary Magdalene carrying a US-made Javelin and one other model carrying the British NLAW as symbols of resistance amongst Ukrainians. This led to a cult following of St. Javelin, a play on sainthood in Christian doctrines and the western weapon that sends their Russian enemies to the afterlife.

Whereas the Ukrainians are 87% affiliated with some type of Christianity, evidently they pair their prayerful arms with Western ATGMs to destroy their enemies. However after all, whereas we do have pleasure with our personal Javelins, the Ukrainians do maintain their very personal Stugna-P in excessive regard as nicely.

The Stugna-P or the “Skif” is a Ukrainian-produced anti-tank guided missile that may pierce by trendy armored targets, together with explosive reactive armor. Using the automated fire-and-forget missile steering, these weapons carry both 130mm missiles or 152mm missiles and have a variety of three miles. They’ve additionally been employed towards helicopters, with experiences {that a} Stugna downed a Russian Kamov Ka-52 assault helicopter.

However with the preventing shifting to Donbas, a much less wooded space and extra open, the Ukrainians do lose among the stealth techniques they beforehand employed when destroying Russian convoys, notably the 40-mile Russian convoy that was caught a couple of miles outdoors of Kyiv. One have a look at the Stugna and you realize that it’s a heavy and cumbersome weapon to lug together with an infantry squad.  This factor is a crew-served weapon requiring 3 individuals to maneuver and arrange and it might probably’t be a lot enjoyable to do.  The Stugna is just not a munition that’s discarded after use like a Javelin.  It’s a recoilless rifle that may be reloaded and fired time and again.  It’s actually designed for static anti-tank protection from a dug in place. The crew can remotelt function it from a distance utilizing a hardened laptop computer tethered to the weapon with a 50-yard cable.  The Ukrainians are going over to the offense now and wish to deliver this weapon with them on the march as they’re assured of encountering Russian tanks in superior numbers to their very own.

So what did the Ukrainians do? They mounted their Stugna-Ps onto an ATV to allow their troops to hit-and-run Russian armored columns and get away simply as quick from their preliminary firing positions. Fairly resourceful and fairly inventive, if we do say so ourselves!

Photographs of the navy buggy which have surfaced on the web are doubtless Polaris Rangers or the MRZR Alpha, two-seater buggies that allow the Ukrainians to maneuver swiftly out and in of firing positions. These little buggies could also be small, nevertheless it does pull their weight fairly actually. The MRZR Alpha constructed by Polaris has a variety of 225 miles with a payload capability of 1,400 lbs. Customers may get a 2WD variant or a 4WD one. The Polaris Ranger has solely 44hp however has a reported towing capability of 1,500 lbs for slightly below $12,000.

So, let’s do some fundamental math: If a Polaris Ranger prices $12,000 and the Stugna-P is at $20,000 (in comparison with the Javelin at $178,000 per set), you have got a really cell tank killer at simply $34,000. The Ukrainian navy will likely be saving an enormous ton of cash by destroying these Russian tanks, which have an estimated value of round $2,000,000 per unit relying on the variant and the contract.

The primary of those Ukrainian navy buggies have been noticed in 2019, the place varied Ukrainian ATVs have been seen with 9M113 Konkurs ATGM upgraded with an Archer TSA-9 thermal scope as per Abraxas Spa on Twitter.

Ukrainian ATV with 9M113 Konkurs ATGM (Abraxas Spa). Source:
Ukrainian ATV with 9M113 Konkurs ATGM (Abraxas Spa/Twitter)
A destroyed Ukrainian military buggy somewhere in Izyum (Ukraine Weapons Tracker). Source:
A destroyed Ukrainian navy buggy someplace in Izyum (Ukraine Weapons Tracker/Twitter)

We see some apparent benefits to this method straight away.  The ATVs are small and lightweight and whereas they might not do as nicely off-road as a tank, they are often extra simply extracted from the mud than a tracked automobile for positive.  They’re additionally quiet having a small displacement fuel or diesel engine that could possibly be made extra so a few mufflers full of metal wool added to their exhaust suggestions. These Stug-Buggies may dismount their Stugnas for static protection and a decrease profile and use the buggie as a scout or to evacuate casualities and convey again provides.

Now, together with these benefits, there are some limitations as nicely. For one, whereas its splendid for hit-and-runs assaults at a distance, the second a tank or an armed drone spots these buggies, they’re in hassle providing zero safety for the crew and no countermeasures smoke dispensers or reactive armor. Within the flat nation of Donbas, they may even stick out like a sore thumb out in a subject and should keep on with roads and trails with vegetation to cover conceal them. The Russians will get used to searching for them in sure terrains.

Ukraine’s St. Javelin vs Russia’s Improvised Armor On Its Tanks

Learn Subsequent: Ukraine’s St. Javelin vs Russia’s Improvised Armor On Its Tanks

A few of our navy vets and servicemen would acknowledge the acquainted navy buggies. These are fairly just like the Desert Patrol Automobiles (DPV) (or the Quick Assault Automobiles) utilized in fight in the course of the Gulf Battle in 1991, particularly throughout Operation Desert Storm. For those who’d bear in mind appropriately, these DPVs have been utilized by the Navy SEALs to enter Kuwait Metropolis. Nonetheless, these have been armed with .50 caliber M2 Browning machine weapons, two M60s, and a pair of M136 AT4 anti-tank weapons.

We additionally marvel at how briskly this stuff got here into use.  Within the US, it takes years of testing, redesigns and tweaks to get one thing like this into operational models on the goal price, however Ukraine is at battle and issues are likely to occur a lot sooner with that form of urgency.

That being stated, US Special Forces have been advising and coaching Ukrainian Special Forces models for years and these Stug-Buggies naked the unmistakable marks of this affect. It isn’t talked about very a lot however this battle is an incubator for Special Forces weapons and techniques as a whole inhabitants tries to defeat a big standard forces invasion, one thing that military Special Forces was initially created to help different nations with.

As this battle goes on, we must always anticipate to see different particular variations of weapons and techniques in unconventional warfare as Ukraine performs to its strengths towards Russian disadvantages.


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