Armored Sikach and browning on Kharakternyk: Ukrainian defense is copying Western military equipment
The shortage of Western weapons and the uncertainty of further supplies from the allies encourage Ukrainian defenders to look for non-standard ways out of difficult situations, and the creativity of military engineers sometimes leads to unexpected results. Recently, the Kharakternyk armored vehicle and the Sikach armored personnel carrier, copied from foreign HMMWVs and M113s, were put on combat duty in several units of the Security and Defense Forces.
The production of such equipment was established at the facilities of several enterprises in different parts of the country. The authors of the idea and engineers told OBOZ.UA about this.
- "Of course, this is not a full-fledged equipment manufacturing line, but rather a cottage industry. However, we have managed to achieve almost complete correspondence to the original models. Of course, with certain technical features," said one of them.
According to him, the current production capacity allows for five copies of Humvees and M113 vehicles per month. After the necessary tests, the vehicles are immediately sent to the front.
The authors of the development say that the Ukrainian Humvee is almost identical to its American prototype. It should be noted that the chassis for the Kharakternyk is taken from either a GAZ-66 or a Ford F-15 or F-350. Today, vehicles of all types are already in service, but only a few have been converted from GAZ-66, as it was much easier to improve the Fords.
As for the Sikach, in this case they used a running MTLB and old BMP-1.
The production of individual components caused some difficulties, but in the end, the technical vehicles were almost completely reproduced and even improved in some respects.
- "Although Ukraine cannot boast of a rich tradition of high-quality automotive manufacturing, we already have considerable experience in military equipment, and together with the creativity of our engineers and mechanics, we managed to do the almost impossible," explained one of the specialists who participated in the development of the Ukrainian Humvees.
Interestingly, the exterior of both vehicles is almost identical to the original models.
- When I first got into this Humvee of ours, I could not have thought that it was a copy, not an original. Almost everything here is exactly the same as on an American car. Only when I was told it was no longer a Humvee, but a Kharakternyk, did I take a closer look and notice some differences in the interior," said the fighter with the call sign "Satan".
"In the case of the M113, much deeper modernization was required.
- "You know that this is the first aluminum APC in the original, but this war has shown a certain vulnerability of this solution. That is why our Sikach is made of the original alloy, which I am sure will pleasantly surprise our guys. And the enemy will be unpleasantly surprised," said the developer.
The power plant of the armored personnel carrier has also undergone significant changes. The authors of the idea say that their solutions have even improved the vehicle's driving and speed characteristics.
- "Of course, we are doing this without a license, we had to do everything on the fly, from the wheels, as they say. The war doesn't give us time to quickly finalize all the formalities. We hope that our American allies will understand our situation and, given their problems with supplies at the legislative level, will not condemn us for this, but rather help us. We, on the other hand, are ready to share our own experience in improving these vehicles. When people find out how we managed to set up the Humvee assembly line in Ukraine after the victory, everyone will be very surprised," said one of the authors of the development, who goes by the call sign "Smoke."
The operators of such equipment, the fighters, assault and reconnaissance men and women themselves, are only surprised and happy to have the opportunity to fight with Ukrainian "NATO" equipment.
- It was a very cool feeling when American M113s and Humvees first arrived, when we saw them and used them in combat. But now, knowing that our craftsmen can do no worse, practically from scrap materials, it is indescribable how inspiring it is. We have already cut down more than a dozen orcs with these "Sikachs"," summarized "Smoke".
As OBOZ.UA previously reported, the war with the Russian aggressor, which has been going on for almost a decade, has become an incentive for Ukraine to develop its own defense industry. Thus, in recent years, Ukrainian UAVs, armored vehicles, self-propelled artillery systems, multiple launch rocket systems, electronic warfare and reconnaissance equipment, and many other developments have already been released.