A leading Russian tech university was asked to militarize civilian vehicle platforms at Grozny’s request
Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the southern Russian republic of Chechnya, demonstrated three prototypes of weaponized civilian vehicles on Friday. The project, dubbed “jihad-wagen” or “jihad-vehicle” by the authorities of the Muslim-majority region, is intended to pave the way for localized production.
The vehicles inspected by Kadyrov in central Grozny were a UAZ Patriot, a GAZ Sobol and a GAZ Sadko light trucks. They were armed with cannons, machine guns and grenade launchers of various models. Gunner positions at the back appear relatively unprotected, indicating that the vehicles are designed for high mobility and affordability, rather than survivability in heavy combat.
The project was first announced in January, with the Bauman Moscow State Technical University conducting research and development on behalf of the Chechen administration. Other reported participants include the Russian Special Forces University, a Chechnya-based military school, and car manufacturer Chechenauto, which intends to produce ‘jihad-wagens’ in the future.
Licenced series manufacturing is expected to start in Grozny next year, possibly as soon as January, according to Chechen Industry and Energy Minister Adam Khakimov.
Kadyrov said he visited the developers recently to request some last-minute adjustments of the design. The vehicles will soon be field-tested in the conflict with Ukraine, the official told journalists.
Specifications of the ‘jihad-wagens’ were not immediately shared with the public. The nickname refers to the Islamic term for a righteous strife, which every Muslim person has to pursue to lead their lives in accordance with religious guidance. It includes armed combat and is largely understood as such by non-Muslims, but is not limited to warfare. ‘Wagen’ is a German term meaning vehicle.
Chechen troops, including those trained in special operation tactics, are playing a notable role in the Russian campaign against Ukraine’s army. Kadyrov regularly highlights the achievements of units manned by his people on social media.
December 29, 2023 at 07:48PM