The Ukrainian Army took delivery of 44 locally-produced Kozak-2M1 armored vehicles this week.
Developed by Ukrainian “scientific and production association” Praktika, the second-generation Kozak-2M1 is a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle for secure troop transport during military operations.
The vehicles were officially handed over at a delivery ceremony as part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s 30th anniversary celebration, according to the Presidential Office of Ukraine.
“We restored Ukraine’s independence 30 years ago,” the president said during his ceremonial address. “30 years ago, forces were born to protect it. This is the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Today is their day. Today is their professional holiday. Today is the 30th anniversary of the Armed Forces of Ukraine! From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of Ukraine, I congratulate you and us on this great day.”
The Kozak-2M1 armored vehicle offers soldiers protection equivalent to the NATO STANAG 4569 Level 2 standard, protecting passengers from 7.62×51 mm rounds fired from a range of 30 meters (98 feet), hand grenades, anti-personnel explosives, and roadside bombs.
The light tactical vehicle provides mobility and protection for payloads and personnel on the battlefield. Its “monocoque structure” and “integrated V-shaped hull” were developed to provide greater protection for the crew by deflecting blasts out and away from the inside of the cabin.
At nearly 14 tons, the Kozak-2M1 can transport a minimum of six troops in full battle gear and is operated by a crew of two. It features a 200 horsepower diesel engine, an “all-wheel-drive” independent suspension system, and a top speed of 110 km/h (68 mph).
Tensions With Russia
Ukraine’s most recent defense acquisition comes as part of a general ramping up of the country’s military capabilities, including international arms purchases and increased indigenous arms development.
The increased focus on defensive strength is in response to longstanding tensions with Moscow over its annexation of Crimea and a years-long war in the country’s eastern frontier sparked by Russian separatists.
However, tensions have peaked again recently, as Russia has amassed 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine. The maneuver has led to growing allegations that the Kremlin is planning an invasion of Ukraine, an accusation that Moscow denies.