The Russian military has recently started receiving a new batch of light-armored all-terrain vehicles known as “Plastun-SN.” In social media circles, this vehicle is humorously referred to as “Tuzik.”
The “SN” designation stands for “Spetsialnogo Naznacheniya” (special purpose). The “Plastun-SN” is positioned as a light-armored all-terrain vehicle designed for various tasks, including casualty evacuation, reconnaissance, or serving as a self-propelled 82-mm mortar carrier.
The vehicle features combined armor protection, capable of withstanding bullets ranging from 9x19mm to 7.62x39mm. It can accommodate up to 8 personnel, including 4 rescuers, 2 casualties, and a 2-person crew.
One distinctive feature of the “Plastun-SN” is its open-body design, lacking a rigid roof. While this design choice offers greater mobility, it may potentially leave the vehicle vulnerable to attacks from drone kamikazes or shrapnel from enemy fire. To safeguard the crew from adverse weather conditions, a waterproof canopy and detachable frame are provided.
The “Plastun-SN” is equipped with an engine borrowed from the civilian Lada automobile, offering a maximum speed of 50 km/h, with a recommended speed of 30 km/h.
The Russian Ministry of Defense has signed a contract for the procurement of at least 50 of these armored tracked all-terrain vehicles, which are being assembled in Novosibirsk. Interestingly, the company responsible for this production is linked to Kazakh oligarch Erik Sagymbayev, who was convicted of fraud in his home country, fled, and subsequently obtained Russian citizenship in violation of Kazakhstan’s laws.