Russia isn’t known for being subtle and reserved, so it’s no wonder that their answer to the US’s Humvee is a wild looking armored assault wagon that looks like it would be more at home in Halo than on the battlefield.
While it may look like a vehicle from a video game, the rest of the vehicle isn’t as advanced. From possibly lacking armor to an interior that looks more like the 1980s than the 2000’s, this wild looking ride may very well house Russian Special Forces in the near future.
Built by Soviet-era limousine and armored vehicle designers Zil, the fancy-looking Punisher is on the fast track to be adopted by the Russian military. Inside it seats 10 not-so-comfortably in seats that look like they’re out of a 70’s waiting room. The seating is laid out with two seats up front, two aimed out the rear, and six aimed out to the sides.
While the outside of this monster looks futuristic, the technology used to build it is far from it. The Punisher runs on leaf springs and drum brakes that don’t scream high technology. The engine however is a beast to be able to keep up with the literal ton of armor the Punisher uses, and get that power via an eight-cylinder turbo diesel that makes 730 horsepower. The 730hp is transferred to the ground via a five-speed gearbox and a two-speed transfer case.
Decked out in panoramic bulletproof windows all around, the Punisher gives passengers a clear view of the world around them. The doors on the Punisher open in a gullwing style that’s meant to make for easy ingress end egress, limiting the time the soldiers are vulnerable. The windows and exterior panels are built to withstand small arms fire up to that of an AK-47, and the undercarriage of Zil’s Punisher uses a V-shaped design to deflect mines and other explosions. While it doesn’t look like much, the claim is that this will offer far more protection than most other vehicles on the market.
The axles found in the Punisher are massively solid ones that are mounted to give the Punisher amazingly high breakover angles and allows it to roll over just about anything.
Even with the negatives, the word on the street is that Russia will indeed be using this as their go-to military vehicle much like the US has used the Humvee. While there are a few interesting modifications out there that make Zil’s vehicle more useful, it’s still a few years behind some other nation’s military vehicles for sure, but for the Russian military this could be a huge leap ahead.