Patria AMV (Armored Modular Vehicle)

AMV in an Infantry Fighting Vehicle configuration with a turreted 30 mm autocannon

AMOS Twin Barrelled 120 mm Mortar System Mounted on a Patria Chassis

AMV Fire Support vehicle mounting a 105 mm turreted main weapon

The Patria AMV (Armored Modular Vehicle) is a Finnish designed and built APC developed during the early 2000s for the Finnish Defense Forces. The Patria AMV is an 8×8 multi-role vehicle which is offered in a range of configurations. The AMV is of a modular design which permits many variants or configurations to be produced using the same base chassis, making it suitable for the development of a standardized ‘family of vehicles’. A range of turrets, weapons, sensors and communication systems can be integrated onto the vehicle platform. Though not all proposed configurations have been manufactured to date, design details have been developed for a number of APC and IFV variants, a command and control vehicle, ambulatory vehicle, fire support vehicle and a heavy mortar variant.

The weight of the Patria AMV ranges between 35,000 and 65,000 pounds (16 to 27 metric tonnes), depending upon vehicle configuration. It is 25 feet (7.7 meters) long, 9 feet (2.8 meters) wide and 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) in height. The vehicle is operated by a crew of either 2 or 3, with a driver and commander and an optional gunner, depending on the variant. The AMV can accommodate and transport between 8 to 12 combat troops, depending on vehicle configuration. The vehicle is powered by a either a Scania DI 12 or DC 12 diesel engine, producing 543 hp and 480 hp respectively. The 8×8 wheeled vehicle is supported on an independent hydropneumatic suspension, can attain speeds of up to 60 mph on roads and 6.2 mph in water, and has a range of between 370 to 530 miles (600 to 900 km). The vehicle is considered to possess excellent mobility capabilities, providing both speed and agility during off-road travel as facilitated by the independent suspension system.

The three primary vehicle configuration are a basic flat roofed platform, a raised roof platform and a vehicle configured to accommodate the integration of heavy weapons. Through the modular design approach of the AMV these three basic platforms can be configured into a wide number of variants, including an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), Command and Communication (C2), Ambulance, Reconnaissance, Mortar Carrier (MC), Patria AMOS 120 mm twin mortared turret, Fire Control Vehicle (FCV), Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) and Mobile Gun System (MGS) vehicles. Further enhancements of the baseline AMV platform have been integrated into the AMV-XP, the XP designation indicating Extra Payload / Extra Performance / Extra Protection.

The vehicle first entered service with the Finnish Army, which ordered 24 turreted twin mortar tube (AMOS) variants and 62 APCs with Protector RWSs. The Protector RWS can mount either the .50 calibre M2HB QCB heavy machine gun (HMG) or the GMG grenade machine gun. Poland then ordered 997 of the vehicles in a range of configurations. These vehicles have reduced armor to accommodate an amphibious capability. 313 of the vehicles were of the IFV type and mount an Italian 30 mm Hitfist-30P turret, designed and built by Oto Melara. Vehicles are also being sold to Croatia (126 vehicles), Slovenia (135), Sweden (113) the Czech Republic, Macedonia, South Africa (238) and the United Arab Emirates (15) for delivery of vehicles. The South African vehicle is equipped with an underfloor armor package and is being designed as APC, Fire Support, Mortar, Command and Control and ATGM variants.

The Patria AMV is able to accommodate a wide range of standardized NATO weapon systems including mounting of 30 and 50 calibre machine guns, grenade launchers, turreted autocannon, assault guns, mortars and ATGMs. The baseline APC vehicle is equipped with a 50 calibre Protector Remote Weapon Station (RWS), the IFV has a turreted 30 mm autocannon and the fire support configured vehicle mounts a turreted 105 mm gun. The AMV can also mount the Patria designed and built Advanced Mortar System (AMOS) 120 mm auto-loading twin-barrelled mortar system. This system is mounted in a turret and computer controlled. AMOS equipped Patria AMVs are currently in service in both the Finnish and Swedish Armies.

The AMOS uses 10 foot (3 meter) long smoothbore barrels to discharge both stub cased and smart guided High Explosive (HE) 120 mm ammunition. The gun recoil is controlled through a hydro-pneumatic suspension system, is able to elevate through -3° to +85° and traverses fully 360°, and is operated by an electrical system with a manual option. It is able to fire at a maximum rate of 16 rounds per minute with a sustained rate of 12 rounds per minute. The system has an effective firing range of 4-6 miles (6 – 10 km), depending upon ammunition type selected. 48 rounds of ammunition are stored in the vehicle and turret. The mortar barrels can also be directed horizontally to permit direct fire on approaching targets for defensive purposes.

The system makes use of both GPS and inertia positioning to direct rounds accurately to targets in association with the electronic Fire Control System (FCS) and integrated digital maps. The weapon is provided with a computer-controlled MRSI (multiple rounds simultaneous impact) feature. This system provides for the ability to drop several rounds onto a target simultaneously, providing the crew the ability to fire and then re-locate before their position is determined and counter artillery fire is directed at them. This capability is achieved by the computer determining the proper sequence of firing angles and propellant requirements. The initial rounds are fired at steep angles and with more propellant. Subsequent rounds are fired at progressively lessening angles and with slightly less propellant. The flight arcs are thereby co-ordinated to ensure that all rounds arrive at the target grouped together at the same time. A maximum of 7 firing sequences can be conducted in a single salvo. With a twin barrelled system therefore 14 rounds can be delivered onto a target simultaneously. As the rounds are in-flight, the AMOS equipped vehicle will typically relocate from its firing position to avoid anti-artillery counterfire, directed by ground mounted radar which determines the originating location of the incoming rounds. The MRSI system permits a single AMOS vehicle to deliver the same effective firepower onto a target as an entire artillery battery.

The AMV is equipped with modular appliqué armor, able to be configured to provide up to 30 mm APFSDS protection over the frontal arc. The vehicle also has a very high level of inherent anti-tank mine blast protection, providing the crew and its compliment of nine combat troop’s effective protection against mines containing up to 22 lbs (10 kilograms) of TNT. As with the South African vehicles, this can be further enhanced with additional add-on belly plates.

The Patria AMV was deployed by the Polish Army to support their efforts in Afghanistan. Known as the ‘Wolverine’, 50 vehicles were transferred to Afghanistan in 2007 to support the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Designed to accommodate amphibious operations the Wolverine received a reduced armor add-on package compared to typical AMVs. For the Afghanistan operation however additional metallic and applique armor was attached to the vehicles to counter the expected threats levels.

The vehicles were reported to perform well during combat encounters. A 2008 incident involved a Wolverine being struck in quick succession by three RPG-7 rockets. The crew were uninjured and able to return fire upon the threat source. Additionally the vehicle was able to return to base under its own power. Later that same year a Wolverine was struck in its frontal armor by an RPG without being penetrated. Vehicles have also been struck upon many occasions by mines and IEDs with only minimal damage typically resulting and without casualties. Only one fatality in 2009 has been reported as a consequence of one of these attacks. In fact the Taliban fear the vehicle and have been reported as actively avoiding contact encounters with them.

Slovenia also sent the vehicle to Afghanistan in 2010 and vehicles have been sent to Chad in 2008 as part of a European Union force. In October 2010 a platoon of vehicles was sent to Afghanistan to support the Slovenian efforts there.