|Manufacturer:||Patria Vehicles Oy|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Wheeled armoured personnel carrier|
To meet the requirements of the Finnish Defence Forces for a new 6 × 6 armoured personnel carrier, SISU (now Patria Vehicles Oy) built the XA-180 (6 × 6) and Valmet the Model 1912-6 (6 × 6), with both prototypes completed in 1982.
Following trials with these vehicles, in December 1983 the Finnish government placed an initial order for 59 SISU XA-180 APCs at a cost of FMK42 million, with deliveries taking place over a three-year period.
Of the initial order, 50 were for the Finnish Defence Forces and the remaining nine for the Finnish United Nations Battalion.
The first production XA-180 series vehicles were followed by the improved XA-185.
Main improvements of the XA-185 over the original production XA-180 can be summarised as a more powerful Valmet 612 DWI six-cylinder diesel engine and new stronger axles.
Further development of the XA-185 resulted in the XA-186 which has a number of detailed improvements for UN-type missions.
These include additional passive armour protection, wire cutting device on front of the hull, weapon mount in hull front, firing devices, roof-mounted periscopes and a UK Thales one-man turret armed with a .50 (12.7 mm) M2 machine gun with a bank of five electrically operated grenade dischargers mounted either side of the turret.
Unlike the standard XA-185, which is propelled in the water by two water-jets mounted one either side of the hull at the rear, the XA-186 is not amphibious.
In mid-1999, the Finnish Defence Force (FDF) placed a contract for 48 XA-203 series vehicles for use by the Pori Readiness Brigade with deliveries running from late 1999 through to early 2001.
Late in 2000, Patria Vehicles was awarded a contract worth about FMk400 million from the FDF for the supply of about 103 XA-202 (6 × 6) command and system platform versions. In addition there is also an option of another 70 units.
Under the terms of this contract, the first small batch of XA-202 vehicles were delivered late in 2001 with the main production run being delivered between 2002 through to 2004.
Final production models were the XA-202 and XA-203. The XA-202 has been developed as a platform for special command and communication systems, for which additional internal volume is required.
This version has a raised roof at the rear. Roles include command and communications, radar carrier with foldable mast, NBC reconnaissance, ambulance, repair and recovery. The XA-203 is the APC version and like the XA-202 has a higher level of protection and can also be adopted for specialised roles and missions. Standard equipment includes pre-heating for the main engine and for the APU, hydraulically powered air-conditioning system and automatic fire-suppression system.
The FDF has already taken delivery of 48 XA-203 vehicles ordered in 1999 for use in specialised missions. One of these was fitted with the twin 120 mm Advanced MOrtar System (AMOS) and this has now completed trials with the FDF.
Sweden has ordered a total of 104 vehicles designated the XA-202S and XA-203S and some of these have been fitted with a one-person turret armed with a 20 mm cannon. The S in the designation stands for Sweden.
In September 2001, the first eight XA-203S vehicles were handed over to the Swedish Army in Stockholm. Of the 104 vehicles, 86 are XA-203S and the remaining are XA-202S command post vehicles. Some of the XA-203S vehicles have been fitted with turrets removed from Swedish Army BAE Systems Hägglunds Pbv 302 series APCs.
Late in May 2002, the Swedish Defence Material Administration announced that it had exercised a contract option by awarding an additional EUR309 million order to deliver 63 Patria Vehicles XA-200 series 6 × 6 vehicles to the Swedish armed forces.
These vehicles were delivered between 2003 and 2004. At that time it was stated that more than half of the original order for 104 vehicles, placed in July 2002, had been delivered.
This option comprised two types of vehicles, Patria XA-203S basic vehicles and Patria XA-202S system platform vehicles specified in the original contract.
Role kits and mission equipment were integrated into the vehicles to obtain different role configurations such as personnel carriers, command post vehicles, casualty evacuation and other versions.
The scope of logistic support and programme management services of the original contract will be extended according to the increased number of vehicles.
Patria vehicles have already completed 92 XA-188 series vehicles for the Netherlands, of which 72 were for the Army and 20 for the Marines. These were ordered late in 1996 and deliveries took place from 1998 to 1999 and are designated the XA-188. These were up-armoured to provide the occupants with protection from 14.5 mm armour-piercing ammunition and this increased the weight of the vehicle from 13.2 to 17.4 tonnes.
Norway has now taken delivery of its 32 latest vehicles (22 plus the option on 10) that are designated the XA-203N. These have been designed so that the user can quickly change roles according to mission requirements such as command, ambulance and workshop. It should be noted that the first Norwegian models were XA-186 versions with specialised models including the XA-186 CPV command post vehicle and the XA-186 MV repair and recovery vehicle which is fitted with a crane.
In the first quarter of 2002, Patria and the Norwegian Defence Logistic Organisation agreed on the delivery of two Patria XA-203N 6 × 6 command vehicles. In addition, the contract included the upgrading of the previously delivered 32 vehicles of the same type and logistic support services.
Late in 2004 it was stated that Estonia was to purchase 60 ex-Finnish Defence Force XA-180 series 6 × 6 APCs under a deal worth EUR7.2 million.
These are expected to be delivered by the end of 2007 and will replace the Russian BTR-80 (8 × 8) APCs currently used by Estonia. These vehicles will be called the XA-180EST.
Of the 60 vehicles, a total of 51 are in the APC configuration and fitted with a ring mount armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun, two are command post vehicles, three will be communications vehicles fitted with Harris high-frequency radios, which are being supplied under a US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme, and four will be delivered in the armoured medical evacuation vehicle configuration.
The hull of the XA-185 is of all-welded steel armour construction providing the crew with protection from small arms fire and shell splinters. If required by the customer, a higher level of armour protection can be provided as can different levels of EMP and NBC protection. The commander sits at the front of the hull on the right with the driver on the left. Both enter the vehicle via forward-opening doors at the front of the vehicle, one in each side. In the upper part of the door is a bulletproof window, which can be partly covered by a shutter. To the front of both commander and driver is a large bulletproof windscreen that can be covered by a shutter hinged at the top when in a combat area. Above the driver's position is provision for installing a night observation device and single-piece hatch covers.
The engine compartment is to the rear of the driver on the left side with the air inlet and outlets in the roof. An aisle on the right side of the hull allows passage from the front crew compartment to the troop compartment at the rear of the hull.
The infantry sits on bench seats in the rear troop compartment five down either side, and enters via two doors in the rear which both have firing ports and vision blocks. On either side of the troop compartment are three vision blocks with a firing port underneath allowing the troops to fire their weapons from inside the vehicle. Over the top of the troop compartment are two roof hatches hinged in the centre, which can be locked vertical if required, and a mount for a 12.7 mm machine gun.
The suspension of the XA-185 consists of leaf springs and hydraulic shock-absorbers. Steering is power assisted on the front two axles. The vehicle is fully amphibious, being propelled in the water by two propellers mounted under the hull rear, one either side. Before entering the water a trim vane is erected at the front of the vehicle. Standard equipment includes a winch with a capacity of 9 tonnes and 50 m of 16 mm cable, and an automatic fire suppression system for the engine compartment. If required, the XA-185 can be fitted with an NBC system and its tyres fitted with snow chains.
When originally delivered to the Finnish Defence Forces the XA-180 (6 × 6) vehicles were unarmed, but many vehicles have now been fitted with a cupola-mounted 12.7 mm NSV machine gun. The Finnish United Nations vehicles have an all-welded turret armed with a Russian 12.7 mm DShKM machine gun with a bank of five smoke grenade dischargers mounted either side of the turret. Some Finnish Defence Forces XA-180 vehicles are also fitted with a roof-mounted Tula KBP 9K111 Fagot (NATO AT-4 'Spigot') ATGW system.
In 1992, Manroy Engineering of the UK fulfilled a contract to convert the machine gun mounts on 12 XA-180 (6 × 6) vehicles for the United Nations forces in the Lebanon.
This contract covered the supply of new .50 cal (12.7 mm) M2 HB (Heavy Barrel) Quick Change Barrel (QCB) weapons and the modification of the existing Russian mount (which was designed for the 12.7 mm NSV heavy machine gun) to accept 0.50 cal M2 HB standard or QCB machine guns.
Initial work carried out by Manroy led to the production of conversion kits to allow local fittings of the mounts. The bolt-on kits were designed to allow quick (20 minutes) fitting of the mounts. Acceptance tests and firing trials were then successfully completed in Ireland.
For trials purposes, an XA-185 has been fitted with the US General Dynamics Land Systems LAV-25 turret armed with a stabilised 25 mm ATK Gun Systems Company M242 Chain Gun and 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun. This turret is standard equipment on all members of the General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada LAV-25, although the latest version of this turret has many improvements including all-electric gun control equipment. It has also been fitted with the LAV-30 turret armed with a 30 mm cannon. As of late 2007 there have been no customers for the XA series fitted with these turrets.
As previously mentioned the XA-202 is the system platform for communication and command, sensor and radar systems.
The vehicle is equipped with a 10 kW generator with basic AC and DC power distribution panels, signal and power connection panels, fixing points for equipment racks, an air cooling unit and EMP protection of 40 dB.
The vehicle has all the installation ready for the LNP24 and JNP20/24 hydraulic masts. In the contract for the Finnish Defence Force two different installation projects and both LNP24 and JNP20/24 masts were included.
The LNP mast is equipped with an automatic and rapid guying system and the LNN mast-mounted trailer.
Patria's latest design is the JNP20/24 hydraulic mast, which is suitable for different sensors and antennas requiring stable and elevating masts. The Finnish Defence Force has ordered all three masts while Sweden has ordered the LNP24 mast.
The Finnish Defence Forces have taken delivery of a number of XA-180 (6 × 6) vehicles fitted with the Swedish Saab Giraffe air surveillance radar system on a hydraulic arm. This version of the vehicle has been developed by the Finnish company, Jantronic Oy (which is now part of Patria Vehicles Oy), which has manufactured the hydraulic mast, electrics, heating, raising and armouring system. To provide a more stable platform, stabilisers are lowered to the ground before the roof-mounted scissors-type mast is raised into the operating position.
The system is used to provide key target information to anti-aircraft guns and surface-to-air missile systems in the forward battlefield area. This model is designated the Jantronic J-1000. In June 2007 Patria Vehicles was awarded a EUR10 million contract to upgrade these radar systems (called Target Acquisition Radar 87) by 2010.
In mid-1988, Finland placed a contract with Thales Air Defence for the Crotale New Generation (Crotale NG) air defence system mounted on the XA-181 (6 × 6) chassis. This was the first order for Crotale New Generation which has been developed as a private venture by Thales Air Defence, with the VT-1 missiles being developed by the now Lockheed Martin (then LTV) of the US.
The system is mounted on the roof of the XA-181 and has a total of eight missiles in the ready to fire position plus tracking and surveillance radars.
Finland sent the XA-181 chassis to Thales Air Defence complete with an NBC system, an air conditioning system, an auxiliary power unit and stabilisers. Thales Air Defence then integrated the Crotale NG SAM system, completed trials and delivered the complete system to Finland.
It is believed that the Finnish Defence Forces ordered a total of 20 of these systems based on the XA-181 chassis, first production systems being delivered to Finland in September 1992 with final deliveries in late 1993.
In 2000 an XA-203 fitted with AMOS was delivered to the Finnish Defence Force for trials.
The Finnish Defence Force have selected the Armoured Modular Vehicle (8 × 8) as the chassis for the AMOS with first four units delivered in 2006.
The Finnish Defence Forces also have an ambulance and command post vehicle based on the XA-180 (6×6) APC.
The manufacturer has also proposed other versions of the XA-series of wheeled armoured vehicles including ambulance, command, IS, NBC reconnaissance, mortar carrier, anti-aircraft gun, fire support/anti-tank with two-man turret armed with 90 mm gun, anti-tank with the Euromissile Mephisto HOT ATGW system which launches 4,000 m range HOT missiles, minelayer and repair and recovery.