Type 342 Armored Personnel Carrier
The Type 342 is a Cossack next-generation armored personnel carrier and multirole armored vehicle produced from the WURCo.'s Future Armor Program, headed by the New Krasnoyarsk Vehicle Design Plant. The vehicle is an 8x8, capable of driving in four-wheel drive (4x8) or all-wheel drive (8x8). The Type 342 is intended to replace the Nevsky APC in the Cossack Peoples' Army, which was deemed defunct for lack of desired characteristics such as the ability to carry a full infantry squad, CBRN protection, mine resistance, and having armament fitting to its role.
The Future Armor Program aimed to fully supplement the troop mobility role in the Armed Forces; providing ample troop space (enough for a full fourteen-man squad), armor protection, and situational awareness to every mechanized and motorized infantry formation in the CPA.
The vehicle was named after the first Hero of the Cossack Peoples recipient, Kondraty Mazepa, a veteran of the First Cossack Civil War. At the age of 82, Mazepa attended the first demonstrations of the vehicle.
Like the Type 319 in the Future Armor Program, the Type 342 was intended to fill the void in Cossack armor. Previous APCs like the Nevsky had only sufficient space for a fireteam, were overgunned, and hardly met standards for troop protection. During counterinsurgency patrols, the Nevsky had reported consistently poor performance, against improvised explosive devices, handheld rocket launchers, and In the operations leading up to and culminating in the Battle of Hill 879, Nevsky APCs reported transmission and visibility problems on the advance into Sigometh borders, and once the battle occurred, were hardly used to support or transport the infantry they carried.
Future Armor Program designers were at first swamped with the very high expectations for the new infantry transport, but as new technology and funding became available, were able to produce the Type 342 without much more difficulty.
The Type 342, like many of the products of the Future Armor Program, was better designed and inherently more costly because of that. The "Mazepa's" materials are easily sourced, but the balancing of protection, particularly with slat armor and composites along the rear of the vehicle, and with tactical and strategic mobility, made production a difficult task. Designs were ran back and forth, until eventually a compromise was made that allowed the vehicle to be easily transported by Pr-33 and maintain a worthy speed.
The "Mazepa", alongside the Type 319 and Type 300, utilizes WURCo. Pine Drab as its factory finish anti-corrosion paint; but like the others supplies plastuns with necessary materials to adapt camouflage to their circumstances with ease.
And while the Type 300 sacrifices the neatness of the coverage of its multi-spectral camouflage system for the usage of Preobrazhensky armor modules, the Type 342 was designed with the application of Ustinov Pattern, a camouflage net system that uses Peltier plates, visually disrupting patterns, and radar-absorbent materials to manipulate the infrared signature of the vehicle, provide the same visual protection normal net camouflage brings, and absorb radar waves to make it even more difficult for aircraft to distinguish the vehicle from ground clutter, and even harder to identify.
The APC has a set of six smoke grenade launchers mounted on the RWS, which airburst and screen the vehicle from visual and infrared detection.
The Type 342, compared to the antiquated Nevsky, received glowing reviews from those involved in its development and operation. To many drivers, the fear of being destroyed by mines or an IED was put to ease at the comparative protection of the new vehicle.
The Type 342 is equipped with an automatic fire extinguishing system, with one extinguisher located in the driver's compartment, engine compartment, and two along the top of the passenger compartment, with sensors covering those three areas as well. Once a fire is detected, halon gas from one of three bottles is released to extinguish the fire.
A majority of the "Mazepa's" hull is composed of high-hardness steel, which offers protection against 14.5mm rounds along its frontal arc and general protection against 12.7mm ball ammunition. Optional KP-743 bolt-on ceramic plates can be added to the sides and rear of the vehicle, increasing general protection up to 14.5mm rounds, most armor-piercing ammunition, and fragments from 155mm artillery rounds. Another optional armor increase can be slat armor along the entirety of the vehicle, with the exception of the rear, for protection against rocket-propelled projectiles.
The underside of the Type 342 is v-shaped and composed of a composite, which allows for maximum crew protection against anti-tank mines up to 12 kilograms. The V is double layered with steel and composite, and additional steel plating is under troop seats.
The "Mazepa" has a tight control on the environment of the troop areas, providing airtight compartments for the entire crew. The cabins are also kept positively pressurized, as to not allow external air inside the vehicle in case of a hull breach. An air filtration unit located near the engine allows for harmful chemicals, toxins, and bio-hazards to be filtered out of the air for the crew and passengers to breathe. The driver's and rear troop hatch can be sealed by a control in the forward cabin, and decontamination methods are stored in locker between the driver's compartment and troop compartment. An extendable plastic airlock can be equipped inside the frame of the ramp as to extend outward when opened to allow for the movement of troops in and out.
Spysa Active Protection System
One common theme throughout the vehicles of the Future Armor Program is the usage of, and otherwise reliance on, the Spysa Active Protection System. The Type 342 is equipped in the very same way as its companions, with a variety of soft- and hard-kill measures available to protect the vehicle. Chaff dispensers, infrared dazzlers, and laser dazzlers are linked with an infrared warning system and laser warning receiver to provide a screen of soft-kill measures that would, in event of an incoming guided projectile, divert or confuse the guidance systems into missing their target.
For the unguided, typically rocket-propelled anti-tank systems the Type 342 would inevitably be faced with or the projectiles that are not faltered by the soft-kill measures, the Spysa-632 system unleashes a blast of concentrated energy, defeating the incoming projectile.
The driver and gunner both have periscopes that allow them to fully observe their surroundings without exposing them to enemy fire. While the driver's periscope gives them a 90o field of vision with night-vision sights, the gunner's/commander's periscope has nearly 360o of vision, as well as day-night thermal imaging camera that can see out to 2,400 meters, giving troops fair warning of possible threats before dismounting. A series of exterior cameras along the hull are accessible to passengers with four displays, enabling troops to be aware of possible danger outside of the vehicle prior to dismounting. These displays also can be used to access the visuals of the gunner's/commander's scopes.
The weapons complement of the Type 342 "Mazepa" are based in the Kirilov Remote Weapon Station (KRWS), a remote weapon system operated from inside the vehicle on a display, typically by the APC's gunner. The KRWS allows for the mounting of countermeasures from the Spysa Active Protection System and a primary armament. Either a 12.7mm CMG-28 or a 40mm grenade launcher can be equipped on the KRWS.
A 500 horsepower WURCo. VFDD-2059 diesel engine powers the Type 342, providing it speeds of up to 102 kilometers an hour on road. The maneuverability of the vehicle allow it to keep pace with 6x6 trucks and light utility vehicles found in motorized infantry plastuns, fulfilling one of the more difficult demands of the Department of War for a new APC.
The Type 343 features independent suspension for each of its wheels, ensuring high mobility regardless of terrain. The wheels themselves use a run-flat inserts, allowing the vehicle to manuever at reduced speeds before the tire detioriates.
The operational range, an estimate of 800 kilometers, is also impressive. This allows the Type 342 to operate at longer ranges than more heavily armored vehicles, finding use in plunges of mechanized infantry through contested territory or providing transport and protection along dangerous stretches of wilderness.
In terms of strategic mobility, the Type 342 "Mazepa" is able to be airlifted by both the Pr-33 and Pr-37, although if deployed by an amphibious assault ship it can be deployed via an M-748 Mechanized Landing Craft or HV-9 helicopter.