Medical evacuation vehicles are crucial in an armed conflict. They need to be quick and powerful, very capable off-road, and offer good protection from small arms fire. Obviously, Ukraine needs a lot of these kinds of vehicles and during the second half of this year, the soldiers of Ukraine received 13 field ambulances based on the Canadian armoured vehicle Terradyne Gurkha.
Terradyne Armored Vehicles Gurkha (Terradyne Gurkha for short) is an armoured light 4×4 vehicle, made in Ontario. It is based on a Ford F-550 Super Duty chassis and has its engine and interior. It’s been in production since 2006 and is used in many countries around the world, usually for law enforcement duties.
The Terradyne Gurkha is a real multi-purpose vehicle, which can serve as an armoured platform for valuable deliveries, border protection, crowd control vehicles and perform many other different duties. There are a few Gurkhas in civilian hands too.
Under the bonnet of the Terradyne Gurkha there is a 6.7 litre V8 turbo diesel engine, pushing out 250 kW of power and 750 Nm of torque. Of course, it is taken straight from the Ford lineup, which is good for countries like Ukraine, because it makes procurement of spare parts that much easier. It spins all four wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission. The Gurkha can reach a maximum speed of around 128 km/h. It is also good off-road thanks to its locking differentials.
The Terradyne Gurkha meets NATO STANAG 4569 Level II protection standards. It means that it offers good protection from small arms fire and has decent protection from landmines. Of course, one could wish for better armour, but the weight for such vehicles is important. The Terradyne Gurkha weighs under 9 tonnes.
Essentially, the Terradyne Gurkha is just a truck, which makes it easy to control and service. Depending on the configuration, the Gurkha can carry up to 12 passengers and 2 crew members. Of course, the ones that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will now operate are set up for medevac missions and will not be directly involved in combat.
It is important to note that 13 of the Terradyne Gurkha for Ukraine were crowdfunded. “Armoured ambulances will be able to operate even more efficiently, evacuating the wounded from the hottest points of the front. In general, the number of such vehicles in the world is very limited, so they had to be custom-made to order,” said the Minister of Health of Ukraine Viktor Lyashko.
At the back of the Ukrainian Gurkha there is space for a couple of wounded troops. It is not said that other equipment these vehicles carry, but obviously first aid for combat trauma is the core of the duties of this type of machine.
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