Ukraine receives first Gurkha medical evacuation vehicle

The Ministry of Health of Ukraine announced on Monday that the first Gurkha armored ambulance, purchased by the Medical Procurement of Ukraine with funds raised under the UNITED24 fundraising campaign, has arrived in the country.

According to the Ministry, this armored ambulance, valued at $262.000, is the first of a total of 13 such vehicles purchased to support the evacuation of wounded individuals from the frontlines to the nearest medical facilities.

The batch of 13 armored vehicles in a medical evacuation configuration will cost $3.4 million.

Each vehicle is designed to ensure the safe evacuation of casualties by medical teams, with a focus on adhering to NATO’s ballistic standards, particularly STANAG 4569 Level II.

As indicated by the ministry’s press release, these tires have a unique feature – they can be driven even if the tire pressure is lost. This special design allows the vehicle to maintain speeds ranging from 50 to 150 kilometers per hour, depending on the vehicle’s weight and road conditions, even after tire damage.

In practical terms, this means that if a tire is punctured by shrapnel, the ambulance won’t be stranded in the middle of the field during an attack. Additionally, these vehicles are all-wheel-drive, enabling them to navigate through challenging terrain and damaged roads, as commonly encountered in conflict zones.

Notably, these armored ambulances were specially manufactured to order in Canada. Once the other vehicles in the batch are ready, they will be transported to Ukraine to further bolster the nation’s medical capabilities.

The Gurkha range of armored patrol vehicles is manufactured by Terradyne Armored Vehicles, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Magna International. The Gurkha family of vehicles is intended for use in defense, law enforcement and homeland security missions. The vehicles can transport SWAT (special weapons and tactics) units and urban law enforcement teams.

The purchase of these armored ambulances was made possible through the fundraising initiative UNITED24, spearheaded by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Ukraine will benefit significantly from these armored “ambulances” that will be used to evacuate the wounded from the most active conflict zones effectively.

“Today, thanks to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s fundraising initiative UNITED24, Ukraine has received its first armored ambulance designed for the rapid evacuation of the wounded. We have acquired a total of 13 such vehicles,” stated Minister of Health Viktor Liashko. He added, “I thank everyone who supports us during these challenging times of full-scale war. Your donations are crucial, and without exaggeration, they save the lives of Ukrainians. These armored ‘ambulances’ will enable us to do this even more effectively by evacuating the wounded from the hottest frontlines. The total number of such vehicles in the world is very limited, which is why they had to be specially ordered.”

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