​About the Finnish Pasi Vehicles Currently Used by Ukrainian Marines

Panssari-Sisu in service with the Ukrainian Naval Forces / Photo credit: Ukrainian Navy
Panssari-Sisu in service with the Ukrainian Naval Forces / Photo credit: Ukrainian Navy

The Ukrainian Navy operates an interesting armored vehicle that just got upgraded by the Finns

The official page of the Ukrainian Navy has shared photos from the recent training of the Ukrainian marines, which involved Panssari-Sisu armored vehicles from Finnish Patria, also known as Pasi vehicles.

As the training goes, the marines are meant to carry out a landing operation with conventional combat contact. The armored vehicle for the landing was the Pasi. However, as noted by the press service, the vehicle has already been "baptized" in real battles against the russian invaders: it was used to suppress a group of russian infantry forces who seized a building.

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"The effect was impressive, this Ukrainian novelty leaves no chance for the enemy," say marines, according to the Navy press office.

Ukrainian marines of the 36th Brigade and the 1st Independent Battalion training using the Pasi vehicles
Ukrainian marines of the 36th Brigade and the 1st Independent Battalion training using the Pasi vehicles / Photo credit: Ukrainian Navy

This is the first time the delivery of these vehicles to the Armed Forces of Ukraine is revealed publicly. In fact, the Navy does not mention where these came from. For the first time, Panssari-Sisu of the XA-180 or XA-185 type were spotted by OSINT communities in September, and there was no information on who provided those for the Ukrainian Army.

Based on the camouflage coloring, the most likely supplier is Finland, though these armored carriers are as well in service with some other countries, such as Estonia.

The Panssari-Sisu was made in the 1980s by the order of the Finnish government. As noted by the Finnish Koeajolle website, in the 1970s, the Finnish Army was mostly relying on various off-road trucks and tractors in terms of mobility and needed its own military mobility vehicle. Then the Pasi was created, based on the Sisu SA-150 6x6 chassis.

The new vehicle was meant to replace old Soviet BTR-60 carriers and is currently being replaced, in turn, by the newer Patria AMV vehicles with a modular design (equipment depends on the role of the vehicle).

Sisu SA-150. became the basis for the new armored vehicle Phot ocredit: Ville Miettinen

Still, the Panssari-Sisu is being regularly updated and upgraded. The latest mid-life upgrade of the vehicles was made by Patria and delivered to the Finnish Army as recently as this November, i.e. after the Pasi was first spotted in Ukraine. There is data of another update of the vehicle having taken place between 2014 and 2017.

The Finnish military plans to keep the armored carrier in shape until 2040, when all of the Pasi vehicles are replaced by their successor Patria. Although currently, the Panssari-Sisu remains the primary armored vehicle of the Finnish Army. About 1,300 vehicles were produced in total, with about 400 of them serving in the Finnish armed forces; the rest exported to Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, etc.

Refurbished Pasi
Refurbishment of Pasi began back in 2013 / Photo credit: Patria

The Panssari-Sisu is equipped with a Valmet 611 DSBJA turbocharged diesel engine with a capacity of 236 hp, it reaches a speed of up to 100 km/h on highways, can cross water obstacles at 9 km/h. The basic XA-180 version can carry up to 14 troops of the landing squad, and up to 16 in the XA-185 version.

"Panssari-Sisu is a very simple and fundamentally reliable vehicle. It's not packed with fancy technology, but on the other hand, it's reliable", Koeajolle authors note. "A good example is that there are two rear doors instead of one in its structure".

There is no data on how many of these armored vehicles were provided to the Ukrainian Army. Meanwhile, in an earlier article, we took a close look at Finnish military aid supplies and discussed why the Finns don’t talk much about their supplies to Ukraine.

Read more: What Weaponry Ukraine Got From Finland