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​Blind Armored Train Made by russians Won't Move Without Guidance by UAV

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Volga armored train of the russian "railway forces,"  April 2023 / Open source image
Volga armored train of the russian "railway forces," April 2023 / Open source image

As archaic as it looks, this is the way russian invasion forces ensure logistics in the occupied territories of Ukraine

"Railway forces" of the Western Military District use Volga armored train in the occupied territories of Ukraine, says the defense ministry of the russian federation. The design of this artifact is: a diesel switcher locomotive in the middle, and platforms with supplies guarded by ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns and loopholes for firing in the head and rear of the train.

This configuration does not give the train driver full view, so the armored convoy literally cannot move forward without the imagery provided by an aerial drone. At least one of those is included as an integral part of the train's equipment.

Read more: How Soon russian Armored Train Will Arrive in Ukrianian Frotlines and Why russia Started Using Them in the First Place
Volga armored train of the russian
Volga armored train of the russian "railway forces," April 2023 / Open source image

Noteworthy is the fact that russian propagandists from the ministry of defense try to make up all kinds of feats for their armored trains out of thin air. In the case of Volga particularly, they claim it has shot down an "unknown UAV with an unidentified payload" while the train was on its casual patrol of railways. They say it was the first time a train of the "railway forces" had direct contact with the enemy since the beginning of the russian all-out invasion of Ukraine.

Volga armored train of the russian
Volga armored train of the russian "railway forces," April 2023 / Open source image

Such a scheme for the armored train layout may not only obstruct vision but also result in bad mobility of the whole unit. The locomotive has to simultaneously pull and push the carriages burdened with armor, weapons, and supplies. So it doesn't seem likely this "wunderwaffe" can provide as much mobility for the 18 fully loaded carriages as an ordinary diesel switcher.

This layout for armored trains was used only by Boers in South Africa during the Second Anglo-Boer War in 1899-1902. Perhaps, the russians assume they will be able to save fuel for logistics, based on the idea that a single locomotive requires only half of the diesel required for two locomotives.

No matter how archaic it looks, this is how the russians ensure logistics on the railways of the occupied territories of Ukraine. And the problem for Ukrainian defenders is not only that russians have this kind of "scarecrow" guarding the railroads, this train also allows coupling of "lowboy" wagons for heavier military equipment.

Volga armored train of the russian
Volga armored train of the russian "railway forces," April 2023 / Open source image
Read more: Russians Want to Put Pantsir SAM On an Armored Train