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Eastern Libyan faction parades new Russian-designed armoured vehicles

Vehicles that look like both the VPK-Ural and Streit Group Condor SUT featured in the LAAF parade on 17 May. (Libyan Arab Armed Forces)

The Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF) in eastern Libya is now operating what look like Russian VPK-Ural 4×4 armoured vehicles, photographs of a parade on 17 May revealed.

Held near Benghazi's Benina International Airport, the parade marked the 10th anniversary of Operation ‘Al-Karamah', a victory over Islamist forces in 2014. The LAAF released numerous photographs of the event, some of which showed 15 armoured vehicles that appeared to be double-cab pickup variants of the VPK-Ural fitted with protected weapon stations and armed with 12.7 mm W85 heavy machine guns.

Russia's Military Industrial Company (VPK) unveiled the VPK-Ural in 2019, saying it uses a Ural truck chassis, has a V-shaped hull to improve protection against mines, weighs 14.5 tonnes, and can carry 12 troops when configured as a personnel carrier.

An export order for 60 VPK-Ural vehicles was announced in August 2020 and a batch was seen on a production line when Russian Deputy Defence Minister Alexey Krivoruchko visited a VPK factory in November 2021. At least some of these were double-cab variants, although they did not have their flatbeds fitted yet, and were painted a tan colour.

Russian forces were previously the only known VPK-Ural operators and all the ones seen in Russia have been configured as troop carriers, not pickups.

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