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Patria / Sisus XA180 Pasi 6x6 APC

Various models of the Patria (Sisus) XA-180 Pasi, from Finland, are used by at least ten countries around the world. Production of the vehicle has now ceased. The nomenclature associated with this family of vehicles is complicated. Patria is a Finnish company which produces a wide range of defence, aviation and aerospace technology, and manufacturered a 6x6 wheeled APC series which is no longer in production, having been superceeded by the 8x8 Patria XA-360 Pasi Mk.4 AMV. The earlier 6x6 vehicle was developed and initially produced by the Finnish company Sisus, which was acquired by Patria in 1996. Sisus applied both the alpha-numeric XA-180 nomenclature to the 6x6 APC, which it also called the Pasi. In service, at times this vehicle was simply referred to as the Sisu, but this is the name of the manufacturer, not the vehicle. The series includes new XA designated vehicles, such as the XA-200, as the series has been upgraded over the years. It is also known as the Patgb 180 and Patgb 202 in the Swedish Army.

Throughout its 75-year history, Sisu [Sisu means "determination" in Finnish] was a major partner to the Finnish Defence Forces, and its key supplier of military vehicles. Owing to this role, SISU was the leading heavy vehicle brand in the Finnish Defence Forces, supplying trucks such as Sisu A-45, Sisu SA-150 and Sisu SA-240, and Nasu tracked transport vehicles. In the 1970s, the new terrain truck A-45 was introduced by Sisu. It was called Proto due to its nickname in prototype phase; in the 1980s its successor was SA-150. Its name was Masi (Maasto-Sisu whichis Finnish for "off-the-road Sisu").

The Finnish Defence Forces [FDF] had a requirement for a replacement to the ageing Russian BTR-60s in service at the time. The Finnish Firm Sisu Defense (now Patria Vehicles OY) built a wheeled 6x6 prototype "Pasi" (Panssari-Sisu which is Finnish for Armored Sisu) on a request from the Finish Defence Forces in 1980. A prototype of the first model, the XA-180, was handed over on 31 October 1983. The SISU XA-180 prototype was selected after trials, and an order for a total of 59 vehicles was places on 22 December 1983. Serial production of Pasi armored armored wheeled began in 1984, when XA-180 was put into production. The first vehicles were delivered in August 1984.

The basic design was based on easy usage, simple basic structure and low cost maintenance. The SISU XA-180 is a 6x6 APC capable of carrying 10 soldiers with a crew of two. It is amphibious. The welded hull is designed to stop small arms and shell fragments. It sports a 10 metric ton winch with 50 meters of 16mm cable. Its listed road speed is 100 KPH. Cleated snowchains extend the mobility of the XA-180, and had no noticeable effect on hard-surface roads. The XA-180 does not handle particularly well on snow and ice, and drivers are forced to slow down.

By 1987 the Pasi had effectively rambled through Finland's snow-covered forests, as well as the sandy wastes of Lebanon in use by UN soldiers and its reputation was only growing. At that time, Pasi's maufacturer, Sisu, had not managed to sell it abroad with the exception of the United Nations.

In July 1987 a deal between the Defense Ministry and Sisu Motor Vehicle Co. was signed providing for the manufacture by Sisu of over 300 Pasi armored personnel carriers and Masi all terrain transport vehicles over a 5 year period. The vehicles were basically the same as earlier models but a little more modern. The total value of the order was 310 million markkas. It was the biggest deal in Sisu's history. These special vehicles were manufactured at Sisu's Hameenlinna factories and will occuppied about half of the workers there. Eleven of the Pasis were shipped to Finnish UN peacekeeping forces in the Middle East. The rest were sent to defense installations throughout Finland where one of their uses will be for training. The armed forces placed most of the vehicles at various bases for use in personnel training.

Sisu operations manager Jorma S. Jerkku denied that the deal is a turning point for the company's fortunes. "The order is a real and important addition but Sisu would get along and grow even without it." Jerkku denied that the order was a lifesaver for the poorly faring company. "The order is a real and important addition for our operations but it is not a turning point. It does add to our long-term security. ... The financing of this deal is to be spread over 5 years meaning 60 million markkas a year. It needs to be remembered that Sisu has annual sales of 700 million markkas." Filling the order had a manpower effect of 580 man-years. The vehicles were built at the Hameenlinna factories of Sisu where about half of the employees were occupied in filling the order. The other half were building forklifts for export.

Sisu had been in a downward slide during the past few years, but operations manager Jerkku said that the increasing deficits were halted in the fall of 1986. Net income for last year was zero after years of losses amounting to tens of millions of markkas per year. The company felt that the decision to get out of the unprofitable passenger car field was the correct thing to do. Other corrective actions included the letting go of some employees and increasing production efficiency.

The XA-180 developed into the XA-185 in 1994. Main improvements of the XA-185 over the original production XA-180 can be summarised as a more powerful Valmet 612 DWI six-cylinder diesel engine and new stronger axles. Further development of the XA-185 resulted in the XA-186 which has a number of detailed improvements for UN-type missions. Besides a new engine and transmission, it features more firing ports and crew hatches. Another improvement is the fitting of a quick-camouflage system. That system includes a camouflage net that reportedly makes it virtually invisible to infra-red and radar observation.

The XA-188 is based on the XA-180 wheeled armored vehicle. XA-188 provides protection against shots of small-calibre weapons, mines and improvised explosive devices. This armored personnel carrier can reach speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour and has a power reserve of fuel at 600 kilometers. The XA-188 is equipped with a satellite navigation system and communication, and is armed with a 12.7 mm caliber machine gun.

Sisu Corporation lived until 1996 when it was split into several companies. The military business was turned to Patria Vehicles of Hameenlinna, Finland. The Pasi armored personnel carriers were adopted under Patrias product program, and remained an essential part of the vehicle range used by the Finnish Defence Forces.

Late in 2000, Patria Vehicles was awarded a contract worth about FMk400 million from the FDF for the supply of about 103 XA-202 (66) command and system platform versions. In addition there was also an option of another 70 units. Under the terms of this contract, the first small batch of XA-202 vehicles were delivered late in 2001 with the main production run being delivered between 2002 through to 2004. Final production models were the XA-202 and XA-203. The XA-202 has been developed as a platform for special command and communication systems, for which additional internal volume is required.

With over 1,300 manufactured vehicles to Finland, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands this vehicle type made huge success especially within various peacekeeping missions. The series has been exported to a number of countries due to its high performance on UN Peace keeping missions, as original sales and still proven popular with a number of second hand sales as more modern 8x8 vehicles such as the German Boxer and Patria AMV are being purchased as its replacement with those nations who originally purchased it.

Later on also Estonia s acquired XA- vehicles to its Defence Forces. In 2010 the Estonian Defence Forces presented the newly acquired armored vehicle personnel carrier Sisu XA-188 in Mnniku practice field. Estonia is buying 81 new armored vehicles from the Netherlands and they should gradually reach the members of the Defence Forces of Estonia by the year 2015.

Armored wheeled vehicles of Patrias XA series are still the ones most commonly seen on duty. The Dutch troops in Afghanistan used the XA-188 armored wheeled vehicles, and the Estonian troopsthe XA-180 EST vehicles. Moreover,the Finnish, Swedish, and Norwegian troops used both XA-180 and XA-230 equipment. In the Balkans, the Nordic troopsin the NATO-led KFOR operation had XA-185 and XA-203 equipment to support them. These vehicles were key to the operative ability of the Finnish and Swedish troops. In the operation in Chad, Finnish troops used NA tracked vehicles and XA-185 armored vehicles for troop transport.

In its conclusions, the Western EuropeanUnion report European armoured vehicles: current programmes recommended cooperation among European manufacturers and in European purchasing choices for WEU and EU member countries.

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Page last modified: 06-06-2021 18:20:06 ZULU