If necessity is the mother of invention, despair may be its father… whatever this is, a clunky and overly conspicuous Ukrainian do-it-yourself modification of the classic Soviet vintage BRDM-2 reconnaissance vehicle is.

Among the dozens of improvised vehicles produced by Russian and Ukrainian workshops in the 15 months since Russia escalated its war on Ukraine, there are clear winners.

For example, the Ukrainian MT-LB-12 self-propelled gun. Also featured are various Ukrainian Frankenstein combat and engineering vehicles based on his captured Russian T-62 tank. And all armed with powerful S-60 57 mm guns on either side.

And there are losers. Perhaps most notably, a Russian engineer welded his 80-year-old naval turret onto his 70-year-old armored tractor to create a cumbersome unguided anti-aircraft gun.

The Ukrainian-made BRDM-2 mod, which first appeared this spring, is a close second. Oleksandr Tishchenko, lieutenant of the Lviv Regional Council, unveiled the first Franken-BRDM during a visit to the Eastern Front in Donetsk in April.

Reporting from the “combat units currently defending the eastern border of the country,” Tishchenko circulated photos of a BRDM-2 reconnaissance vehicle with a high superstructure instead of a turret with a regular machine gun.

The conversion appears to turn an 8-ton four-seater reconnaissance vehicle with four wheels and a 140-horsepower petrol engine into a very light armored personnel carrier. Removing the turret and its bustle creates an empty space inside the vehicle’s hull that can accommodate a few infantrymen.

However, the Franken-BRDM comes at the cost of additional troop carrying capacity by a new, much taller superstructure that could be a much easier target for Russian gunners. It was always risky to send a lightly protected BRDM in a dangerous direction.even more dangerous If your vehicle is over 10 feet tall. It’s about twice as tall as normal.

The Ukrainian military does not have enough APCs. This is evident in Kiev’s willingness to find some use for and donate to the war effort almost every old troop carrier or combat vehicle that one ally or another ally has salvaged from long-term storage. His light-skinned BMP-1 from the 1960s. A strange ex-Australian freight forwarder. A small Spartan from England.

But these BRDM mods (some of which have appeared since April) speak to a new level of desperation. There is no evidence that Franken-BRDM was knocked out. But that may be because there is no evidence that the Ukrainians allowed the strange APC to go near the front lines.

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