FAI armoured car
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|FAI armoured car|
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|Used by||Soviet Union|
|Wars||Spanish Civil War
Battles of Khalkhin Gol
World War II
|Designed||1931 - 1932|
|Produced||1933 - 1935|
|7.62 mm DT machine gun (1512 rds.)|
|Fuel capacity||40 l|
|190 - 230 km|
The FAI was built on the chassis of the GAZ A car, a licensed copy of the US Ford A. This chassis was the major weakness of the FAI. Most commercial car chassis were not powerful enough to move a useful amount of armour or firepower on the battlefield. The Germans were known to get round this particular problem by designing a car chassis that was intended from the outset for both civilian and military vehicles and which was used successfully in at least one German armoured car family of this period. However, armoured cars based on commercial car chassis were for the most part, road-bound, thinly armoured and lightly armed. The FAI was a typical example of this class of vehicle with a single 7.62 mm DT machine-gun in a revolving turret. The armour was sufficient to stop most shell fragments and small arms fire, but could not withstand any kind of cannon or heavy machine-gun fire. It was also very vulnerable to mines.
The FAI was built in relatively small numbers before being replaced by the very similar BA-20. The early BA-20 had the same vertically sided turret as the FAI. FAIs were employed in the early days of fighting on the Eastern Front in World War II.
The FAI and BA-20 series had a few advanced features. They were of all-welded construction in an era when very few AFVs were welded. Also, they had cork-filled tires to enable them to retain mobility even if the tires were penetrated.
The FAI and BA-20 are often mistaken for each other. The main recognition feature of the FAI is the two dome-shaped armoured covers over the driver and co-driver's stations. The BA-20 had a flat armoured roof in this area instead.
- FAI (ФАИ, «Форд-А, Ижорский»). The FAI was built on the chassis of the GAZ A car, a licensed copy of the US Ford A with 40 l fuel tank.
- FAI-M (ФАИ-М, «ФАИ-Модернизированный») - second variant, since 1934. The FAI was built on the chassis of the GAZ-M1 car with 60 l fuel tank.
- FAI-zd (ФАИ-жд, «ФАИ-железнодорожный») - 1936 variant (only 9 were made).
- GAZ-TK (ГАЗ-ТК, «ГАЗ-Трёхосный, Курчевского») - The armoured car was built on the chassis of the GAZ-AAA and equipped with 71-ТК radio. Only one prototype was made in 1935.
- Mongolian People's Republic - 15 (since 1936)
- Second Spanish Republic - 20
- Nazi Germany - The Germans used at least one captured FAI-M.
- Максим В. Коломиец. Броня на колёсах. История советского бронеавтомобиля 1925-1945 гг. М.: "Яуза", ООО "Стратегия КМ", "Эксмо", 2007. ISBN 978-5-699-21870-7
- Ю. Рыбалкин. Операция "Х". Советская помощь республиканской Испании (1936-1939). М., 2000. стр.43-45
- VEHÍCULOS BLINDADOS - Fuerzas Armadas de la República
- Вернер Освальд. Полный каталог военных автомобилей и танков Германии, 1900 - 1982. М., АСТ, "Астрель", 2003. стр.335
- М. В. Коломиец. Лёгкие бронеавтомобили Красной Армии довоенной постройки ("Фронтовая иллюстрация" № 2 2007). – М.: ООО "Стратегия КМ", 2007.
- FAI at Battlefield.ru
- U.S. WWII Newsmap, "Russian Armored Vehicles", hosted by the UNT Libraries Digital Collections