5,000 cars every month - that's how many cars volunteers hand over to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The more intense the battles, the more cars are needed. Buses and minivans, SUVs and crossovers are requested by front-line units. Sometimes scout fighters need small utility vehicles to remain inconspicuous in the tall grass. The greatest demand at the front is for pickup trucks and SUVs.
These cars are high and roomy, so they are able to overcome off-road conditions and carry weapons and ammunition, food and water, spare parts and backpacks with personal belongings of fighters in the luggage compartment.
Ideally, the car is armored, has four-wheel drive, a frame and a diesel engine. Diesel fuel is supplied centrally to the army. Therefore, the diesel engine allows you to save time in search of gasoline and refuel the car together with other military equipment.
The list of the most popular front cars includes Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi L200, Ford F-250.
Oleksandr Pugach, head of the "HEROCAR" project, says:
"We hand over the Ford F-250 and Ford F-350 to the military. These are very powerful frame vehicles with a six-liter diesel engine. Any MANPADS or machine gun can be installed on such a pickup. The load capacity of the body of the first model is 1.5-1.8 tons, the second - up to 2.5 tons. Some of the cars that we transferred to the front have already installed full-fledged anti-aircraft guns that weigh 2.2 tons. The car works great and performs the task. Ford pickups use mobile anti-aircraft fire groups, which are equipped with machine guns and MANPADS hunt for drones and missiles. According to the "Guardians of the Sky" program, 19 such vehicles are patrolling in the central part of Ukraine and around Kyiv, three are working in the east, and ten are on their way to Ukraine."
In the combat zone, pickups are used by fire support groups and attack aircraft. Mortars, grenade launchers, and other weapons are transported in the luggage compartment. They drive as close as possible to the positions.
Due to their high cross-country ability and large size, pickup trucks are also used for medical evacuation. One of the volunteers, who is engaged in buying cars for the Armed Forces, told how a classic pickup is adapted for the needs of medics:
"For this, the interior is connected to the trunk, over which a canopy is made. The result is a tall and long car that can accommodate stretchers."
Air reconnaissance prefers frame SUVs. The high passability and reliability of cars are also important to these units, but a capacious closed trunk is better for transporting expensive and delicate equipment than an open cargo compartment.