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BDU editorial
EQUIPMENT editorial

Combat & Survival/ April 2004


by Bob Morrison

...Our last rig is a Russian M-23 pattern, produced by SPLAV, which takes the basic design just a little bit further, though its origins are obvious. Our example is made from a waterproof fabric in the current Russian Woodland camo, but other colours are available. The major differences with this rig over the others are the sheer variety of pockets, the easy to use adjuster/quick-release buckles and the hanging straps which allow other items of kit to be slung from it. It too has a central map pocket between its layers and useses the cross-strap plus waist belt system, and even its basic shape is quite similar to the British one. However, it can carry a lot more ready ammo than any of the others. Our example has four pouches which can each carry a pair of AK-74 magazines, four pouches with internal elastic straps to carry a pair of under-barrel launcher rifle grenades, two separate pouches for individual special purpose rifle grenades, three pouches for fragmentation grenades (complete with fuse pockets and ring-pull lanyards) and two scabbards with Velcro and elastic fastening straps for bayonets or combat knives. Russia's recent experiences in Chechnya, where most of the fighting was on a par with the urban comabt seen during the Great Patriotic War (WWII) has seen the career wing of her armed forces evolve from a peasant army with only rifle, bread bag and personal weapon into a modern-day force to be reckoned with


SOLDIER OF FORTUNE / February 1997 (Russian Edition)


by Evgeny Rasskazov

..Another representative of new generation assault vests is the Tarzan M21, manufactured by "SPLAV". This one is intended for use by police special

forces, but may be used in combat operations. The creation of this model was inspired by real life events, as it is commonly know, many of regional and Moscow-based police units, such as OMON and SOBR, took part in combat operations in Chechnya. At that time many of their personnel just didn't have the proper webbing. Tarzan M21 is intended for use in special operations - conducted mostly in built-up areas. At the same time it is also suitable for use by both land vehicle-borne infantry and paratroopers. The M21 is made from hard-wearing material Kordura 400 and can be 'filled up' with ammunition for all variety of AKs, GPs, KS-23, pump-action rifles as well as PPKlin/KEDR systems. Tarzan has a 'double space' front, while the back is completely open. The advantage of this design is that while providing a significant payload space, it can be easily adjusted to the wearer's body size (height: 165 - 210cm / chest: 48(M) - 62(XXL)). Due to the unique design and different sorts of locks and fastenings, the whole payload is concentrated on the front part of the AV. Nowadays the TARZAN family is represented by a whole series, which include particular models made specially for the Army with a load capacity of upto 8-12 AK mags, 4 F-1 grenades or 24 VOG-25 grenades. There is also a purely 'police version' as well as first-aid/medical kit version and the one with replaceable parts (for special assault units). The open back provides for air circulation, which is important while engaged in intensive combat. I personally tried one on and have to say that it feels 'cool' and comfortable. This AV is definitely one of the best I've ever seen and tried on. Its design is very similar to V-96 assault vest from "ANA" (St Petersburg), which differs from the Tarzan by thick hard-wearing cotton it is made from with an intention to be used by MVD troops...

Translated into English by FSU Connections Ltd

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