Listva: The Nuclear Missile Bodyguard. Unique vehicle fries IEDs to protect Yars mobile nukes

The Listva is a unique custom-built armoured vehicle designed to protect convoys columns escorting mobile nuclear missiles by remotely finding, neutralising, and detonating mines in its path.

The vehicle has a large antenna that uses ultrahigh frequency waves to ‘fry’ the electric components in an explosive device dozens of metres away. Crew members operating outside the vehicle must wear special suits to avoid being fried as well. The Listva also boasts an ultra-wideband electromagnetic generator that emits radio signals to detonate devices triggered by remote control.

The remote demining vehicle was designed by the experts who created the Yars mobile nuclear launchers and its predecessors, the Bulava and Topol. These nukes on wheels first emerged in the 1980s when satellite technology made it possible to identify silo-based missile sites. These launchers could quickly be moved and hidden in forests, making them harder to locate.

It was the catastrophic prospect of a Yars convoy encountering a mined or booby-trapped road that prompted the creation of the Listva. The heavily armoured vehicle moves at the front of the nuclear convoys, scanning the surrounding area and instantly detecting and destroying any hidden explosives well ahead. Even though the vehicle has a top speed of 60kph, it travels at no more than 40kph while in demining, and usually at 10-15kph on forest roads.

There has never been a vehicle like the Listva, and there is nothing like it in the world, making it the pride of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces.

 

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