FAI armoured car

The FAI (Ford-A Izhorskiy) armoured car was a replacement for the D-8 armoured car, used by the Soviet Union from the early 1930s to early 1940s.

FAI armoured car
Fai 6.jpg
TypeArmoured car
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service1933–41
Used by Soviet Union
WarsSpanish Civil War
Battles of Khalkhin Gol
World War II
Production history
DesignerIzhorskiy Zavod[1]
Specifications (FAI)
Mass1.75 tonnes (1.93 short tons)[1]
Length3.69 m (12.1 ft)[1]
Width1.73 m (5.7 ft)[1]
Height2.07 m (6.8 ft)[1]

Armor4–6 mm
7.62 mm DT machine gun (1512 rds.)[1]
EngineGAZ-A L-head I4[1]
42 hp
Fuel capacity40 L[1]
190–230 km (120–140 mi)[1]
Maximum speed 83.1 km/h (51.6 mph)[1]


The FAI was built on the chassis of the GAZ A car, a licensed copy of the American 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-M armoured car with UAZ-469 chassis, fake machine gun and fake frame aerial (real FAI never had radio), stored at Border Guard Barracks in Białystok, Poland
  • 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.[1]
  • FAI-M (ФАИ-М, «ФАИ-Модернизированный») - upgraded variant, since 1938. The FAI-M was converted from the chassis of the newer GAZ-M1 car with 60 L fuel tank using spare upper hulls.[1]
  • FAI-zhd (ФАИ-жд, «ФАИ-железнодорожный») - 1936 railroad conversion with steel wheels (only 9 were made).[1]
  • 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 1934 - 1935.[1][2]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t 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
  2. ^ инженер Е. Прочко. Бронированные разведчики // журнал "Техника молодежи", № 3, 1983. стр.28-29
  3. ^ Рыбалкин, Ю. (2000), Операция "Х": Советская помощь республиканской Испании (1936–1939) [Operation "X": Soviet aid to Republican Spain (1936-1939)] (in Russian), pp. 43–45
  4. ^ "VEHÍCULOS BLINDADOS" [Armored vehicles]. Fuerzas Armadas de la República (in Spanish).
  5. ^ Oswald, Werner (2003), Полный каталог военных автомобилей и танков Германии, 1900–1982гг. [Full catalog of military vehicles and tanks of Germany, 1900-1982] (in Russian), ACT/Астрель, p. 335, ISBN 978-5-271-04875-3


  • М. В. Коломиец. Лёгкие бронеавтомобили Красной Армии довоенной постройки ("Фронтовая иллюстрация" № 2 2007). – М.: ООО "Стратегия КМ", 2007.

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