The Czech Republic has been among the most active countries in supporting the Ukrainian military with donations and sales of weapons and ammunition “A Gift for Putin” is reimagining the concept of military aid. Instead of making a donation to an NGO or waiting until governments agree on weapon support, it urges supporters to help strengthen the Ukrainian military via an online purchase of equipment and weapons. From medical equipment or ammunition worth hundreds of crowns to firearms selling for thousands of crowns and a tank with a price tag of CZK 30 million. The new crowdfunding campaign “Gift for Putin” has successfully raised new funds to purchase 15 Viktor mobile short-range air defense systems for Ukrainian Army.
The Viktor is based on a civilian Toyota pickup chassis fitted with a modernised variant of the Czech anti-aircraft weapon with a pair of ZPU 2 machine guns design by the Czech defense company Excalibur Army. The ZPU is a family of towed anti-aircraft gun based on the Soviet 14.5×114mm KPV heavy machine gun. The mobile short-range air defense systems use highly effective 14.5×114 mm ammunition to destroy airborne or, if necessary, ground targets. It has a robust construction and good firing accuracy – the effective range is over 2 kilometres. The Viktor is equipped with a day and night anti-aircraft sight, as well as a sight for direct fire on ground targets.
Alongside the Kalashnikov, one of the most ubiquitous brands being used in various conflicts across the World is the iconic Toyota pickup. The Viktor uses a modified Toyota pickup chassis including a reinforced suspension and a modified body allowing firing from inside of the crew cabin. Using the Toyota chassis, the vehicle offers high mobility in the road and off-road conditions. The hardwearing and extremely reliable Toyota ticks all the boxes for carrying out such a task. These rapid-fire 14.5 mm machine guns have a ready-to-fire supply of 300 rounds in magazines, and another 300 rounds in spare magazines directly on the gun carriage, with additional rounds carried in boxes on the hull of the vehicle.
With an experienced operator, it is very effective against medium and large drones, as well as aircraft and helicopters operating at low altitudes, as well as lightly armored vehicles, enemy fortifications, and is quite devastating against live forces. The carrier of this anti-aircraft system is a modified Toyota off-road vehicle with reinforced suspension and a special adapter on the hull that allows firing directly from the vehicle. Thanks to its powerful four-litre engine and 4×4 drive, the Victor provides excellent mobility and the ability to move quickly, even in difficult terrain.