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Russian armored vehicle the 'Punisher' tested in Moscow

Russia has reportedly tested a 12-ton armored off-road vehicle set to go into mass production.

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Malaysian soldiers in an armored personnel carrier (R) travel in a convoy in Felda Sahabat on March 6, 2013. (Mohd Rasan/AFP/Getty Images)

Cue the memes: Russia has reportedly tested the "Punisher," a "menacing" off-road armored vehicle that weighs 12 tons and can accelerate up to 150 kilometers an hour. 

The vehicle was tested at Dmitrovsky Testing Ground outside Moscow, according to the Moscow Times. It can seat 10 people and repels 7.62-millimeter bullets. 

The Punisher was designed for use against street protesters, the New Times magazine reported. It's one of several designs its drafters say were inspired by similar armored personnel carriers used in Apartheid-ruled South Africa in the 1970s, according to the magazine. 

The turbo-charged car is set to be mass-produced next year, and has been touted as the fastest armored off-road vehicle used by special forces anywhere, according to the Facebook announcement cited by the Moscow Times. 

"This was caused by the necessity to swiftly upgrade the Russian Army’s mothballed armored vehicles, a process that in reality takes plenty of time," defense expert Viktor Baranets explained to the Voice of Russia.

"Another aspect is the Russian Defense Ministry’s drive to avoid purchasing foreign armored personnel carriers and focus on buying domestically made vehicles instead. At present, the BTR-82A can rightly be touted as one of the best armored carriers in the world."

The vehicle boasts a 730-horsepower engine, the same used in the Kamaz truck, a popular player in the off-road race the Dakar Rally, according to the Moscow Times. 

Russia isn't the only country putting some serious weight behind their armored vehicle development. Israel is busy launching a group of light, "lethal" vehicles that are created specially for urban battles, Defense News reported

More from GlobalPost: Sales of armored cars soar 10 percent in Mexico as drug war escalates

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/130306/russian-punisher-armored-vehicle-tested-moscow