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SHERP – Case Study: 101 State Emergency Service of Ukraine

This Apocalyptic Vehicle Is Rescuing Survivors in Ukraine.

More Information about SHERP:

Ukrainian mud has a special kind of stickiness to it. There’s even a word for that time of the year when traveling through Ukraine is at its toughest moment: “bezdorizhzhya”, meaning “when the roads stop existing.” This is the point in the spring when the snow melts and everything turns to mud. It’s been infamously championed as “Ukraine’s secret weapon” against Russia’s tanks.

Mud aside, it’s getting harder to move through Ukraine anyway. Infrastructure Minister, Oleksandr Kubrakov, said earlier this month that 25,000 kilometers of road and over 300 bridges have been destroyed in the country since Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24. Combine that with 12.8 million people displaced in Ukraine and hostile airspace that threatens search helicopters, and the challenges in rescuing missing people are simply enormous.

The country has a secret weapon in store to get around the problem—a land vehicle that’s quietly at the forefront of humanity’s last frontiers. And in Kanye’s garage. Meet the Search & Rescue Utility Terrain Vehicle developed by SHERP, a Ukrainian-based, amphibious utility vehicle manufacturer that is rolling over every obstacle and trouncing the transportation landscape.

And most of all, SHERP is a mud expert. Last month, the Kyiv-based company delivered a state-of-the-art fleet of vehicles to the State Emergency Services in Ukraine Search and Rescue team. The impact has already been critical, playing a significant role in helping Ukraine’s Emergency Services rescue more than 1,500 people and evacuate 1.3 million more since the start of the conflict this year.

“It’s hard to explain in a few words. The capabilities are huge.” SHERP’s CEO, Viktoria Tverdokhleb, told The Daily Beast. “It’s the only vehicle in the world that can transition from water to ice.

”It’s true. In order to reach the unreachable, SHERP (which doubles as a name for the vehicle) can climb, haul, swim—and in some cases, even fend off bears. The body is hermetically sealed and floats, meaning even if the wheels fall off in the middle of a lake, it still won’t sink, and can slowly putter to dry land.

SHERP’s unique water-ice transition is made possible through a patented tire suspension system. When one tire bumps into an obstacle, the pressure can be distributed evenly to the others. Then the tires conform to the obstruction for superior grip on surfaces like ice and mud. They can even roll over sharp objects that would usually cause tires to pop.

SHERP markets its vehicle for an ability to power through mother nature’s worst and reach the most remote and inaccessible locations, even under severe nature and weather conditions. This is especially crucial for the search and rescue teams operating in Ukraine during the snow melt, when mud floods roads and ice breaks apart in rivers and lakes. SHERP was born for crossing the bezdorizhzhya that has made a graveyard out of so many Russian tanks.

The original prototype for the SHERP was conceived in 2012 by Alex Garagashyan, an engineer and inventor, and brought to life by Vladimir Shkolnik and Sergey Samokhvalov, both avid outdoor enthusiasts.

In 2015 the SHERP UTV entered the mass market, with its factory opening in Kyiv. Since then, five iterations of SHERP vehicles have been introduced, including the UGV platform, which is remotely controlled, and the ARK, which has a rear carriage that can transport up to 22 people. Today SHERP has 34 dealerships in 15 countries around the world.


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