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Not to be confused with batmobile.
Overambitious ratmobilists in Libya, 2011
Ratmobile convoy in Anbar province, Iraq, 2014 (Photo: US State Department)
Dead Ratmobile, Mali, 2013
Ratmobile on steroids (Libya 2015)
a mischief of armored ratmobiles
Brand new Toyotas at the site of the Camp Speicher massacre in Tikrit in 2014
Ratmobile to be backbone of Russian Army "Super-Light Battalion" announced in December 2016.
Ukrainian Banderomobile

A Ratmobile, also Technical[1] is the favorite means of transportation for Islamist fighters, spotted en masse at least since the 2011 western-supported campaign to get rid of Libya's independent government.[2] But already in 1987 a conflict between Chad and Libya has been dubbed the "Toyota War" thanks to the achievements of the Chadian army utilizing ratmobiles of that brand.[3] Recently they have been introduced to Ukraine by the pro-Maidan forces.[4][5][6] Often ratmobiles are a gift from wealthy foreign donors.[5][7]

Ratmobiles consist of a light flatbed truck, often Toyota,[8][9][10] with mounted more or less heavy weapons - the 12.7mm Soviet-era heavy machine gun nicknamed Dushka ("Sweetie" in Russian) being the most common choice. Typically manned by 6-8 young men in black clothes longing for the 7th century and engaging in feverish allahuakbarking.[11]

The modern ratmobile has its origins in the tachanka,[5] a horse-drawn platform mounting a heavy machine gun, invented by Ukrainian revolutionary Nestor Makhno,[12] who gave his name to Makhnovshchina – a state of violent anarchistic chaos.

The first vehicle carrying weapons, the Ur-mobile,[13] was manufactured in Ur, south of Baghdad, Iraq, around 2500 b.c. Around 1884 c.e., Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim invented the machine gun.[14] At first machine guns were mounted on elephants. The ratmobile combines a wheeled vehicle with a machine gun, resulting in a highly mobile platform of terror.[15]

A group of ratmobiles is called a mischief.


  • An armored ratmobile is called a shushpantser.
  • A jihad mobile is used for suicide attacks. It is often made by adding armor to a ratmobile. Sometimes IFVs or even main battle tanks are used.
  • According to recent leaks, the Russian military-industrial complex is working on Nanoratmobiles.
  • Iranian ratmobiles have recently been seen armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles.
  • A machine gun can also be mounted on a shopping cart or a wheelbarrow.
  • Russia has experimented with mounting a machine gun on the chassis of T-72 tank.[16]
    BMPT, armored vehicle of tank support "terminator", is an established, major, industrial-grade piece of military equipment (essentially a T-72 variant). Its multiple automatic guns, + PKMT, + AGS, are used to suppress infantry and protect tanks, especially in city battles; it also has multiple anti-tank missile launchers. Design is based on experience in Afghanistan and Chechnya, when 'Shilka' was used for a similar role. Video (Eng) explains differences between BMPT 1 (T-90 based) and 2 (T-72 based, cheaper, lighter, less crew members, other deficiencies also fixed)
  • Russian off-road Sherp beats the crap out of Detroit's competition, in a swamp-hogging exercise

ISIS Ratmobile Origins

Suicide vehicles

  • Stopped by Kurds, December 26, 2015
  • Rusvesna, report, photos and video (those captured vehicles are shown in the second half of the video, a loaded Mitsubishi pickup, also a BMP), June 20, 2016.


Controversial Dakota Johnson SNL - ISIS Toyota Commercial (plus original commercial snippet)

actual IS video, for comparison (Russian with English subs)



  1. How to pick up arms against Qaddafi, Colors Magazine, July 12, 2011
  2. Pickup Trucks for Libyan Liberation – D'Marge
  3. The Pickup Truck Era of Warfare, Jack Mulcaire, February 11, 2014
  4. Донецк, Спецназ штурмует с. Мар'їнка/Donetsk, SF storm v. Mar'inka – August 6, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Glorious Ukrainian Tachanka – СЛАВА УКРАЇНІ
  6. Azov battalion parade in Mariupol, June 13, 2015 (Video)
  7. This one Toyota pickup truck is at the top of the shopping list for the Free Syrian Army — and the Taliban – Stephen Snyder, April 01, 2014
  8. 2016 Toyota Hilux Unleashed: Favored By Militants, World’s Best Selling Small Truck - Angelo Young, International Business Times, May 21, 2015
  9. Why Is The Toyota Hilux So Popular Among Militants? (video) - International Business Times, May 26, 2015
  10. ISIS Has $1B Worth Of US Humvee Armored Vehicles; One Was Used In Monday's Suicide Bombing Near Baghdad - Angelo Young, International Business Times, June 1, 2015
  11. إستعراض مهيب لجنود دولة الخلافة بمدينة درنة الليبية (Majestic parade for the soldiers of the State of succession in the Libyan tuber) – Oct 5, 2014
  12. Nestor Makhno – Wikipedia
  13. Standard of Ur, British Museum, detail: war panel
  14. Maxim Gun, Wikipedia
  15. Pavel Gubarev presents a Novorossiyan ratmobile – Quote: "It is one of the most fearsome weapons of mobile war."
  16. Syrian Army Gets a New Russian Experimental Weapon - Marko Marjanović, Russia Insider, July 4, 2017