The Sisu XA-200 series is much improved version of the previous XA-180. It looks little different from older models. The XA-203 armored personnel carrier is in service with Finland. It replaced the oldest XA-185 series APCs as an interim vehicle, until more Patria AMV are available. Other operators are Norway and Sweden (designated as the XA-203S). Early production version, the XA-188 is in service with the Netherlands.
This APC has improved armor protection over the original series. Armor upgrade was initiated after it was realized that protection of the previous vehicles was inadequate especially during peacekeeping operations. According to some reposts the older XA-180 and XA-185 models could be penetrated by 7.62-mm armor-piercing rounds in certain spots. Protection of the XA-203 can be further enhanced with add-on armor plates. This appliqué armor is relatively light, however it provides protection from up to 12.7-mm armor-piercing rounds. Some sources claim that the XA-200 series vehicles with add-on armor can withstand 14.5-mm projectiles. This protection can be installed by the crew in field conditions.
The XA-203 can accommodate a variety of modular turrets and remotely controlled weapon stations. It can mount external weapons ranging from 7.62-mm machine gun for defense to 90 mm gun for fire support. Finnish vehicles are fitted with remotely controlled weapon stations, armed with 12.7-mm machine gun. Vehicle is also fitted with modern optics and night vision equipment.
The Sisu XA-203 has a crew of three and accommodates 7 troops. Troops enter and leave via two doors in the hull rear or roof hatches.
Vehicle is powered by a Valmet diesel engine, developing 295 hp. Engine is located just behind the driver, on the left-hand side. The XA-200 series armored vehicles are not amphibious due to increased armor protection and weight. It can ford water obstacles up to 1.5 m deep. This APC can be modified if a client demands both heavy armor and amphibious capability, without compromising any of these qualities. It cam be airlifted by the C-130 Hercules.
The XA-203 APC can be configured to ambulance, weapon carrier or workshop.
Variants of the Sisu XA-200 series
XA-188, early variant of the 200-series with improved protection. It is in service with the Dutch army and marines;
XA-201 armored personnel carrier version for Danish trials. It lost competition to MOWAG Piranha;
XA-202 command vehicle, fitted with special communications equipment;
XA-203 armored personnel carrier (described above);
AMOS 120-mm self propelled mortar system.