Military Review

New old armor

BTR of the XXI century in Russia yet, but the existing has undergone a major modernization

The recent statements of the top officials of the Russian military department, including the chief of armament of the Armed Forces - Deputy Defense Minister of the Russian Federation, Army General Vladimir Popovkin, about refusing to purchase a number of armored vehicles left a somewhat ambiguous impression. If some decisions of the leadership of the Ministry of Defense look quite logical, others cause bewilderment. The latter are also connected with the further fate of the main wheeled vehicle of the Russian motorized riflemen - the BTR-80 armored personnel carrier.

Vladimir Popovkin, we recall, said that the Ministry of Defense will not buy the BTR-80, since the side doors are intended to exit the troops from this vehicle and the soldiers cannot leave it on the move. However, the side doors for motorized infantry are not a fad of the engineers who created the Soviet armored personnel carriers. This arrangement with the location of the engine and transmission compartment in the stern of the armored personnel carrier and the squad for the landing force in its central part was determined by the tactical and technical tasks for the development of the BTR-70 and BTR-80, which required the obligatory buoyancy of these vehicles. In addition, the possibility of landing on the move in the design of these armored vehicles still provided, although to leave them in motion is not very simple.


It is worth noting that the lateral location of the landing hatches is partly really not optimal, but at the same time it has such an important advantage as the possibility of disembarking and landing fighters under the cover of the board. In the case of an ambush attack on an armored personnel carrier with a rear ramp (with this arrangement, landing on the move just does not pose problems) a large rear hatch creates much more dangers for the landing force. A good shot from a grenade launcher, fire from small weapons from the necessary point threaten death to all people inside such a machine.

Of course, the side doors of the BTR-80 are also not without flaws. First of all, they are rather narrow, and therefore they are hardly adapted for quick entry and exit, it is more difficult to drag the wounded through them.

However, the above set of arguments and counterarguments about the layout of armored personnel carriers in general is somewhat unproductive. After all, we are talking about the use of armored personnel carriers created for the "big" war in the European theater of operations, in conditions of local conflicts and counter-terrorist operations. The soldiers themselves gave their answer to the question what location of the hatches for the landing was more convenient for such a war back in Afghanistan - since that time, and still the Russian infantry rides their combat vehicle exclusively “on horseback”. This means that fundamentally different armored vehicles and fundamentally different methods of its use are needed for pastry.

According to reports, the development of a new generation of armored personnel carriers in Russia is conducted at an accelerated pace. Nothing is known about the design of this car. However, we can confidently say that it will be noticeably more expensive than its predecessors. That is why it would make sense on a par with this, as long as the hypothetical new armored personnel carrier remains in service and well-developed, well-known among the troops and generally quite good BTR-80, subjected, of course, to serious modernization. Moreover, such an improved machine is already there. It is about the BTR-82 and the BTR-82A. They were created by a team of the Military Engineering Center (a design bureau as part of the “Military Industrial Company”) in close cooperation with specialists from the Russian Ministry of Defense and are preparing for serial production at the Arzamas Machine-Building Plant (AMZ). Currently, the joint commission, which includes developers, representatives of the manufacturer, customer and research organizations of the Main Automobile and Armored Directorate, has begun the final phase of the type test of two modifications of the new wheeled armored personnel carrier.


Last Friday, a public premiere of the BTR-82 and BTR-82А took place at the AMZ test site, which until now was seen only by a very limited circle of people, including Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. In general, the mobility, maneuverability and firepower of the new armored vehicles leave a very favorable impression.

The first thing that catches your eye when looking at the upgraded armored personnel carriers is a unified combat module instead of the former small turret. In the BTR-82 version, the KPVT machine gun of 14,5-mm caliber, classical for this model of domestic armored vehicles, is installed in it, and in the BTR-82A version - 30-mm automatic gun 2А72. Both options include the presence of a paired 7,62-mm PKTM machine gun. The combat module is equipped with electric vertical and horizontal pickups and a digital two-plane weapon stabilizer, as unified as possible with the BMP-2 stabilizer. Through the use of a stabilizer and electric drives, the crew of the BTR-82 (82А) was able to conduct aimed fire on the move. According to the developers, the shooting efficiency of the upgraded armored personnel carrier has increased approximately 2,5 times. It is important to note that on the BTR-82, where the main weapon is the 14,5-mm KPVT machine gun, the ammunition remained the same - 500 cartridges, but instead of 10 boxes with ribbons for 50 cartridges, as was the case on the BTR-80, there was a power system with a single ribbon, that is, the gunner is free from the need to make a rather time-consuming reloading of the machine gun after every 50 shots.

To improve reconnaissance capabilities and effectiveness of shooting, the gunner received a combined all-daily sight TKN-4GA (TKN-4GA-02) with stabilization of the visual field. He, according to the chief designer of the Military Engineering Center (VIC), Yuri Korolev, allows for the remote blasting of 30-mm shells. “The development of this type of ammunition is currently nearing completion,” said Yuri Korolev. Their adoption will significantly improve the capabilities of domestic armored vehicles to destroy enemy personnel under cover of terrain or in trenches.

To improve command controllability of the BTR-82 (82А), fifth-generation P-168 radio stations are installed on the machines, which are able to provide negotiations both in open and in confidential mode, the Tron-1 topographic orientation system and the combined observation devices of the commander TKN-AI . This device is equipped with a laser active-pulse illumination and allows the commander to detect the enemy at distances up to 3 km, gives an increased accuracy of distance measurement, eliminates the unmasking signs of infrared illuminators mounted on the BTR-80. The Tron-1 topographic orientation system is designed to determine the current coordinates of the vehicle and display its location on an electronic map of the area. It has autonomous and satellite channels for receiving navigation information. The system automatically helps to find out how far the destination is, automatically display destinations, control points and targets on an electronic map, record the route. In addition, work is currently underway to install on the BTR-82 (82A) a software and hardware complex for integration into a single tactical unit control system.


When upgrading an armored personnel carrier, the VIC designers paid serious attention to raising the level of crew and airborne protection, trying to squeeze everything they could from the basic design without a serious increase in vehicle weight. The internal surfaces of the armored hull, for example, are sheathed by an anti-splinter underlay that is a multilayer synthetic material such as Kevlar. It detains secondary fragments when penetrating armor and eliminates the possibility of rebounding a bullet from the sides.

It is not possible to significantly improve the mine resistance of the machine body, since the buildup of the bottom protection will inevitably lead to a sharp increase in mass and, as a result, an increase in loads on the undercarriage and transmission, which will entail a sharp decrease in their reliability. Yes, it is actually impossible, says the chief designer of the Vic. To increase the resistance of the existing BTR corps to demolitions to the level of MRAP-type vehicles, the armored personnel carrier must be built from scratch. To reduce the negative effects of explosions under the wheels or the body on the BTR-82 (82A) floors are covered with mine floor mats, which are a multi-layered rubber coating, the layers of which have different properties. These rugs partially dampen the effects of a blast wave.

In addition, the crew and assault seats will be equipped with a special suspension, which should also reduce the impact of the explosion energy on the people inside the armored personnel carrier. At the two experimental vehicles presented in Arzamas, such a suspension has not yet been established, since it is not easy to “fit” it into the limited interior space of an armored personnel carrier designed by 20 years ago. According to Yury Korolev, compared to the base case, the BTR-82 (82A) mine resistance increased by about 10 percent.

Another solution aimed at improving the survivability of modernized machines is the installation of an improved fire extinguishing system. In general, according to the developers, as a result of the implementation of a set of measures to increase the protection of armored personnel carriers, the survivability of the vehicle increased by 20%, its crew, units and systems could be guaranteed from being hit by enemy armor-piercing bullets from a distance of 100 m, and also from secondary defeat by shrapnel in the case of penetration of the main armor.

For the first time, an autonomous power unit with a capacity of 5 kW was installed on domestic armored personnel carriers. It saves the life of the main engine by eliminating its work in defense operations, at roadblocks, etc., increasing the life and charge of the battery, as well as reducing the visibility of the car in the thermal and acoustic ranges.

In order to solve paramount ergonomic tasks - the comfort of the crew’s stay in the car, reducing its fatigue when making marches and conducting combat, especially at elevated temperatures, an air-conditioning system is installed on the BTR-82 (82А). It also provides optimal working conditions for electronic devices and instruments.

The equipment of the new equipment has increased the mass of the BTR-82 (82А) in comparison with the baseline BTR-80 by about a ton. BTR-82 weighs 15 tons, BTR-82А - 15,4 tons. To maintain high mobility, they are equipped with new 300 l engines. with. They are 85% unified with serial engines designed for army trucks KAMAZ family "Mustang". Improvement of the suspension and installation of shock absorbers of increased energy intensity ensured a smooth ride and, as a result, allowed increasing the average speed of vehicles moving on rough terrain to 45 km / h. The axles of the BTR-82 (82А) are equipped with gear locking differentials, due to which the patency of the 30% is increased. Thanks to other measures to modernize the transmission, the service interval has increased significantly (for individual items it now reaches 15 thousands of kilometers - like in modern passenger cars) and the overall life of the armored personnel carrier.

The mobility of modernized cars on rough terrain, demonstrated during the demonstration races at the AMZ training ground, really looks quite impressive. In particular, machine-gun and gun armored personnel carriers easily climbed and descended from a hill, whose steepness by eye is comparable to the 40-percent calibrated lifting of the Dmitrovsky auto polygon. In other words, traveling in mountainous areas should not be a serious problem for these cars.

According to representatives of the Military Engineering Center, equipping motorized rifle divisions and units of the Russian Army with BTR-82 and BTR-82A armored personnel carriers will help to ensure parity with the same type of forces of the NATO countries equipped with the main mass armored personnel carriers. As for Chechnya, the introduction of anti-splinter podboy and mine mats is still unlikely to force the Russian infantry to hide under armor, although to some extent, make life easier for the crew. For the sake of fairness, it must be said that not every MRAP will save a blast on a bomb made of an 122-mm projectile and even a tank will receive very substantial damage. But the opportunity to conduct aimed fire on the move and expanding the potential of the armored personnel carrier to act in the dark in the North Caucasus, I think, will be appreciated.

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  1. SOLDIERru
    SOLDIERru 31 December 2010 19: 43
    We already have a miracle BMP-3. Which seems to be there, but it seems like not. Who saw her alive. And wisdom from scratch, this BMP-3. Why repeat the story with the APC. And yet this, albeit a controversial proposal. And if you return, albeit in limited quantities, allow for explosives, open APCs. Or make a roof, with the possibility of dismantling it.
  2. Vitmir
    Vitmir 20 January 2011 15: 09
    Strange vanity from scratch. They are afraid to drive inside - so it is necessary to raise the axle by half a meter and make a removable / tarpaulin roof, thus creating a BTR-80 mine-safe conveyor. Why not?

    Moreover, a fair opinion is the position:
    Apparently, it is necessary to create a single heavy machine, which could be both a tank, a BMP (which would be a tank support machine) and an anti-aircraft missile-cannon complex (ZRPK). The landing gear should initially be designed for both crew accommodation and airborne transportation (5 — 7 people), while the troop compartment can be used to accommodate additional ammunition.