BTR-40 in Israeli Yad la-Shiryon Museum
As you know, during the Second World War, armored personnel carriers were not produced in the USSR. In this respect, the Red Army was significantly inferior to the Wehrmacht. To some extent, the acuteness of the problem was mitigated by the supply of British and American armored personnel carriers under Lend-Lease, however, to fully equip at least motorized rifle battalions tank and there were clearly not enough mechanized brigades. The main means of transporting motorized infantry in the Red Army until the end of the war were cars and tanks.
MZA1 Scout Car
The construction program of the Soviet Armed Forces in the post-war period provided for the creation of several types of armored personnel carriers, both tracked and wheeled, at once. As a prototype for a light wheeled armored personnel carrier was taken the American sample Scout Car MZA1. This all-wheel drive armored vehicle was supplied to the USSR under lend-lease and was considered, perhaps, the most popular among the soldiers and commanders of the Red Army. MZA1 was widely used as a staff vehicle for reconnaissance, communications and support. All the prerequisites for the creation of a domestic version of such a machine have already been - since 1944, a new all-wheel drive truck GAZ-63 has been tested. A characteristic feature of the latter were wide tires 9,75-18 and lean-to rear wheels, which had the same track as the front. When driving through mud, snow, sand, all wheels went “next to the next”, without experiencing additional rolling resistance due to the difference in gauge. On the state tests of all-wheel drive cars GAZ-63 showed, as noted in the report of the Main Automobile and Tractor Office of the Red Army, "record-breaking patency."
The wheeled armored personnel carrier '141 Object' was developed from 1947 year
At the beginning of 1947, the design bureau of a two-axle 141 object, designed to carry eight infantrymen, a Soviet-style scooter, began in the OKB of the Gorky Automobile Plant, led by V.A. Dedkov. V.Kubtsov was appointed the lead designer. GAZ-63 chassis was used for this car, reducing the base by mm 600 and increasing the engine power by hp 10. Prototypes of armored personnel carriers, in the creation of which designers L.V. Kostkin, P. I. Muzyukin and others took part, were made at the end of the 1947 of the year. The prototype of the first version had a bearing armored body, which was closed on top with a canvas awning. The second variant differed from the first with the installation of machine guns KPV and SGM of caliber 14,5 mm and 7,62 mm, respectively, mounted on the bollard and allowing firing at both ground and air targets. The design of the case in both variants was the same. The sides had large angles of inclination, and in the lower part - the reverse angles, like in German armored personnel carriers. In the future, such armor plates were abandoned, using armored hulls with vertical sides — more capacious and easier to manufacture, although less bullet-proof.
Smaller than on the truck, the size of the engine compartment forced the designers to position the engine units in a different way. Due to almost equal load on the axles, the front and rear springs were made the same, equipping them first with four and then eight hydraulic shock absorbers. All cars equipped with winches.
In 1949, the armored personnel carrier successfully passed state tests and was adopted by the Soviet Army under the designation BTR-40. At the end of 1950, the mass production of the car began at the Gorky Molotov Automobile Plant, and its creators were awarded the Stalin Prize. The armored corps was manufactured by the Murom steam engine repair plant.
The layout of the BTR-40 is a classic car (with cab behind the engine). The armored personnel carrier has three compartments - the engine, control and combat (airborne). The engine compartment is located in the front of the case. It contains: an engine with a fan and electrical equipment, water and oil radiators, starting heater, oil and fuel filters, winch. Access to the engine compartment is carried out: to the engine and radiator - through the upper hatch, to the winch - through the front in an inclined housing sheet. Both hatches are closed with armored covers. In the cover above the engine and in the side inclined sheets of the housing there are louvers for the hot air to exit from the engine compartment, in the lower front part of the engine compartment there are louvers through which the main air flow for cooling the radiator enters.
Office of management is located behind the engine, in the open part of the case. It contains: controls of an armored personnel carrier, surveillance devices, instrumentation, a radio station, driver's seats (left) with a battery under it and a commander (right), with a gas tank in a niche under the seat, a tank with spare engine oil, a fire extinguisher and air cleaner. To the right of the commander and to the left of the driver in the lower zone of the hull there are side doors that open with hinges to the outside.
Combat (amphibious) branch is located in the middle and aft parts of the hull. In the fighting compartment of the serial BTR-40 there are: the machine gun SGMB, brackets for the installation of machine guns SGMB and DPM (installed with a special adapter), rocket launcher, clips for mounting two AK-47 submachine guns, as well as the laying of ammunition kit, seats for eight people landing, spare parts, first-aid kit and rear tank (at the right side under the seat of the landing).
The body of the armored personnel carrier is welded from rolled armor plates. The thickness of the front sheets is 10 - 15 mm, onboard 8 - 9 mm, feed - 7 mm. In the inclined sheets of the front of the case above the doorways there are viewing slots that are closed from the inside by the car armor valves. In the vertical side sheets, there are two round hatched covers for observation and firing from personal weapons landing. In the front sheet in front of the driver and commander there are hatches with armor covers attached to the sheet on two hinges. Surveillance devices with triplex glass blocks are installed in the covers. In the stowed position, manhole covers can be opened and secured on vertical posts. For observation outside the combat situation with open covers, windshields in metal frames with rubber seals and fitted with electric wipers are installed on the hatches. With the covers closed, the windshields are placed in special pockets located inside the armored personnel carrier. For landing and landing troops in the aft hull sheet has a double rear door.
The 7,62-mm machine gun SGMB is mounted using a standard machine consisting of a swivel, a sector and a bed. For mounting a machine-gun unit on an armored personnel carrier, there are four swivel arms: frontal (main), placed on the frontal sheet, lateral - on the right and left sides and rear - on the aft sheet of the hull. The ammunition of the machine gun (1250 cartridges) is loaded into ribbons and packed in five cartridge boxes. Four boxes are placed in a special piling in the fighting compartment at the starboard side of the hull, and one in the nest of the basket on the swivel of the machine-gun installation.
An 6-cylinder four-stroke carburetor engine of liquid cooling GAZ-40 with 78 power - 80 hp is installed on the armored vehicle. at 3400 rpm
The mechanical power train includes a single-plate dry-friction clutch, a four-speed gearbox, a transfer box with a dual-shift gearbox, two main gears with differentials and fully unloaded axles of the front and rear wheels. Front axles have hinges of equal angular velocity. A hydraulically actuated foot brake acts on all four wheels. Manual disc or drum brake mounted on the shaft of the transfer case and has a mechanical drive. The steering mechanism is a globoidal worm with a double roller.
Single disc wheels with removable side rings are equipped with 9,75-8 pneumatic tires. Wheel formula 4x4. The suspension consists of four semi-elliptic springs and four hydraulic piston double-acting shock absorbers.
In front of the armored vehicle mounted winch with power take-off from the gearbox. Winch winch - 4500 kgf, cable length - 75 m.
External communication is supported by the 10-PT-12 radio station.
The combat weight of the machine is 5,3 T. Crew - 2 man, landing - 8 man. The maximum speed of 80 km / h, the range on the highway - 285 km.
The first demonstration of the public armored personnel carrier took place during the military parade in Moscow on November 7 1951. To participate in the parade, armored personnel carriers were armed, apparently, to give a more impressive appearance. The 12,7-mm DShK machine gun was mounted on the front swivel bracket, and the SGMB machine gun was mounted on the two side arms.
Almost simultaneously with the BTR-40, there was a development of its modification, which received the designation BTR-40А. In fact, it was an anti-aircraft self-propelled unit.
Anti-aircraft installation ZTPU-2 with two machine guns KPV caliber 14,5 mm mounted on a pedestal in the troop compartment. The maximum angle of elevation of machine guns + 90 °, declination - 5 °. For firing at ground targets there was an OP-1-14 telescopic sight, an aerial one - a VK-4 collimator sight, an ammunition load - 1200 cartridges. The installation was controlled by a single gunner using a mechanical manual drive. The composition of the calculation included two loaders (one per machine gun). Effective fire was provided by air targets flying at speeds up to 600 km / h at altitudes up to - 1000 m. The horizontal range of effective fire was 2000 m.
BTR-40А was adopted in the 1951 year, and a year later launched into mass production. On the basis of the BTR-40, the BTR-40PX chemical reconnaissance vehicle was produced. It differed from the base machine by the installation of the corresponding equipment. BTR-40 quickly gained popularity among the troops. Simple according to the instructions, a small, but mobile, multi-purpose armored vehicle, created by automotive aggregates mastered by industry, was widely adopted in the army. It was used for the transport of infantry, was used as a tractor in anti-tank artillery, as well as a commander, communications and reconnaissance vehicle. BTR-40 operated in border and internal troops.
The baptism for the BTR-40 became events in Hungary in the 1956 year. After another version appeared - the BTR-40B, which had a welded hull with an armored roof. For landing and landing troops in the roof there were two large hatches, closed with covers. Body height increased by 130 mm. Side brackets were installed to install the machine gun and two additional embrasures were introduced in the inclined roof sheets. Thanks to the roof, the survivability of the armored personnel carrier has increased, especially when conducting street fighting. However, the number of landing places had to be reduced to six.
BTR-40 in the Israeli Museum Batey ha-Osef
At about the same time, the 1 modification of the BTR-40В, equipped with a centralized system for regulating air pressure in tires, appeared. The booster system included a compressor mounted on the engine, a receiver, a distribution valve and several pipelines. Air was supplied to each wheel from the outside through the dumbass. Using) the same system, the phenomenon was reduced in tires in order to improve the patency of the armored personnel carrier. The introduction of a system for regulating air pressure in tires increased the machine’s permeability and the bulletproof wheels. However, the outdoor air supply had low reliability, especially when driving through wooded areas. BTR-40V was not accepted for service and was not in serial production.
It is necessary to mention another modification of the BTR-40 - railway. This machine was a kind of armored rubber. It was equipped with steel rollers with internal flanges, which were attached to the reclining levers with spring shock absorbers. Movement on rails provided the main wheels, and lateral stability - rollers. The time required to go to the rails was 3 - 5 minutes. In the 1969, several BTR-40 and BTR-40А were converted into the rail version. A number of these machines still in 1997 year continued to serve in the Trans-Baikal Military District.
Serial production of the BTR-40 ended in the 1960 year. In addition to the Soviet Army, the BTR-40 was in service with the armies of the countries participating in the Warsaw Pact, as well as a number of non-member states, such as Albania, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Israel, Indonesia, Iran, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Laos, Mongolia, Ethiopia and many other countries in Asia and Africa. In the armies of these countries, the BTR-40 and BTR-40A were actively used in local conflicts in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa.
In some countries, modified armored personnel carrier. In particular, it sometimes installed a large-bore machine gun DShK or machine guns of other systems of foreign production. In the National People's Army of the GDR, the 9P110 launcher with ATGM "Malyutka" was mounted on parts of machines. In Indonesia, the BTR-40 was also upgraded quite significantly. The hull was covered with a roof, while its height was significantly increased. slits with glass blocks, installed smoke grenade launchers.In Egypt, in 1960-ies, under the obvious influence of the BTR-40, the Va-Leid armored personnel carrier, which looked very much like it, was developed. ka Magirus, slightly larger in size.
As the Soviet Army entered into its service, more modern BTR-40 armored personnel carriers were transferred from motorized rifle troops to other types of troops for use as combat support vehicles, as well as for training purposes. In the internal military districts, the latest modifications of these machines carried service until the beginning of the 1970-s. Armored personnel carriers have already been removed from service in the Russian Army in 1993.