Military Review

Steel Scouts



At the beginning of the 1960-ies in the Soviet Union, work began on the creation of a new "steel" intelligence officer to replace the already outdated BRDM armored reconnaissance vehicle, which was in service with the intelligence units of the Soviet army. In 1962, the design bureau of the Gorky Automobile Plant, under the direction of chief designer V. A. Dedkov, began designing a new generation machine - the BRDM-2. And already 22 of the same year, an armored reconnaissance and patrol vehicle BRDM-2 was adopted by order of the Minister of Defense of the USSR. For the first time, the BRDM-2 was publicly demonstrated at a parade in Moscow on Red Square in 1966. The BRDM-2 was mass-produced at the Gorky Automobile Plant from 1965 to 1989 a year.
The new machine embodies the best qualities of its predecessor, while possessing a much greater firepower, better driving performance and a higher level of crew protection. When creating the BRDM-2, in comparison with the BRDM, it changed the layout, introduced the tower, installed reinforced weapons, improved the design of power transmission units, chassis, electrical equipment, communications equipment and auxiliary systems.

The BRDM-2 was built in a rear-engined layout layout. Unlike the BRDM, in the front part of the corps there was a control department, in the middle - a fighting compartment, and in the aft - a force one. Such a layout, compared with the BRDM layout, made it possible to improve the visibility of the terrain from the driver’s workplace and to improve the navigational qualities of the vehicle, since the installation of the engine in the rear of the hull ensured a stable trim on the stern. At the same time, the driving axles and cardan gears to them were under the bottom of the case, thereby disrupting its streamlined shape. Above the fighting compartment in the center of the corps was mounted on a chase a welded rotating machine-gun turret, unified with the BTR-60 PB armored troop-carrier tower.

Fully enclosed sealed enclosure of the machine has a welded structure and is made of rolled steel armor plates. The thickness of the armor in the frontal part is 10 millimeters, the front part of the welded conical turret is made of armor plates 6 mm thick. Armor protects against bullets and shrapnel, artillery shells and mines of small caliber.

The armament of the machine included a BPU-1 turret machine gun of circular rotation with sufficiently powerful armament - a 14,5-mm KPVT heavy machine gun with 500 rounds of ammunition and 7,62 mm paired with it tank Kalashnikov PKT machine gun (2000 rounds of ammunition). The KPVT large-caliber machine gun and the PKT machine gun mounted in a rotating armored conical tower were mounted in a rigid welded cradle. Shock absorbers, box holders, sleeve bends and sleeve collectors were fixed to the cradle.

Lifting mechanism - sector type, swivel - gear. Drives pointing weapons - manual. For firing from weapons for the arrowhead was provided periscope sight PP-61 A.
In the front part of the vehicle, in the department of management, the workplaces of the driver and commander of the vehicle were equipped (his place is on the starboard side). For the observation of the car there were two large windows, closed with armored valves, if necessary, and ten prism instruments: four TNP-1 devices from the commander and six TNP-A devices from the driver. In addition, the commander had at his disposal a periscope surveillance device TPKU-2 B with a fivefold increase. At night, the commander of the machine, instead of the daytime surveillance device TPKU-2, installed the night one - TKN-1 C, and the driver-driver - the night vision device TVN-2 B. night vision devices were equipped with a special device - a shielding device (curtain). Over the places of the driver and the commander in the roof of the hull mounted large hatches. On the sides of the car were embrasures for firing personal weapons, tightly covered with armored valves.

BRDM-2 had higher speed characteristics than BRDM. When driving on the highway, it reached a maximum speed of 80 km / h. The smallest radius of its rotation was 9 meters. On rough terrain, the car overcame obstacles with the largest angle of elevation - 30 degrees, vertical wall - 0,4 meters and a moat width 1,22 meters. An important combat characteristic of the BRDM-2 is the range in 750 kilometers.

The power plant, consisting of 8-cylinder carburetor V-type engine GAZ-41 liquid cooling, power 140 hp at 3200 rpm, moved to the stern, which allowed to improve the internal layout of the machine.

The chassis was not fundamentally different from the BRDM chassis, with the exception of the suspension, where telescopic hydraulic shock absorbers were installed on each axle, instead of lever-piston ones, and consisted of front and rear axles, suspension, four main wheels and four additional wheels, descending to overcome trenches and trenches up to 1,2 meters wide. Additional pneumatic wheels were made leading driven by transmission. The front wheels were controlled by a steering mechanism equipped with a power steering. By car there was a system of centralized regulation of air pressure in tires. Brakes - Shoe, sealed, with hydraulic drive and pneumatic amplifiers. Water cannon and drive to drive wheels could work if necessary at the same time. Thus, a very high throughput of the machine was ensured.

Increased patency BRDM-2 designers paid close attention. After all, intelligence officers have to act day and night, in spring and late autumn, in the summer heat and in the winter cold. And to move in the rear of the enemy such a machine has not only the highway. Therefore, it was made adaptable to various road conditions, capable of equally confidently overcoming the sodden roads, plowing, wetlands, sands and snow covered in snow. All four main wheels BRDM-2 - leading. On steep climbs or other difficult terrain, the driver shifted to a lower gear and turned on the front axle. If this was not enough, it was possible to reduce the specific pressure on the ground or increase it by turning on the tire pressure control system. This could be done both in the parking lot and when the car was moving straight from the driver’s seat. Normal tire pressure - 2,7 kgf / sq. Cm. At the meeting of the marsh area, the driver switched on downshifting and reduced tire pressure. At the same time, they seemed to flatten out, and the area of ​​the support increased sharply. BRDM-2 although at a reduced speed, but still confidently could continue to move. In other conditions, it was necessary to increase the pressure in the tires - for example, when driving on the sand, when it was necessary to keep track of the car ahead. In winter, the snow cover depth to the 0,3 meter at the BRDM-2 could have been driven without reducing the pressure in the cylinders, since the wheels were pushing the snow down to the frozen ground and well adhered to it. At higher drifts, the pressure in the slopes decreased.
The movement of the BRDM-2 on the water was carried out with the help of a jet propulsion unit (installed in the stern) with hydraulic actuators for controlling the damper and a wave-reflector shield. The water wheels of the car were interlocked with the steering mechanism. The four-bladed screw sucked in water through the suction inlet located in the bottom and threw it through the hole in the rear hull sheet. While driving on land, this hole was closed with a special armored damper. Reversing was provided by changing the direction of rotation of the screw. For turning afloat served water rudders, located in the outlet of the jet propulsion. The drive to them is interlocked with the drive control wheels. The safety of movement on the water was provided by a surge panel (when driving on land, it is installed in the lower position to improve visibility) and a high-performance bilge system. The maximum speed afloat was 10 km / h.

The car was equipped with a winch mounted in front of the hull.

BRDM-2 received modern radio equipment, which included: VHF radio station P-123 with a range of stable radio communication in the micro-phone mode to 20 kilometers. At the same time, the search-free entry into the communication and its uncomplicated conduct were provided, which sharply increased the efficiency of work. In the conditions of lack of time for intelligence, this was of considerable importance. In addition, the BRDM-2 was equipped with additional equipment, including: navigation equipment TNA-2 with course and track sensors, control panel and coordinate calculator, converter and course indicator. These devices automatically determined the coordinates of the machine and indicated the course (directional) angle of its movement. The machine was also equipped with a DP-ZB X-ray; military instrument of chemical intelligence VPHR; supercharger to create excess pressure inside the machine; fire extinguishing means; windscreen blowing system; heater; towing fixtures; a water pumping device operated by a water jet (with two valves for draining water from the hull) and life jackets STZH-58.

BRDM-2 was highly maneuverable fighting vehicle. The increase in engine power, the improvement of power transmission units, the introduction of a rotating turret and the installation of more powerful weapons increased the combat effectiveness of the machine and ensured reliable operation of the units and systems. The car had high dynamic qualities, a large stock of travel, increased maneuverability and was able to overcome water obstacles on the move. BRDM-2 has proven itself in combat in numerous local conflicts.

BRDM-2 was in service with the intelligence and staff units of the Soviet army, as well as in the communications and chemical forces. They were widely used in the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the border troops of the KGB and the marines of the Navy. Self-propelled anti-tank systems of all types were in service with anti-tank units of motorized rifle and tank regiments.

BRDM-2 was baptized in the Middle East during the Arab-Israeli war in 1973, and then used in Vietnam, in numerous military conflicts in Africa and in the Iran-Iraq war. In the units and subunits of a limited contingent of Soviet troops in Afghanistan, the BRDM-2 was used mainly for patrol and guard duty.

In the process of producing the BRDM-2, they repeatedly upgraded, including installing a new machine-gun turret with an increased vertical weapon pointing angle and more modern sighting equipment, similar to the BTR-70 M equipment. and more powerful and economical diesel engine YMZ-2, thanks to which its speed increased to 534 km / h.

On the basis of armored reconnaissance and patrol vehicles, the BRDM-2 created and launched into mass production a large number of combat vehicles of various types with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons.
At present, an armored reconnaissance and patrol vehicle BRDM-2 D, intended for conducting tactical reconnaissance, combat and guard guard, and combat reconnaissance and sabotage groups, is in service with the Russian army and all armies of the CIS countries.

BRDM-2 and machines based on it, including anti-tank systems and anti-aircraft systems, were actively exported and in different years were or are in service with the armies of more than fifty other countries of the world.

The latest deliveries of the BRDM-2 abroad were made in 1995, when the Russian Federation transferred 45 machines of this type for free to arm the police forces of the newly created Palestinian Authority.

Brdm "Vodnik"

By the end of the twentieth century, since the possibilities for further improvement of the BRDM-2 were practically exhausted, a new family of highly mobile wheeled multipurpose vehicles (armored personnel carriers) was developed in the design office of GAZ OJSC, which received the general name Vodnik. They are intended for use as military, staff and auxiliary vehicles in armored and unarmored versions. Depending on the modification, they are able to move quickly both on roads and on impassable terrain at distances up to 1000 kilometers without additional refueling. These vehicles develop 112 – 140 km / h speed and are capable of transporting 10 men (motorized rifle squad) in fully enclosed paratroopers or equipped with weapons from a hand-held infantry to a 120-mm mortar.

Thus, Vodnik can be used as a light armored personnel carrier, a command and control vehicle, a transport vehicle for transporting infantry and cargo, and, moreover, as a platform for an 120-mm mortar.
To replace the BRDM-2 on the basis of the Vodnik all-terrain vehicle, they created a 21st century reconnaissance and patrol vehicle, distinguished by its lightness, high road performance and a wide range of modular armament, which allows it to be used to solve various combat missions. At the military exhibition in Omsk in 1995, several types of Vodnik cars were demonstrated for the first time, including an armored reconnaissance and patrol vehicle equipped with a rotating turret with a 14,5-mm KPVT machine gun.

Two machines of the Vodnik family are currently produced: GAZ-3937 and GAZ-39371. In accordance with the selected layout scheme, each of the machines has three compartments: a control compartment (with two locations on the GAZ-3937 and three seats on the GAZ-39371), a combat compartment, and a power transmission compartment.
The combat crew of the vehicle consists of 10 – 11 people: the commander of the squadron (machine), the driver and the landing force in the amount of eight (GAZ-3937) or nine (GAZ-39371) people.

The main feature of the "Vodnik" is the modular design of its welded body. The case has two removable modules - front and rear. The front module includes the engine compartment and the control compartment, separated by a sealed bulkhead. The rear module is a useful volume of the machine, which can be used for transporting people and goods, installing weapons, special equipment and mobile installations. The main advantage of the machine is that due to the quick coupling of the rear module and the housing support flange, it is possible to quickly replace various modules even in field conditions.

In total, the "Vodnik" has 26 replaceable modules, with which you can quickly and with the use of simple devices to convert the machine from one option to another. For combat purposes, there are modules with an 14,5-mm machine gun, with an 30-mm automatic cannon, as well as with various anti-aircraft missile and anti-tank missile systems. The modular design, besides allowing to unify the chassis for machines of different purposes, also has a positive effect on the survival of combat installations. In the event of a defeat of a vehicle with a combat module, the installation of weapons can be promptly rearranged to one of the support vehicles built on the Vodnik chassis.

To protect the crew worked out a few booking options. The hull of the Vodnik, depending on the purpose of the vehicle, is made of armor steel, which protects the crew from 7,62 mm bullets and fragments. Front and rear modules can be performed as armored or unarmored, depending on the tasks performed by a particular machine. In addition, to increase the level of protection can be installed on the machine additional armor.

The armament of the combat module depends on the purpose of the vehicle. Currently, machines with combat modules armed with two 7,62-mm PKMS machine guns and a turret machine-gun installation from the BTR-80 with the 14,5-mm KPVT machine gun and the 7,62-mm PKT machine gun are being tested.

The chassis "Vodnikov" of all modifications is unified and made on the wheel formula 4 x4. It consists of four wheels with independent torsion bar suspension on wishbone with hydraulic telescopic shock absorbers. Only front wheels are driven. To regulate the pressure in the tires has a centralized system. The excellent dynamic qualities of the Vodnik are ensured due to its high power availability. With a total mass of 6,6 – 7,5, it is equipped with a diesel engine with an output of 160 l. with. and a five-speed gearbox.

When driving on a highway, the maximum speed of 112 km / h is ensured. Without preliminary preparation, the machine forces the ford to the depth of the 1,2 meter. Cruising on fuel consumption at a speed of 60 km / h exceeds 1000 kilometers.

The equipment installed on the machines includes a tank intercom P-174, a heater, an air conditioner, and fire extinguishing agents. The installation of the radio station Р-163 – 50 У, navigation equipment and special equipment: centralized fire extinguishing system, radio station, navigation equipment and other equipment is also foreseen.


The BRDM-3 reconnaissance and patrol vehicle (factory designation GAZ-59034 “Buynost”) was developed by the design bureau of GAZ OJSC. It is designed to support the actions of intelligence units in the depth of the enemy’s defense at a distance of 120 kilometers. Production of BRDM-3 was mastered at the Gorky Automobile Plant in 1994, in parallel with the production of the BTR-80.
The BTR-3 A armored personnel carrier was used as a base for building the BRDM-80 A. The main difference between this modification and the standard armored personnel carrier was the installation of a new, more powerful weapon system mounted on an armored carriage mounted on a turret of circular rotation. The removal of weapons from the inhabited premises of an armored personnel carrier allowed an increase in the volume of under-turret space, an increase in the convenience of the gunner’s work and, most importantly, the solution of the problem of noise and gas pollution in the fighting compartment during firing.
According to the purpose and location of the mechanisms and equipment, the new reconnaissance and patrol vehicle has three divisions: control, combat and engine-transmission. The combat crew of the vehicle consists of 6 people: the commander of the intelligence department, the driver, the gunner, and three scouts. The crews' workplaces are equipped with seat belts, a system of general, individual and emergency lighting with an automatic device for switching to the auto-tracking mode when the car’s landing hatches are open.

Reservations - bulletproof. The machine is equipped with devices for protecting the combat crew from the effects of a shock wave and penetrating radiation, from radioactive dust, bacterial agents, toxic substances and powder gases when operating in contaminated areas.

Like the BTR-80 A, the reconnaissance and patrol vehicle is armed with a cannon-machine-gun turret with an external 30-mm 2 А72 automatic cannon and a PCT 7,62-machine gun coupled to it. The angle of horizontal firing of this complex is 360 degrees, the verticals provide angles from –5 to + 70 degrees, which allows firing not only at ground targets, but also at low-speed air targets.

Ammunition for both guns and machine guns is loaded into cartridge belts and each is placed in its store, which are located in the turret. At the same time, the power of the gun is two-tape: one tape is filled with shots with high-explosive and fragmentation-tracer shells, and the other with armor-piercing tracer shells. Switching power from one tape to another is made instantly, thus allowing to quickly hit both manpower and armored targets and enemy firing points. Ammunition gun consists of 300 shots, machine gun ammunition - 2000 cartridges.

Installing a powerful 30-mm cannon on an armored personnel carrier dramatically increased its firepower and essentially turned it into a wheeled infantry fighting vehicle. In addition to the main armament, the BRDM-3 was also equipped with smoke grenade launchers for the installation of smoke screens.

To conduct reconnaissance, the machine is equipped with a ground-based radiological station, a laser reconnaissance device, chemical reconnaissance equipment, night binoculars, a mine detector, TNA-4 – 6 navigation equipment.

In addition, the BRDM-3 is equipped with communications equipment, an automatic fire extinguishing system, masking devices, water pumping devices and a winch for self-draining. In terms of equipment composition, speed characteristics and maneuverability on rough terrain, the BRDM-3 does not differ from the basic model of the BTR-80 armored personnel carrier.

The BRDM-3 is equipped with a KAMAZ-7403 turbo-charged diesel engine with a maximum power of 260 l. with. In one block with the engine, the units of mechanical transmission are combined, which allows you to quickly replace the power plant in the field.

Chassis BRDM-3, similar to the BTR-80, with the wheel formula 8 x8. In this case, both front wheel pairs are driven. Individual torsion bar suspension. The wheels are fitted with wear-resistant tires KI-80 or KI-126, which allow them to continue driving when they are shot. There is a system for regulating air pressure in the tires.

BRDM-3 has a passability comparable to that of a tracked vehicle. It overcomes the rise of the steepness up to 30 degrees, the vertical wall up to half a meter high and the ditch the width of the 2 meter, can move with a side angle angle of 25 degrees. Water barriers the car overcomes with the speed of 9 – 10 km / h. Movement afloat is provided by the jet propulsion. When driving on a highway, the car has a maximum speed of 90 km / h.

At the beginning of the 21st century, a fundamentally new tracked armored reconnaissance and patrol vehicle, the BRDM-3, was created in Russia, designed to conduct deep reconnaissance in the enemy's rear. It carries a universal armament complex consisting of an 30-mm 2 A42 automatic cannon, an 7,62-mm PKT machine gun coupled to it; 30-mm automatic grenade launcher AKS-17; two Igla anti-aircraft missile launchers; launcher ATGM "Attack". This weaponry, along with powerful anti-fragmentation armor, allows to reliably protect the crew in possible fire contacts with the enemy. The machine received primarily new reconnaissance assets, including an optical-electronic reconnaissance station; laser rangefinder; radio and electronic intelligence facilities; unmanned aerial vehicle and unmanned ground reconnaissance vehicle.


The design of the BRDM BM 2 T provides low visibility in the radar, thermal and optical ranges.

The combat weight of the BM 2 T “Stalker” is 27,4 T, the maximum speed of the vehicle reaches 95 km / h.
The armored reconnaissance and sabotage machine BM 2 T "Stalker" has a spaced booking. It is equipped with a passive multichannel optoelectronic complex providing round-the-clock detection, recognition, determination of coordinates and tracking of targets with the possibility of transmitting the received data to a command post or weapon carrier in automatic mode. The transportable stock of ammunition, fuel, water and food provides combat autonomy up to 10 days.
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  1. huginn
    huginn 2 March 2011 08: 19
    BRDM 2T (RDM-2T) "Stalker" - created by the Belarusian company "Minotor-Service".
  2. PSih2097
    PSih2097 27 May 2011 12: 19
    I like water more.
    1. barium
      barium 9 October 2020 10: 31
      VODNIK - very interesting !!!!
  3. Joker
    Joker 27 May 2011 12: 42

    - a nice car, only the armor is a bit thin, according to the results of running in an experimental batch in Chechnya. By the way, the tiger is on the same base, but there are versions much better armored.
  4. panzersoldat
    panzersoldat 12 August 2011 12: 59
    I heard that the STALKER can withstand a 30mm BB projectile in front of 300m.
    1. Joker
      Joker 12 August 2011 13: 59
      And why not, it's on the basis of BP-3, and her forehead is well protected.
      1. Joker
        Joker 18 August 2011 23: 59
        Quote: Joker

        BMP-3 meant.
  5. panzersoldat
    panzersoldat 8 September 2011 17: 35
    Of course, I wildly apologize, but not much in common is visible with the BMP-3.
    1. Joker
      Joker 13 September 2011 08: 51
      Yes, the kit covers everything.

      BRM 3 was created on the basis of BMP 3, and a stalker was created on the basis of BRM 3.
      If ATGM and needle are roughly added, as well as a radio-absorbing body kit.

      Look at the running gear.

  6. Insurgent
    Insurgent 1 October 2011 20: 46
    Stalker self-development Minotor-Service stalker forehead holds 35 mm shell
    1. Joker
      Joker 11 October 2011 10: 41
      The stalker is based on the BRM-3 Lynx, which in turn has a BMP-3 base.

    2. Joker
      Joker 11 October 2011 11: 07
      I found out and clarified.

      BMP-3 / BRM-3 and 2T Stalker are created on the same GM-352 chassis, by the way on which Tunguska is created.

      Seeing a similar arrangement of the rollers of the undercarriage and a similar silhouette, I decided that the Stalker was created on the basis of the BRM-3 “Lynx”, which in turn was created on the basis of the BMP-3

      Summary, Stalke is indeed an independent development, but they have a common base in terms of chassis.

      To the topic of our conversation below BRM-3 “Lynx”:

    3. kesa1111
      kesa1111 15 October 2011 14: 47
      The idea itself is magnificent, and a scout and saboteur. To develop for RA conceptually I will shake, but more modern.
  7. erix-xnumx
    erix-xnumx 5 November 2011 15: 33
    All the same, in my opinion, all these BRDM-3, "Lynx" and "Stalkers" are too big for a reconnaissance vehicle. You need a car similar in size to the BRDM-2, no more.