The first public information about the BTR-87 project appeared less than a year ago. This machine was present in the list of equipment, which was planned to show at the upcoming forum "Army-2015". However, the details of the project were not disclosed. In addition, a new type of car was placed in a closed exposition of the exhibition, because of which only a narrow circle of specialists and the military could see it. Other technology lovers had to wait until the spring of the year 2016.
Not so long ago, the Corps Factory plant (Vyksa), which assembles armor units for the production of military equipment, published a presentation on the development of production. Together with a mass of graphs and other information revealing the achievements of a production nature, a significant number of photographs and drawings got into the presentation. The presented photographic materials depict the equipment of the plant, as well as some of its products. On one of the pictures captured the latest armored personnel carrier BTR-87.
The only published image of the BTR-87. Photo from the presentation of the "plant buildings"
Thus, the presentation on the development of the "Corps Plant" was the first officially published document, which presents an image of a promising armored vehicle. Unfortunately, while in the public domain there is only one photo of the new armored personnel carrier, however, it can also tell quite a lot. In addition, it can also be the subject of much controversy.
According to reports, the BTR-87 project was developed by Military Industrial Company LLC as part of a deep modernization of the existing BTR-82A armored personnel carrier. The project was created on its own initiative and is intended primarily for export. At the heart of the new machine are some of the ideas and solutions characteristic of modern armored vehicles. This led to a serious change in a number of features of the machine, from the layout to the hull design. It is reported that for the construction of new technology had to develop a new armored hull, which is based on the basic units of the BTR-82A.
The main innovation of the BTR-87 project, which had the most serious impact on all the features of the car, is the new layout. In accordance with the latest trends in the field of armored vehicles for infantry, the new armored personnel carrier received aft troop compartment. Thus, the landing had the opportunity to dismount through the stern doors under the cover of the whole machine. It is believed that in such a case the disembarkation is safer than with the use of side doors characteristic of existing domestic armored personnel carriers.
In connection with the transfer of the troop compartment from the center of the hull to the stern, the authors of the new project had to change the placement of all the other units and compartments. In front of the body of the BTR-87 there is a control compartment (left) and the engine compartment (at the starboard side). Directly behind the engine compartment placed the fighting compartment with a swivel tower. The substandard units of the combat compartment, apparently, are located in the same volume as the landing places, as was done on other domestic armored personnel carriers.
As can be seen in the existing photo, the body of the new armored vehicle has a lot of differences from the basic design. One of the most notable is the lack of side doors of the troop compartment. It should also be noted that in connection with the use of the front engine compartment, the corps lost a commander's hatch and a right armored glass with a cover. The overall configuration of the frontal part of the body, in general, remained the same.
In connection with the transfer of the engine forward, the location of the crew seats was changed. The driver remained in his place, ahead on the left. Workplace commander, in turn, shifted back and to the left. The commander is now behind the back of the driver and must monitor the environment with the help of optical instruments on his hatch.
In the central part of the hull, with a certain shift to the stern, a turret machine gun-gun installation borrowed from the BTR-87А was installed on the roof of the BTR-82. The tower has a monitor layout and is equipped with a set of barreled weapons. The 30-mm 2А72 automatic cannon is used as the “main caliber”, the additional armament consists of a PKTM 7,62-mm machine gun and several smoke grenade launchers. Also, the tower is equipped with a set of necessary means of observation and guidance.
The hull feed is given for the placement of the landing force. Exact data on the size of the troop compartment is not available. It can be assumed that in terms of capacity it does not differ from the central troop compartment of the base BTR-82А. Landing and landing assault offered through the stern door.
In connection with the transfer of the engine to the front of the case, the design of the transmission had to undergo noticeable changes. In this case, the chassis remained the same - four axles with wheels on an independent suspension. In connection with the use of the stern doors, the armored personnel carrier received new propulsion for moving through the water. Instead of a single central jet, two separate ones are now used, placed behind the wheels.
The characteristics of the BTR-87 have not yet been disclosed. It can be assumed that the use of the developments of the BTR-82A project and the use of some ready-made units led to the preservation of characteristics, however, there are no exact data on this subject yet. They will probably be published in the foreseeable future, when the car will be offered to potential customers from third countries.
As follows from the available data, the main objective of the BTR-87 project was to increase the level of protection of the landing force when dismounting. It is widely known that the landing of domestic armored personnel carriers under enemy fire has always been quite a challenge. It was proposed to make the landing through the hatches of various shapes and arrangements. Only on the BTR-80 appeared side doors that can partially protect the infantryman. However, this did not lead to a significant increase in safety. At present, it is believed that the landing of the landing force should be made through the stern doors, thanks to which the soldiers are protected by the entire body of the vehicle with a corresponding decrease in the probability of their defeat.
The project BTR-87 completely fits into this concept. At the same time, it is based on the developments on the existing BTR-82A vehicle, which led to the appearance of several peculiar features. Nevertheless, the finished sample seems to combine the positive features of its predecessors and the advantages associated with the stern layout of the landing.
The project of modernization of the BTR-60 from "Muromteplovoz". Photo Muromteplovoz.ru
According to reports, the BTR-87 armored personnel carrier is primarily intended for export deliveries. From this point of view, the main advantages of this machine are comparative cheapness, unification with other Russian-made equipment and a noticeable improvement in the basic combat qualities associated with the re-assembly of internal volumes. Thus, after the official entry into the international market of military equipment, the new machine is quite capable of finding its buyer.
Interestingly, the BTR-87 project is not the first national attempt to improve the capabilities of existing armored personnel carriers by changing their design. Thus, a relatively long time ago, the Muromteplovoz enterprise proposed a project for the modernization of an outdated BTR-60 armored personnel carrier, implying the use of some new units. The use of the new engine allowed the authors of the project to move the engine compartment to the center of the hull, thereby freeing up space for paratroopers in the stern. For disembarking it is proposed to use two doors opening to the side.
Another significant innovation of the modernization project of the BTR-60 from Muromteplovoz is the use of a machine-gun turret based on the BTR-80A units. After installing such a combat module, the armored personnel carrier receives an 30-mm automatic gun 2А42, a 7,62-mm PKTM machine gun and an 30-mm automatic grenade launcher AGS-17, which greatly increases its firepower and allows you to choose the most suitable for current tasks weapon.
Also in the context of the modernization of relatively old Soviet / Russian armored personnel carriers, one should recall the Romanian projects of the Saur family. The aim of these projects was the deep modernization of the B33 Zibmru armored personnel carrier, which is a copy of the Soviet BTR-80. When creating a new technology, some new ideas were used, and nodes and aggregates of new types were used. The first car of this family, Saur-1, has a layout similar to that of the BTR-87, but it differs in approach to armament and other features. Its further development was the Saur-2 armored personnel carrier, which was seriously different from both B33 and Saur-1.
It should be noted that domestic and Romanian projects for the modernization of obsolete equipment have not yet led to the expected results. As far as is known, the BTR-60 renewal project and the Saur family cars have so far failed to interest potential buyers and, as a result, have not yet become the subject of contracts for the repair and renewal of equipment. With all their advantages, these developments for some reason have not yet been able to attract the attention of potential customers in the face of countries that need to update their equipment and are not able to purchase completely new machines.
The lack of orders for the existing modernization options of the Soviet / Russian armored personnel carriers makes it alarming to assess the future of the new BTR-87. With significant advantages, this machine may face the banal reluctance of potential buyers. In addition, from the order of the new technology, these states can repel economic problems.
Thus, the real prospects of the BTR-87 can still be the subject of discussion and controversy. Until a certain time, one can only try to make estimates and build forecasts that can later be confirmed or be refuted. At the same time, confirmation or refutation of current versions may appear both in the coming months and in a few years.
In some discussions of the BTR-87 project, there is an opinion that this vehicle was developed as a cheap and simple alternative to the promising armored personnel carrier "Boomerang". However, this version contradicts the available information on the export destination of the project. In addition, it is not consistent with the current plans for the development of armored infantry. At present, in our country, the modernization of the existing armored personnel carriers BTR-80 under the project BTR-82А. This allows you to significantly improve the fighting qualities of equipment, although it does not solve some of the existing problems: the project does not imply the transfer of side doors.
Modernization of the existing equipment will allow to maintain the required fighting efficiency of the subdivisions until the appearance of a sufficient number of new Boomerang-type machines. Thus, an additional order for the BTR-87 is redundant and redundant.
The appearance of the project BTR-87 is of great interest from a technical point of view. At the same time, the future prospects of this development are still foggy. With equal probability, this machine may either become the subject of an order or not receive the due attention of customers. Nevertheless, the emergence of this project demonstrates the desire of the Russian defense industry to take into account current trends and to occupy unused niches in the armament and military equipment market, using finished products and new ideas.
On the materials of the sites:
Presentation of the "plant enclosures":