Armored Fighting Vehicles 




 
 
Index 
Light Armored Vehicles:  Infantry Fighting Vehicles:  Main Battle Tanks: 
BRDM-2 
BMP-1 
T-54/T-55 
BTR-60PB 
BMP-2 
T-62 
BTR-70 
BMP-3 
T-64 
BTR-80 
BMD-1 & BMD-2 
T-72 
BTR-50 
BMD-3 
T-80 
MT-LB 
T-90 

Light Armored Vehicles

BRDM-2 Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle

The BRDM-2 is a fully armored, four-wheel-drive, amphibious reconnaissance vehicle. It has two-pairs of belly wheels and a centralized tire pressure regulation system for increased cross-country capability. The BRDM-2 has a box-like hull with a boat-shaped bow. The engine is mounted in the vehicle rear and there is a small conical turret mounted on the hull above the belly wheels. The driver sits at the front of the hull on the left with the vehicle commander to his right. To enter the vehicle, the crew must climb through two roof hatches. The hull, which is constructed of welded steel, provides the crew with protection from small arms and shell splinters. The turret, which is very similar to that of the BTR-60PB and Czechoslovak OT-64, is located in the center of the vehicle and is armed with a 14.5-mm KPVT machine gun with a 7.62-mm PKT machine gun. On either side of the hull adjacent to the crew position, there is a firing port. Immediately behind the firing port are three vision blocks which protrude from the outside of the hull, giving some vision to the front and rear of the vehicle. The belly-wheels are chain driven and are lowered by the driver and give the BRDM-2 improved cross-country performance and the ability to cross ditches. The driver can adjust the tire pressure on all four tires or individual tires while the vehicle is in motion to adjust to the ground conditions. The BRDM-2 is fully amphibious. It is propelled in the water by a single water jet at the rear of the hull. The vehicle has an over pressure NBC system. The BRDM-2 is equiped with infrared driving and search lights, a radio and aninertial land navigation system. At the fron tof the vehicle is a winch which has 30-m of cable and has a maximum load of 4000-kg.

VARIANTS :

BRDM-2-RKha (Radiological-Chemical-Biological Reconnaissance Vehicle) This is the chemical reconnaissance verion of the BRDM. It is equipped with lane-marking poles and flags. The flag/pole dispensers are located on the rear corners of the vehicle hull. This version retains the standard 14.5-mm machine-gun.

BRDM-2-RKhb This is another chemical reconnaissance version which is armed only with twin 7.62-mm PKT machineguns.

BRDM-2U Command Vehicles The BRDM command vehicle consists of a BRDM-2 with the turret removed and additional radios and antennas added. There is also a generator which is often mounted on the vehicle roof, immediately behind a central hatch which is in place of the turret.

BRDM-2 with AT-2b SWATTER-C ATGMs This vehicle consists of a BRDM-2 with its turret removed and in its place, a quadruple launcher for the AT-2 ATGM which was converted from its original radio command-to-line-of-sight guidance to semi-active infra-red/command guidance. This missile weighs 29.48 kg and has a range of 3500-m compared with the 3000-m of the original Swatter. A total of eight SWATTERs is carried including the three in the ready to launch position.

9P122 BRDM-2 with AT-3 SAGGER ATGMs This vehicle is a BRDM-2 with its turret removed and fitted with a platform, under which are mounted six SAGGER AT-3 ATGMs. This platform is carried within the hull under armor protection whicle travelling. When engaging targets, the platform is raised. The gunner, who is seated on the right side of the vehicle, controls the missile through a sight mounted on the front right of the vehicle roof. The vehicle carries eight additional missiles, and the platform can be rearmed while lowered.

9P148 BRDM-2 with AT-5 SPANDREL ATGMs This vehicle consists of the BRDM-2 with the turret removed and replaced with a rotating ATGM launcher. The crew reloads the launcher through a small hatch located behind it. The gunner controls the missiles through a sight mounted on the front right of the vehicle. On 9P148 ATGM carriers, the launch platform can be fitted with AT-4 Spigot ATGMs. The vehicle can carry either 10 AT-5 SPANDREL reloads or a combination of AT-4 and AT-5 (i.e. 6 AT-5 and 8 AT-4).

SA-9 GASKIN Surface to Air Missile System The SA-9 GASKIN consists of a rotating surface-to-air missile launcher/turret mounted on a modified BRDM-2 chassis (the belly-wheels have been removed). The launcher/turret is fitted with four SA-9 GASKIN infrared-seeking, fire-and-forget missiles, and is manned by one man. An additional missiles can be carried on either side of the hull.


BTR-60PB Armored Personnel Carrier 

The BTR-60PB is an eight-wheel-drive vehicle with evenly spaced wheels, except for a slightly larger space between the second and third wheels. It has a long, boat-like hull with well-sloped armor on the sides and overhead armor cover. Its small conical turret is identical to that of the BRDM-2. The turret sits over the second set of wheels and mounts co-axial 14.5-mm and 7.62-mm machine guns. The BTR-60PB has a three-man crew: the commander, the driver, and the gunner. There are two semicircular hatches for the crew in front of the turret. The vehicle also has two rectangular hatches behind the turret for mount and dismount of up to eight passengers. There are three firing ports in each side of the troop compartment. The rear-mounted power plant employs two 6-cylinder, 90-hp gasoline engines. A single waterjet propels the vehicle through water. The tires are partially filled with a foam-rubber-like substance. They have a centralized pressure regulation system. The hull of the BTR-60PB is all-welded steel with the driver and commander seated at the front of the hull, personnel compartment behind them and the engine compartment at the very rear of the hull. The turret, which is identical to that fitted to the BRDM-2 and the Czechoslovak OT-64 (8 x 8) APC, is armed with a 14.5-mm KPV machine gun and a 7.62-mm PKT machine gun mounted coaxially to right with the telescopic sight mounted coaxially to the left. The two gasoline engines are mounted at the rear of the hull: the first and third axles are powered through the transmission of the right engine and the second and fourth axles through the transmission of the left engine. All eight wheels are powered and the first four, which are used for steering, are power-assisted. The vehicle can be driven with one wheel missing from the second axle. A central tire-pressure regulation system fitted as standard on all BTR-60 series APCs enables the driver to adjust the tire pressure to suit the ground being crossed. The BTR-60P is fully amphibious being propelled in the water by a single water-jet mounted at the rear of the hull.

VARIANTS:

BTR-60P This is the original BTR-60, and it has no overhead cover or turret. The troop compartment is completely exposed and is often covered with bows and canvas.

BTR-60PA This model, also referred to as the BTR-60PK, has complete overhead armor protection for the troop compartment and is fitted with an NBC system.

BTR-60PBK This is a command variant of the BTR-60PK used by company commanders.

BTR-60 1V18 This vehicle serves as an artillery observation post and is fitted with additional radios and fire direction computers.

BTR-60 1V19 This vehicle serves a the fire direction center for wheeled artillery and MRL batteries. It is also equipped with additonal radios and fire control computers.

BTR-60PU Command Vehicle The vehicle, which serves as a mobile command post, consists of a BTR-60PA with a generator mounted on the roof, and various antennas mounted on the roof and hull sides. Most often, this vehicle is fitted with a 10-m HAWKEYE antenna at the right front, and often with a CLOTHESLINE rail antenna running along thefront, left, and rear of the hull roof.

BTR-60PU-12 Command Vehicle

BTR-60PU-12M This is a BTR-60PU-12 fitted with equipment to serve as an air defense command post vehicle.

BTR-60P Maintenance Assistance A number of older BTR-60P APCs have been converted for use in the maintenance assistance role and have a raised tarpaulin cover over the troop compartment that runs almost to the rear. This may have the designation of MTR-2.

BTR-60PB Forward Air Control Vehicle With the armament removed and replaced with a plexiglass window, and additional radios fitted, this vehicle acts as a forward air control vehicle. A generator is mounted on the hull rear to provide power for the additional electrical equipment. 


BTR-70 Armored Personnel Carrier 

The BTR-70 is a successor vehicle to the BTR-60PB. Both vehicles have the same turret armament. The BTR-70 is slightly longer in the hull. It also has a recognizable gap between its front set of road wheels and the rear set. Triangular-shaped access doors are in this lower hull space on both sides of the vehicle. They provide side entrance and exit for troops. (The BTR-60PB has only top hatches.) Also, the wave deflector attaches differently on the BTR-70 than on the BTR-60PB. The BTR-70 has two upgraded, 8-cylinder, 120-hp gasoline engines. The hull, which provides improved protection over the frontal arc as compared to the BTR-60, is of all welded-steel. Like the BTR-60PB and BRDM-2, the BTR-70 is has a small conical turret armed with a 14.5-mm KPT machine gun and a coaxial 7.62-mm PKT machinegun. The troop compartment can hold six infantry men, seated facing out and each is equiped with a firing port and vision block. The BTR-70 is equipped with an NBC protection system, a central-tire regulation system, and a fire detection/suppression system. Mounted at the front of the hull is a winch which has 50-m of cable and can pull 6000 kg. The BTR-70 is fully amphibious. It is propelled in the water by a single water-jet at the rear of the hull. Theis space provide in the troop compartment for light antitank and crew-served weapons such as RPG-7 and two AGS-17 automatic grenade launchers.

VARIANTS :

BTR-70 M1986/1 In an effort to improve the armament and survivability of the BTR-70, several improvements were made including: improved turret with high angle of fire weapons and smoke mortars, modified wave deflector, additional side armor brackets, and top mounted firing ports.

BTR-70Kh This BTR-70 variant is used to conduct chemical reconnaissance.

SPR-2 A proximity fuse jammer mounted on the BTR-70 chassis. This vehicle is the successor to the tracked SPR-1. This jammer is designed to prematurely detonate proximity fuzzed artillery rounds.

BTR-70MS Maschina Svyazi (signals vehicle) used as a communications support vehicle.

BTR-70KShM Komandno-Shtabnaya Maschina (command and control vehicle) used as a mobile command post vehicle.

BREM repair and recovery vehicle Bronirovannaya Remontno-Evakuatsionannaya Mashina (armored repair and recovery vehicle) consists of a BTR-70 with the turret removed and replaced with a crane and other repair equipment. 


BTR-80 Armored Personnel Carrier 

The BTR-80 is the successor to the BTR-70 and has several significant improvements over the earlier wheeled APCs. The BTR-80 retains the same, boat-shaped hull front, and sloped sides, although the rear deck has been reconfigured by raising the rear and squaring off the rearward-sloping engine compartment. The side-half doors of the BTR-70 have been replaced by full side doors, and the firing ports have been modified to face forward. The BTR-80 has a hull of all-welded steel armor construction. The twin gas engines of the BTR-70 have been replaced by a single, more-powerful diesel engine which give the BTR-80 better performance and lower the risk of fire. The turret, which is similar to that on the BTR-60PB and BTR-70, is armed with the 14.5-mm KPV heavy machine gun and coaxial 7.62-mm PKT machine gun. This turret is improved in that it can be elevated to +60 degrees compared to the +30 degrees of earlier vehicles. The sighting system for the machineguns is improved as well. There are six 81-mm smoke mortars mounted on the rear of the turret which can be fired from inside the vehicle. The full side doors of the BTR-80 are positioned between the second and third axles of the vehicle. Each side door consists of an upper half which opens forward, and the lower half which opens down and forms a step ladder for troops entering or exiting. The upper half of the door is also fitted with a firing port. The crew of the BTR-80 consists of a commander, gunner and driver, and can carry seven infantry men. There are three forward-facing firing ports along the length of the hull, one at the front of the vehicle for the commander, and two in the roof hatches. The front two firing ports are designed for the 7.62-mm PK general purpose machine guns. The remaining firing ports are designed for AKMS/AK-74 individual weapons. The BTR-80 is fully amphibious and has a front-mounted winch, overpressure NBC system, night vision equipment and a central tire-pressure regulation system.

VARIANTS:

BTR-80K This is the commander's variant of the BTR-80, and is equipped with an 11 meter telescopic mast. The vehicle enables the commander of a motorized rifle battalion to control his unit and maintain communications with the regimental commander. For this purpose it is fitted with two R-163-50U VHF radio sets, two R-159 remote VHF radio sets, and a TNA4-6 type navigational device with an indicator board.

BTR-80UNSh The UNSh variant of the BTR-80 was developed as a common base for command and staff duties, for fire control and radar vehicles as well as for mobile radio communication posts. With a wider and raised superstructure, the vehicle gives greater space for operators and additional equipment.

BTR-80 Medical Vehicles The BTR-80UNSh vehicle has been adapted to a series of medical vehicles. BMM-1 is a medical evacuation vehicle, BMM-2 is a battalion medical station, and the BMM-3 is a mobile dressing station with a team of doctors and an AP-2 set of equipment. Up to four casualties on stretchers can be carried inside the hull, and an additional 12 can be housed in an attached tent.

RKhM-4 Chemical and reconnaissance vehicle.

2S23 Self-Propelled 120-mm Combination Howitzer-Mortar Available details of this are given in the Self-Propelled guns and howitzers section.

BTR-80A This vehicle incorporates a new turret system which is referred to as the modular weapon station (MWS). The MWS is of all welded steel construction. Mounted externally on the top of the turret is the same 30-mm 2A42 cannon that is fitted to the BMP-2. A PKT 7.62-mm machine-gun is mounted coaxially to the right of the 30-mm cannon. Mounted on either side of the cannon is a bank of three 81-mm electrically operated, forward firing smoke grenade launchers. Turret traverse is through 360? with weapon elevation being between -5 and +70?. Although it lacks the protection level of the BMP-2, the BTR-80A has the advantage of a higher road speed and range and, therefore greater strategic mobility.

BREM-K The recovery version of the BTR-80 (8 x 8) APC is referred to as the BREM-K, although it also has the designation GAZ-59033. Standard equipment includes an A-frame, which, tow bars, small stowage platform to the turret rear and stabilizers under the nose of the vehicle. This vehicle is not armed.  


BTR-50P Amphibious Armored Personnel Carrier 

The BTR-50P is based on the chassis of the PT-76 light amphibious tank with a new superstructure added to the front of the vehicle. The hull of the BTR-50P is made of all-welded steel with the crew compartment at the front, open-topped troop compartment in the centre and the engine compartment at the rear. The torsion bar suspension consists of six rubber-tired road wheels with the drive sprocket at the rear and the idler at the front. There are no track-return rollers. The first and last road wheel stations have a hydraulic shock absorber and the steel tracks each have 96 links when new. The 20 infantrymen sit on bench seats which run across the full width of the vehicle and enter and leave by climbing over the side of the hull. Armament consists of a pintle-mounted 7.62 mm SGMB machine gun. When the BTR-50P was originally introduced there were ramps at the rear of the hull to enable a 57 mm anti-tank gun M1943 (ZIS-2), 76 mm divisional gun M1943 (ZIS-3) or an 85 mm division gun D-44 to be carried and fired from the rear decking. The weapon could also be fired when the vehicle was afloat, but only when the water-jets were in operation. The engine used in the BTR-50P is one half of that fitted to the T-54 MBT. The vehicle has three fuel tanks, two in the right forward side of the engine compartment and one at the rear. The BTR-50P is fully amphibious and propelled in the water by two water-jets at the rear of the hull. The only preparation required before entering the water is to erect the trim vane at the front of the hull and switch on the two electric bilge pumps. There is a manual bilge pump for emergency use. Steering is accomplished by opening and closing the two doors over the rear water-jets: to go left the left water-jet is covered and to turn through 180? the left water-jet sucks in water and the right water-jet pushes it out. The basic BTR-50P has no NBC system.

VARIANTS:

BTR-50PA This model is almost identical to the BTR-50P but does not have the loading ramps at the rear of the hull. It is sometimes armed with a 14.5 mm KPVT heavy machine gun mounted over the commander's position. BTR-50PK This model has full overhead armor protection and NBC system with the troops entering and leaving the vehicle by two rectangular roof hatches that open either side. In each side of the hull there are two firing ports and in the roof at the front of the hull a single piece hatch cover that opens forwards. Two ventilators are fitted, one at the front of the troop compartment on the right side and one at the rear of the troop compartment on the right side. The BTR-50PK is normally armed with a 7.62 mm SGMB machine gun in an unprotected mount.

BTR-50PU (Command) There are at least two models of the BTR-50PU (Command), designated the models 1 and 2. The model 1 (early model, very rarely seen today) has one projecting bay whereas the model 2 has two. The right bay on the model 2 has three vision devices and no cover. The BTR-50PU has three compartments: engine, commander's and driver's. The last two are fitted with special equipment and a total of 10 seats, four for the commander and his staff, four for the radio operators and two for the vehicle commander and driver. In addition, the staff compartment accommodates a collapsible table for working the maps and documents, a small table for the commander, two hammocks for resting and three ladders. An emergency escape hatch is provided in the floor of the vehicle and the interior of the vehicle has thermal insulation. External equipment includes infra-red searchlight, four whip antennas, an 11 m telescopic mast, battery charger, armored box for a fuel drum and three stowage boxes. Extensive communications equipment is provided including radio, radio relay and wire equipment. This includes an R-112 radio, R-113 radio telephone, R-105U radio telephone, R-403BM two-channel radio relay telephone half set, 10-line field telephone switchboard, four telephone sets and four reels each with 600 m of two-wire cable. A gyro course indicator and course plotter are the basis of the navigation system with the former indicating the vehicle's course and the latter plotting it in a rectangular co-ordinate system.

BTR-50PU R-82, BTR-50PU-11, BTR-50PUM and BTR-50PUR. Different command and control variants with a variety of radio configurations and other communications equipment.

BTR-50PK(B) Amphibious Armored Recovery Vehicle This is a specialized version of the BTR-50PK developed for the recovery of other vehicles at water obstacles. It has a combat weight of 14000 kg and normally has a crew of two: commander and driver, with seats for four auxiliary personnel, and during rescue operations the vehicle can accommodate up to eight rescued personnel. The BTR-50PK(B) is fitted with R 123M and R 124 radio sets, a rear-mounted towing coupling, towing gear and hook and two extra towing cables, two special quick-release shackles, standard shackles and snap hooks, searchlight, two lifebelts, life jackets and four fenders. A set of tools and fire extinguishers are also carried.

MTP Technical Support Vehicle This is based on a BTR-50PK APC and is used for recovery and repair of armored personnel carriers and the BMP ICV. In addition it is used to deliver POL supplies to forward units which are difficult to reach with normal truck-mounted bowsers. A distinctive feature of the MTP is the raised workshop compartment which is high enough to allow the crew to work while standing as well as providing sleeping room for the crew of three.

MTK Mineclearing Vehicle This is a BTR-50PK APC with a special launcher mounted on top of the hull to the rear of the troop compartment. It fires rockets to which are attached flexible tubes containing high explosives which fall to the ground on to the minefield and are then detonated from the vehicle. The former Soviet designation for the rocket system is UR-67. MTR-1 Repair version of BTR-50. 


MT-LB Multipurpose Armored Vehicle 

The MT-LB is an amphibious armored tracked vehicle. It has a low-silhouette, box-like hull made of welded steel plates, and a small turret on the right front that mounts a single 7.62-mm machine gun. There are four firing ports: one on each side of the vehicle and one in each of the two rear exit doors. The flat hull roof has two forward-opening, troop exit hatches. The flat-track suspension consists of six road wheels with no return rollers. The hull of the MT-LB is all-welded steel with the crew compartment at the front, engine immediately behind the crew compartment on the left side and the troop compartment at the rear of the hull. The machine gun turret is mounted to the right of the commander's position and is armed with a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun. Both the driver and machine gunner have a windscreen in front of their positions which, when in action, is covered by a flap hinged at the top. There is a vision block in each side of the hull, to the left of the driver's and the right of the machine gunner's position. An aisle provides access from the crew compartment at the front of the vehicle to the personnel compartment at the rear which has inward-facing folding canvas seats for the 10 infantrymen. Two hatches over the top of the troop compartment open forwards. The infantry enter and leave the vehicle by two doors in the rear of the hull, both of which are provided with a firing port. There is an additional firing port and vision block in each side of the troop compartment. An unditching beam is often carried on the roof or side of the vehicle. The MT-LB is fully amphibious being propelled in the water by its tracks. Standard equipment on all vehicles includes an NBC system. The MT-LB has air-actuated brakes which can be connected to a trailer. Night vision equipment includes an OU-3GK white/infra-red searchlight with a range of 400 m for the commander and a TVN-2 infra-red periscope for the driver with a range of 40 m. It can also tow a trailer or weapon weighing up to 6500 kg or carry up to 2000 kg of cargo or stores.

VARIANTS:

1V13 Battery fire direction center vehicle, called 1W13 by Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. Called MT-LBO by Bulgaria.

1V14 battery command post vehicle, called 1W14 by Poland, also used by Czechoslovakia and Hungary

1V15 battalion command vehicle, called 1W15 by Poland, also used by Czechoslovakia and Poland

1V16 battalion fire direction center vehicle, called 1W16 by Poland, also used by Czechoslovakia and Hungary 

Note: The 1V12 family consists of the 1V13, 1V14, 1V15 and 1V16. These are the original command and control set with the 1V14, 1V15 and 1V16 each having an APK digital data transmission set and the 1V15 and 1V16 also having the 9V59 artillery fire control computer. The 1V12M family consists of the 1V13M, 1V14M, 1V15M and 1V16M, they are modified artillery command and control set with each vehicle giving an APPK artillery data computation and digital transmission computer system. (For full details of these systems see the Artillery Support Vehicles section.)

1V21 Staff command vehicle, called MP-21 by Czechoslovakia, also used by Poland. Has new C3 equipment fitted.

1V22 Air defense management vehicle, called MP-22 by Czechoslovakia, also used by Poland. Has new C3 equipment fitted.

1V23 Command and control vehicle, called MP-23 by Czechoslovakia, also used by Poland. Has new C3 equipment fitted.

1V24 Artillery C3 vehicle, called MP-24 by Czechoslovakia, also used by Poland. Fitted with new C3 equipment.

1V25 Air defense management vehicle, called MP-25 by Czechoslovakia, also used by Poland. Has new C3 equipment installed.

MT-LB 9S743 Bulgarian MT-LB with radio system and generator at hull rear

MT-LB KShM R-80, Bulgarian MT-LB with table and increased headroom

MT-LB KShM R-81 Bulgarian MT-LB with radio equipment

MT-LB TRI Polish engineer reconnaissance vehicle

MT-LB WPT Polish recovery and maintenance vehicle

MT-LB Sova Bulgarian MT-LB with dismountable surveillance radar system Beta EM, Polish communications vehicle.

MT-LBV The MT-LB can also be fitted with 565 mm wide tracks for operation in snow and swampy ground; it is then called the MT-LBV. This version has a ground pressure of 0.28 kg/cm{2}.

MT-LB Artillery Tractor The MT-LBs used as artillery prime movers have been observed with a fully enclosed box mounted over the troop compartment roof containing the gun section equipment.

MT-LBU (Command) This is the command version of the MT-LB and has additional radios, generator, land navigation system and a canvas cover that can be extended to the rear when the vehicle is being used in the static role.

MT-LB M1975 (SNAR-10) This vehicle is an MT-LB fitted with an artillery/mortar-locating radar which has been allocated the NATO reporting name of BIG FRED. When traveling the antenna folds forward onto the top of the large turret which is to the rear of the vehicle. The forward turret-mounted 7.62-mm machine gun is retained. The radar is believed to be of a similar type to the British THORN EMI Cymbeline in that the radar measures the slant range and bearing of two points in the mortar bomb/artillery shell trajectory. The time taken for the bomb/projectile to travel between the two points is also measured and the onboard computer uses this information together with the pre-set elevation angles to determine the position of the enemy mortar or artillery piece. This information is then relayed to the field artillery units and the target is engaged. The radar has a range of about 20 km. Specifications of the MT-LB with BIG FRED are similar to those of the basic MT-LB except for a weight of 11500 kg, height with antenna down of 2.9 m and a crew of four to six.

MTP-LB Repair Vehicle The MTP-LB is designed for field maintenance, repair, and recovery of tanks and other AFVs and is recognizable by its lack of a machine gun turret. Mounted at the front of the vehicle is an A-frame which can lift a maximum load of 1500 kg. Standard equipment includes tools, gas welding and cutting equipment, cable winch with 85 m of cable and a capacity of 6700 kg, jacking device, towing attachment hooks and a crane.

MT-LB (Ambulance) This is an MT-LB used as an armored evacuation vehicle (armored ambulance) with stretchers fitted in the rear compartment.

MT-LB Engineer Vehicle This is similar in appearance to the basic MT-LB but modified to mount a plow blade on the roof. Hydraulic devices at the rear of the vehicle allow manual mounting of the plow blade to the rear only.

MT-LB with Vasilek For use in Afghanistan, a self-propelled version of the towed 2B9 Vasilek 82 mm automatic mortar described and illustrated in the Towed guns and howitzers section was developed. The mortar has had its wheels removed and has been propped up on the upper rear deck on steel ammunition boxes.

9P149 MT-LB with AT-6 SPIRAL ATGM This tank destroyer consists of a modified MT-LB, with a retractable AT-6 SPIRAL launcher, and missile guidance controls. The system is entirely automated, with the launcher assembly protected under armor till used. The autoloader assembly holds 12 missiles and the rate of fire is 3-4 missiles per minute. The radio command guidance system is mounted in the right forward station of the hull superstructure, replacing the small turret with PKT 7.62-mm machine-gun.

MT-LB 120 mm mortar The Bulgarian Army has mounted a 120 mm mortar in the rear of the MT-LB multi-purpose armored vehicle. MT-LB with WAT Turret Poland has fitted an MT-LB with the WAT turret, as installed on the OT-64C(2) (SKOT-2AP) and OT-62C APCs, which is armed with a 14.5 mm and a 7.62 mm machine gun.

SA-13 Gopher SAM system The MT-LB multi-purpose armored vehicle chassis is also used as the basis for the SA-13 Gopher SAM system. Mounted in the center of the hull roof is a turret with an arm, on which is carried a total of four SA-13 missiles in the transport/launch containers, with the operator being seated below and between the missiles. The SA-13 entered service in 1977 and is replacing the SA-9 on a one for one basis. It retains the amphibious capability of the MT-LB and has a range-only radar.

Iraqi 120 mm self-propelled mortar Early in 1989 an MT-LB was shown in Iraq for the first time, with wide tracks modified locally to carry a 120 mm mortar in the rear of the vehicle. The roof hatches have been modified and now open to either side of the hull to allow the 120 mm mortar to fire to the rear. A base plate is carried on the right side of the hull to allow the mortar to be deployed away from the vehicle if required by the tactical situation.

MT-LBus (R-330P) VHF Jamming vehicle This is the MT0-LB-based ACRV chassis fitted with an auxiliary power unit mounted at the rear of the hull. while mounted on the roof is an antenna for the Type R-330P VHF jamming set. When in use the 11 element fan-type antenna is in the vertical position, but it can be lowered into the horizontal position if required.  



Infantry Fighting Vehicles

BMP-1 Infantry Fighting Vehicle 

The BMP-1 is a fully armored Amphibious Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV). Its low-silhouetted hull has a sharp, sloping front with a conspicuously ridged surface. A centrally located, extremely flat, truncated cone turret mounts a 73-mm smoothbore gun and a 7.62-mm coaxial machine-gun. A launching rail for an AT-3 SAGGER antitank guided missile attaches above the gun. The 290-hp, water-cooled, 6-cylinder diesel engine is in the right front of the hull. The driver's hatch is at the left front, directly in front of the commander's hatch, which mounts an IR searchlight. The gunner's hatch is on the left side of the low turret roof. On the rear of the turret are four large hatches in the roof of the troop compartment; two large exit doors are also in the rear. There are four firing ports in each side of the troop compartment and one in the left rear door. The suspension has six unevenly spaced stamped road wheels, with three track support rollers and a front drive sprocket. A combination of effective antitank firepower, high mobility, and adequate protection makes the BMP a formidable improvement over the earlier BTR-series of armored personnel carriers. It's 73-mm main gun fires a rocket-assisted, fin-stabilized HEAT projectile with an effective range of 800 to 1000 meters. It also has an automatic loader. For longer range antitank capability, the BMP-1 carries the AT-3 SAGGER ATGM, effective to 3000 meters. The BMP is amphibious, propelled through the water by its tracks. It has the range and speed necessary to keep up with the fast-moving tanks it normally follows in offensive formations. The BMP has a three-man crew. This includes the vehicle commander, who becomes the squad leader when the infantry passengers dismount through the rear exit doors. Vision blocks and firing ports in the sides and rear of the troop compartment allow the infantrymen to fire assault rifles (AKM or AK-47) and light machine-guns (PKM or RPK-74) from inside the vehicle on the move. The troops also carry the RPG-7V or RPG-16 antitank grenade launcher, which can be fired by a passenger standing in a rear hatch. BMP IFVs carry the SA-7/14/16/18 and AGS-17 weapon systems in the BMP-equipped MRB's air defense and automatic grenade launcher platoons. When buttoned-up, the crew and passengers have NBC protection in the pressurized and filtered hull. This allows them to operate regardless of the outside environment. The BMP has an infrared searchlight, periscopes, and sights for night operations. It also has a capability to make its own smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust manifold.

VARIANTS:

BMP Model 1966 This was the original version of the BMP (also called BMP-A) which had a shorter bow than its successor, the BMP-1. This version did not have an NBC protection system.

BMP-1 (BMP Model 1976) This is the standard production model of the BMP-1.

BMP-1K This is the command variant of the BMP-1. This version differs from the BMP-1 mainly by having additional radio equipment and antennas and having the machine-gun ports welded shut. The troop compartment has been redesigned to accommodate field tables and map boards. It is used as a battalion-level command vehicle.

BMP-1P This is the BMP-1 with the replacement of the AT-3 SAGGER launch rail by a pintel-mounted AT-4 SPIGOT ATGM launcher on the turret roof. This version also has smoke grenade launchers fitted to the turret rear.

BMP-1PK This is the command variant of the BMP-1P.

BRM & BRM-1 (BMP-R or BMP M1976) This variant is used as a reconnaissance vehicle. It consists of the BMP-1 fitted with a larger, two-man turret, armed with a 73-mm gun. This vehicle does not have an ATGM. There are two small roof hatches, instead of the four rectangular ones as in the case of the BMP-1.

BRM-1K (BMP M1976/2) This reconnaissance variant consists of the BRM-1 with the addition of a PSNR-5K (TALL MIKE) Battlefield Surveillance Radar, which is mounted in the rear part of the turret. This radar is elevated above the turret roof when needed, and then lowered into the turret when not used. This vehicle also includes a DKRM-1 laser rangefinder, ARRS-1 location device, IMP mine detector and 1PN33B night binoculars. Navigation equipment carried includes TNA-1, IG11N gyro-compass and 1T25 survey device.

BMP KShM This unarmed command and communication vehicle mounts a large telescopic antenna and more radio equipment than the BMP-1K.

PRP-3 (BMP-SON) This artillery reconnaissance vehicle is used as an artillery fire adjustment and/or artillery/mortar locating vehicle. The front of the vehicle is identical to the BMP-1 but the vehicle has a new two-man turret that has two single-piece hatches which open forward. Both hatches have periscopes for observation plus a large optical device in front of the hatch. Armament consists of a 7.62-mm machine-gun which has replaced the 73-mm gun. Mounted on the rear of the turret is a SMALL FRED battlefield surveillance radar with a flat antenna that folds forward when not in use. To the rear of the turret on the left side is a further circular hatch cover and a telescoping antenna. This vehicle has a five-man crew and is fitted with extensive communications equipment and optical devices.

PRP-4 This vehicle is the successor to the PRP-3. It differs from its predecessor by the addition of an additional fairing on the right side of the turret.

IRM Amphibious Engineer Reconnaissance Vehicle This vehicle was based on the chassis of the BMP-1. It mounts the engine and suspension of the BMP-1 in a new hull. It was designed to undertake a variety of specialized engineer reconnaissance roles including mine detection and river-bottom reconnaissance. For its mine detection role, the IRM has two devices mounted at the front of the vehicle which can be retracted flush with the hull when not in use. The IRM is fully amphibious, propelled in the water by two shrouded propellers at the rear of the vehicle. When submerged, a snorkel is erected on top of the hull; this is kept horizontal when not required.

BMP-PPO Mobile Training Center This vehicle is a BMP-1 with its turret removed and fitted with eight roof-mounted cupolas for trainees under instruction, plus seats for the vehicle commander and driver. Each trainee has TNPO-170 and one Type MK-4 observation devices mounted in the forward part of the cupola and an A-2 unit of the R-124 intercom set.

CZECHOSLOVAKIAN BMP-1 VARIANTS:

OT-90 BMP-1 with turret replaced by the same turret as fitted to Czechoslovakian OT-64C (8 x 8) APC armed with 14.5-mm and 7.62-mm machine-guns.

BVP-1 Czech manufactured BMP-1

DP-90 Maintenance version of OT-90

MP-31 Air defense command version of the BMP KShM command post version.

MU-90 Mine-laying version of OT-90, no turret with space being covered with steel sheet.

SVO Mine clearing version of BMP-1 with the turret removed and fitted with Hedgehog type launcher in rear troop compartment.

VPV Crane equipped recovery version of the BMP-1. Turret and troop compartment roof hatches have been removed and a powered crane is mounted on the troop compartment roof.

VP-90 Reconnaissance version of the OT-90 with OT-64 turret.  


BMP-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle 

The BMP-2 is an infantry combat vehicle vari-ant of the BMP-1 that incorporates a major arma-ment change. It has an enlarged two-man turret which mounts a 30-mm automatic gun, model 2A42, with a long, thin tube and a double-baffle muzzle brake, along with a 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun on its front. On top of the turret is an ATGM launcher. This launcher can employ either AT-4 SPIGOT or AT-5 SPANDREL missiles. The AT-5 SPANDREL canister is normally seen mounted. The engine is an upgraded 300-hp, V-6 diesel. The vehicle commander now sits in the two-man turret, along with the gunner. Because of the enlarged turret, there is room for only two roof hatches in the rear fighting compartment, rather than the four of the BMP-1. The BMP-2 can accommodate one less passenger than the BMP-1; there also is one less firing port for an assault rifle on each side. However, a new machine-gun-type firing port on the left side of the hull, forward of the turret, indicates that an infantryman now occupies the BMP-1 vehicle commander's position. The torsion bar suspension either side consists of six road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front, idler at the rear and track-return rollers. The upper part of the track has a sheet metal cover deeper than that of the BMP-1 which is filled with a buoyancy aid. Main armament comprises a 30-mm cannon model 2A42. The gunner can select single shots or one of two automatic rates of fire, low at 200 to 300 rds/min or high at 500 rds/min. The 30-mm cannon has dual feed, one for HE-T and the other for AP-T; both with a muzzle velocity of 970 m/s. The 30-mm cannon is fully stabilized and has an effective range against ground targets of 1000 m although it is sighted to 4000 m. Its high elevation allows it to be used against aircraft and helicopters. A total of 500 rounds of 30-mm ammunition is carried. A 7.62-mm PKT machine gun is mounted to the left of the main armament and 2000 rounds are carried for this weapon. An infra-red searchlight is mounted coaxial to the right of the 30-mm cannon and the commander also has a roof-mounted infra-red searchlight model OU-3GA2. Mounted on the turret roof between the gunner's and commander's hatches is a launcher for either an AT-4 SPIGOT or AT-5 SPANDREL ATGM. A ground mount is carried to allow the ATGMs to be launched away from the vehicle. Most BMP-2s have a bank of three electrically operated 81-mm smoke dischargers firing forwards. The smoke grenade launcher system is designated the 902V. In addition, the BMP-2 can lay its own smoke-screen by injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust outlet on the right side of the hull. This system is called the TDA and can only be used when the engine is warm and the vehicle moving. To the turret rear is the infantry compartment which has only two roof hatches compared to the BMP-1's four. It carries six infantrymen who sit down either side of the vehicle back-to-back. In either side of the rear troop compartment are three firing ports; each of which has an associated roof-mounted periscope angled to the front of the vehicle. The infantry normally enter and leave the vehicle via the two doors in the hull rear. Each of these doors has an integral fuel tank and periscope in the upper part of the door. The left door also has a firing port. The engine and transmission are to the right of the driver's compartment with the air-inlet and air-outlet louvers on top of the hull. The BMP-2 is powered by a UTD-20 four-stroke, six-cylinder model UTD-20 supercharged diesel engine developing 285/300 hp at 2600 rpm. The engine is coupled to a manual transmission with five forward and one reverse gears. The BMP-2 is fully amphibious. Standard equipment on the BMP-2 includes a full range of night vision equipment for commander, gunner and driver, fire extinguishing system, GPK-59 gyro-compass system, PAZ overpressure NBC system, engine pre-heater and turret extractor fan.

VARIANTS:

Improved BMP-2 A number of product improvements were made to the BMP-2 in the late 1980's. These improvements included modifications to the gun stabilization system, improved internal communications, improved rubber-bushed tracks, and the spare tracks have been moved from the rear exit doors to the left and right upper side walls of the troop compartment. This vehicle also includes a special mat for the transport of the seriously wounded and six slings for the slightly wounded.

BMP-2D Late production version of the BMP-2, this vehicle includes appliqu? armor on the turret, provision for mounting mine clearing system under the nose of the vehicle, and appliqu? armor of the spaced type fitted along either side of the hull.

BMP-2K This is the command version of the BMP-2 and has additional communications equipment.

BVP-2 This is the designation for the Czechoslovakian produced BMP-2.

BMP-2 (Product Improved) This modified BMP-2 includes several improvements: a new track which doubles the track-life; 30-mm cannon is stabilized in two planes, and elevation increased to 70?; it is fitted with air conditioning for desert operations; a AG-17 30-mm grenade launcher is mounted on the left side of the turret; and the gunner is equipped with a thermal sight, which replaces the active IR system. 


BMP-3 Infantry Combat Vehicle

The hull of the BMP-3 resembles the BMD Airborne Infantry Fighting Vehicle, and has a well sloped glacis plate with the hull sides being vertical. The new turret is in the center of the vehicle with the commander being seated on the right and the gunner on the left. There is an additional crew member to the left and right of the driver's position, each of these being provided with a roof hatch that opens forwards and a single periscope in the hull roof in front of the hatch cover. The troop compartment is at the rear of the hull with entry via two doors in the hull rear that open left and right, with the left door having a firing port. As these doors are opened steps automatically fold down. The armor of the BMP-3 is believed to be laminated aluminum, and its manufacturers claim it affords protection against 30-mm armor-piercing rounds over the 60-degree frontal arc. Over the frontal arc the turret is provided with a layer of spaced armor and mounted on either side of this is a bank of three 81 mm electrically operated smoke dischargers. Main armament of BMP-3 is a 100-mm rifled gun (2A70) which fires conventional high explosive ammunition at a maximum rate of fire of 8-10 rds/min, and the AT-10 STABBER laser-guided anti-tank guided missile. The AT-10 ATGM has a maximum range of 4000-m and is estimated as being able to penetrate a maximum of 500 mm of RHA. The 100-mm gun can also fire an HE-FRAG (high explosive fragmentation) round with a muzzle velocity of 250 m/s with a maximum effective range of 4000 m. A total of 30 rounds is carried for the 100 mm gun of which 22 are HE-FRAG and eight are laser-guided projectiles. The coaxially mounted belt-fed 30-mm automatic cannon is mounted to the right of the 100-mm gun. This automatic cannon fires three types of ammunition: armor piercing tracer, HE splinter, and splinter tracer. The gunner can select single shot, low rate of fire (200-300 rds/min) or high rate of fire (550 rds/min). Maximum effective range for engaging ground targets is 2000 m. The BMP-3 is powered by a 500 hp diesel engine coupled to a fully automatic hydro-mechanical transmission. The suspension either side consists of six dual rubber-tired road wheels with the idler at the front, drive sprocket at the rear and three track-return rollers. The suspension is adjustable by the driver to suit the type of terrain being crossed with minimum ground clearance being 190 mm and maximum ground clearance being 510 mm. The BMP-3 is fully amphibious being propelled in the water by two water-jets mounted at the rear of the hull. It is also provided with an NBC system, internal communications equipment, radios with a maximum range of 20 km and an IFF system.

VARIANTS:

BRM (BMP-3) This vehicle is a reconnaissance variant of the BMP-3. This vehicle was designed to conduct battlefield reconnaissance by day and night and under all weather conditions. This vehicle may be a replacement for the BRM-1K and/or PRP-4 vehicles. The main external differences include no firing ports in the rear troop compartment, removal of the two bow-mounted 7.62-mm PKT machine-guns and removal of the 100-mm 2A70 rifled gun. Equipment installed to enable the reconnaissance role includes the mast mounted 1RL-133-1 TALL MIKE battlefield surveillance radar (which can be retracted into the vehicle when not in use); the 1PN71 night observation TV device; the 1PN61 night observation device; and the 1D14 periscopic laser rangefinder. The electro-optical devices are mounted on either side of the turret and when not being used, the optics are covered by a hinged shutter that opens to the left. The vehicle is also equipped with the latest TNA-4 navigation device and the 1G50 gyro compass which enables the crew to quickly determine their position on the battlefield. 

BMP-3 (Abu Dhabi Variant) The first export client for the BMP-3 was Abu Dhabi. These are fitted with an externally mounted thermal imaging sight, manufactured by the French firm SAT. The sight could not be mounted in the usual place inside the hull due to the already congested fire control layout.  


BMD Airborne Infantry Fighting Vehicle 

The BMD AIFV superficially resembles the BMP-1, although it is considerably smaller. This full-tracked amphibious vehicle has a BMP-type turret. Like the BMP-1, its main armament is a 73-mm smoothbore gun with a 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun mounted on the right side of the main gun and a SAGGER ATGM launcher mounted over the gun. The BMD, however, also has two additional 7.62-mm machine guns, one mounted in each of the front bow corners. The troop compartment has overhead armor cover; however, it has only one firing port on each side and one in the rear from which the mounted infantrymen can fire their weapons. The BMD has an independent suspension consisting of five small road wheels with the idler at the front and the drive sprocket at the rear. There are four track-return rollers. The independent suspension combines a hydraulic system for altering the ground clearance and maintaining track tension with pneumatic springs, which enables the ground clearance to be altered from 100 to 450 mm. Main armament of the BMD-1 is a 73 mm model 2A28 smoothbore, low pressure, short-recoil gun. This is fed from an automatic 40-round magazine to the right rear of the gunner. The weapon fires a fixed fin-stabilized HEAT round which is the same as that used in the SPG-9 infantry weapon and has a maximum effective range of 1300 m. A 7.62 mm PKT machine gun is mounted coaxially to the right of the main armament and is fed from a continuous belt of 2000 rounds, honeycombed in an ammunition box mounted below the weapon. A cartridge case and link collector are mounted in the turret basket. Mounted over the main armament is a launcher rail for a SAGGER ATGM. Two missiles are carried inside the turret and are loaded via a loading rail through a hatch in the forward part of the turret roof. The bow machine gunner sits to the driver's right and aims the two bow-mounted 7.62-mm PKT machine guns. The two machine guns are mounted one either side of the vehicle's front firing forwards. The BMD is fully amphibious, being propelled in the water by two water-jets at the rear of the hull. Before entering the water a trim vane which is stowed on the glacis plate when not in use is erected at the front of the hull. The vehicle has electric and manual bilge pumps, a gyro-compass, engine pre-heater, smoke-generating equipment, NBC system and a centralized ethylene-bromide fire-extinguishing system as fitted to other former Soviet armored vehicles.

VARIANTS :

BMD-1P Airborne Combat Vehicle This is BMD-1 with AT-3 SAGGER ATGM removed and mounted on the turret roof is an AT-4 Spigot ATGM launcher.

BMD-2 Airborne Combat Vehicle This vehicle is the BMD-1 with its turret replaced with a new one-man turret. This turret is of a new design with the gunner being seated on the left and provided with a single piece circular hatch cover that opens to the front. In front of this is the gunner's day/night sight that appears to be identical to that fitted on the BMP-2. Additional periscopes give observation to the sides and a white light searchlight is mounted on the forward part of the turret roof. On the left side of the turret is another sight that moves in elevation with the 30 mm 2A42 cannon and this is believed to be the high angle of fire sight which is used to aim the weapon when it is being used in the anti-aircraft/anti-helicopter role. A total of 300 rounds of 30 mm and 2940 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition is carried. Main armament comprises a 30 mm 2A42 stabilized cannon with a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun mounted coaxial to the right with a launcher for an AT-4 Spigot (maximum range 2000 m) or an AT-5 Spandrel (maximum range 4000 m) ATGM mounted on the right side of the turret roof. While the BMD-1 has two bow-mounted 7.62 mm PKT machine guns, one in either side, the BMD-2 has only one 7.62 mm bow-mounted machine gun on the right side with the machine gun port in the left side being eliminated.

BTR-D APC The BTR-D was first seen during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and is often referred to as the BMD M1979 by NATO. It is distinguishable from the standard BMD by its longer chassis with six rather than five road wheels, different hull top and lack of a turret. The basic BTR-D is a multi-purpose armored transporter used by the former Soviet VDV (Air Assault Forces) air assault divisions, for a variety of roles including troop transporter, towing support weapons such as the 23 mm ZU-23 light anti-aircraft gun and maintenance support. This version retains the hull front and side firing ports of the BMD-1 and has two forward-firing smoke dischargers on each side of the hull roof in line with the fifth road wheel station. There are nine firing ports, two in the hull front each with a 7.62 mm machine gun, two in each side of the hull, one in the rear and the two front hatches below and either side of the commander's cupola can be used. The BTR-D is based on automotive components of the BMD-1 airborne combat vehicle and like this vehicle has a hull of all-welded aluminum construction. The glacis protection of the vehicle has been increased by the use of a dual slanted angle in the upper plates of the armor at the front. The BTR-D can carry 13 men, the driver/mechanic at the front, a bow machine gunner either side and 10 infantrymen at the rear, the bow machine gunners normally deploy with the infantry. A total of 2000 rounds of 7.62-mm ammunition is carried for the 7.62-mm PKT machine guns mounted at the front of the vehicle and an additional two 7.62- mm PKT machine guns can be mounted on the roof. Some early production vehicles had a small one-man turret armed with a 7.62-mm PKT machine gun that could be aimed and fired from within the turret. Some vehicles have also been fitted with a 30-mm AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher.

BMD-KShM This vehicle is a command post version of the basic BTR-D. This has a folding Clothes Rail antenna around the superstructure but the front firing ports with their 7.62 mm machine guns are faired over and there are no firing ports in the hull sides, the forward-firing smoke dischargers have also been removed. The Commander's hatch is offset to the left and does not project forward.

1V118 This is a BMD used in artillery observation post role.

1V119 This is a BMD used in artillery fire direction center role.

BMD with Shmel-1 RPV A BMD-1KShM chassis is used as the launcher and flying control station for the Shmel-1 remotely piloted vehicle.

BRehM-D Repair and Recovery Vehicle This is based on the chassis of the BTR-D APC and is fitted with specialized equipment for the repair and recovery of BMD-1 type vehicles. Equipment fitted includes a crane which can be traversed through 180, recovery winch, combination spade and dozer blade, towing equipment, electric welding system plus tools and ready use spares. Standard equipment includes a 7.62 mm bow machine gun, radio, intercom system and an NBC system.

SO-120 (Anona) (2S9) 120 mm Self-propelled Howitzer/Mortar Details of this are given in Self-propelled guns and howitzers section.  


BMD-3 Airborne Infantry Fighting Vehicle 

The BMD-3 is the successor to the BMD-1 and BMD-2 AIFVs. The BMD-3 features a brand new chassis fitted with the complete turret of the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle. The BMD-3 retains the boat-shaped hull with the two-man turret located in the forward third of the chassis. The BMD-3 has much better amphibious capability than its predecessors. There is more room inside the vehicle, a significant increase in firepower, with the two-man turret offering better overall command and control of the vehicle and its weaponry. The BMD-3 can be airdropped from transport aircraft with the complete crew of seven men remaining inside the vehicle. In the past, the crew was dropped separately, and it often took a considerable time for them to locate the vehicle. By dropping the BMD-3 with its crew ready in the vehicle, the element of surprise associated with airborne operations is enhanced. The BMD-3 is of all-welded construction which provides the crew with protection from small arms fire and shell splinters. The crew consists of commander, gunner, driver, and four infantrymen, with the commander normally dismounting with the squad. A further three infantrymen can be carried in an emergency in the rear. The two-man power operated turret is armed with a 30-mm 2A42 dual feed cannon which is fitted with a distinctive muzzle brake and is stabilized in both elevation and traverse. Maximum effective range when firing AP-T (armor piercing-tracer) ammunition is 2000-m, and when firing HE-I (High Explosive-Incendiary) ammunition is 4000-m against an area target. A 7.62-mm PKT machine-gun is mounted coaxially to the right. Mounted on the roof is an ATGM launcher for either the AT-4 SPIGOT or AT-5 SPANDREL. Mounted on either side of the turret is a bank of three 81-mm electrically operated smoke dischargers firing forwards. Mounted at the front of the BMD-3 on the left side is an AG-17 30-mm automatic grenade launcher while on the right bow is a 5.45-mm RPKS machine-gun. Each of the bow weapons is operated by one of the infantrymen seated in the front of the BMD-3. The power pack is located at the rear of the hull and consists of a 2V-06 water-cooled diesel developing 450-bhp which gives a very high power-to-weight ratio of 34 hp/ton. The hydroneumatic suspension of the BMD-3 is adjustable to give a ground clearance of between 130-mm and 530-mm, although for normal road travel it is 450-mm. The BMD-3 is fully amphibious being propelled by two water jets mounted on either side at the rear of the vehicle.  



Tanks

T-54 / T-55 Main Battle Tank 

The T-55 medium tank has a fully tracked, five-road-wheeled chassis. This chassis has a space between the first and second road wheels and no return rollers. The T-55 has a low-silhouetted hull with a dome shaped turret mounted over the third road wheel. It is armed with a 100-mm rifled gun, which has a bore evacuator at the muzzle. The T-55 also mounts a 7.62-mm coaxial machine-gun. Early versions also mounted a bow-mounted 7.62-mm machine-gun. The T-55 differs from the older T-54 models because it lacks the right-hand cupola and the turret dome ventilator, which is located in front of that cupola on the T-54. Most T-55's also lack the turret-mounted 12.7-mm antiaircraft machine-gun of the T-54. All T-55's mount an infrared gunner's searchlight above, and to the right of the main gun. This searchlight, however, is not a distinguishing feature since it has been retrofitted to many T-54 and T-54A tanks. The T-55 combines a high velocity gun with a highly mobile chassis, a low silhouette, and exceptional long-range endurance. Improvements over the T-54 include a larger V-12 water-cooled diesel engine with 580 rather than 520 hp, and an increased cruising range of 500 rather than 400 kilometers (600 kilometers with auxiliary tanks). The increased cruising range can go up to 715 kilometers with two 200-liter auxiliary fuel tanks which can be carried on the rear. The T-55 has two-plane stabilization of the main gun rather than vertical stabilization only. It also has a basic load for the main gun of 43 rather than 34 rounds. The T-55 can ford depths of 1.4 meters without preparation. It has snorkel equipment which enables it to cross depths of up to 5.5 meters at a speed of 2 kilometers per hour. This equipment takes about 30 minutes' preparation, but can be jettisoned immediately on leaving the water. All T-55's have the PAZ radiation detection system; the T-55A also has an anti-radiation liner. Injecting vaporized diesel fuel onto the exhaust system can generate a dense smoke screen.

VARIANTS:

T-54A Same as the T-54 but introduced the D-10TG gun with a new fume evacuator, and vertical plane stabilization system. Internal improvements included a new multi-stage air cleaner and radiator controls for improved engine performance. China manufactured this variant under license as the Type 59.

T-54B This version introduced the OU-3 Infrared searchlight on the commander's cupola, and a TPN-1 gunner's day/night sight in place of the earlier MK-4 periscope. This version also introduced a two-axis stabilization system and the improved D-10T2S 100-mm rifled gun. This was the first version to be regularly equipped with a snorkel to allow deep fording of rivers.

T-54K This is the command version of the T-54A. It incorporates an additional radio by reducing the ammunition storage.

T-54AD This is a Polish-built command version of the T-54 that incorporates a slight extension of the turret that provides space for the additional radios.

OT-54 This flame-thrower tank substituted a ATO-1 automatic flame-thrower for the 7.62-mm coaxial machine-gun. The bow ammunition storage was modified to permit carrying 460-liters of flammable liquid using compressed gas for propulsion. Maximum range was 160 meters and the system could fire 15-20 bursts per minute.

T-55 The T-55 used a new turret, similar to that used on the T-54A, but without the prominent roof-top "mushroom" ventilator dome, and two enlarged "D" roof panels. Internal improvements include the V-55 engine, initial stages of the PAZ chemical/radiation protection system, and an increase of ammunition to 43 rounds. This tank does not have a 12.7-mm antiaircraft DShK machine-gun on the loader's hatch.

T-55A This variant incorporated the complete PAZ/FVU chemical/radiation filtration system. This version is most easily recognized by the larger combings on the commander's and loader's hatches as well as the blister on the driver's hatch.

T-55A Model 1970 This version is equipped with a 12.7-mm antiaircraft DShK machine-gun.

T-55A Model 1974 This version is equipped with the KTD-2 laser rangefinder, which is mounted immediately above the main gun in an armored box.

T-55K There are three variants of this command tank. These vehicles have an additional command radio as well as supporting generator, and carry less ammunition. The T-55K1 and T-55K2 both carry two R-123 or R-123M and a R-124. The T-55K3 carries one R-130M, a R-123, a R-124, and a 10-meter antenna. Command variants of the later variants carry the same designations, e.g., T-55MK1, T-55AM1K3, etc.

OT-55 This flame-thrower tank incorporates the ATO-200 flame projector. The flame thrower is ignited by pyrotechnic charges, and 12 charges are the basic load. The stowage tank contains 460-liters of flammable liquid, and each burst averages 36 liters. The maximum effective range of the system is 200 meters, with the stream having an initial muzzle velocity of 100 m/s.

T-55MV This is the T-55M with its armor protection supplanted with a first generation explosive reactive armor (ERA) array. Most of these vehicles were also retrofitted with the same fire-control improvements of the T-55AM2PB, including the AT-10 STABBER antitank guided missile, the Volna FCS, as well as the automotive and communications improvements.

T-55AMV This is the T-55AM with the same ERA protection as the T-55MV. Most of these tanks also received the same improvements of the T-55AM2PB.

T-55AM1 This is the modernized version of the T-55 with improved fire controls. The Czechoslovak version uses a laser rangefinder mounted over the main gun and a wind sensor. The FSU version incorporates the KTD-2 or KDG-1 laser rangefinder. The Polish version uses a new fire control system that integrates a laser rangefinder into the gunner's sight.

T-55AM2 This is the improved T-55AM1 with the BDD (horse-shoe) appliqu? armor. These BDD armor panels consist of armored steel boxes filled with penapolyurethane. Cavities in the boxes can be supplemented with water or sand for added protection. This version also incorporates the improved V-55U engine that has an integral supercharger and offers 620 hp. This tank has also been retrofitted with the improved R-173P radio system. 

T-55AM2PB This is the T-55AM2 with fire control improvements and the AT-10 STABBER antitank guided missile. It also incorporates the 1K13 BOM gunner's sight in place of the TPN-1M sight, and the new Volna fire control system that includes the KDT-2 laser rangefinder, the BV-55 ballistic computer, the TShSM-32PB sight and the Tsiklon-M1 gun stabilization system.

CHINESE VARIANTS:

Type 59 This is the Chinese produced copy of the T-54A. Later improvements include the addition of a laser rangefinder over the main gun and the addition of side skirts.

Type 59-II This is the Type 59 armed with a 105-mm main gun, believed to be derived from the standard NATO 105-mm rifled gun. The gun has a bore evacuator and a segmented thermal sleeve.

Type 62 Although externally very similar to the Type 59, this tank is in fact a scaled-down light tank patterned after the Type 59. It is armed with an 85-mm gun and is more thinly armored.

Type 69-I This is a product improved version of the Type 59 that is armed with an improved 100-mm smoothbore gun that is distinguishable by its bore evacuator, located farther back on the tube than the usual 100-mm rifled gun.

Type 69-II This is the more common version of the Type 69 family. This version is equipped with the normal 100-mm rifled gun. This tank incorporates the TSFC 2-axis gun stabilization, a new Type 70 gunner's sight, full active infrared night fighting equipment, and engine smoke discharger, an NBC protective system, and a laser rangefinder. The Type 69-II can be distinguished from the earlier Type 59 by the rear engine plate that has a small elliptical bulge for the cooling fan. This version also has the driver's headlights mounted in two pairs on the fenders, not on the hull glacis. Some of these tanks were also outfitted with "Boom Shield" stand-off armor baskets on the turret.

Type 69-IIC This is the command version of the Type 69-II. This tank is equipped with an additional command radio and long radio aerial. It can also be identified by the presence of a long tube welded to the turret top for the radio aerial and two stowage boxes on the hull rear, one of which contains cabling and a field phone.

Type 79 (Type 69-III) This is a Type 69-II equipped with a 105-mm rifled gun.

Type 80 This is an upgraded Type 79 with a new suspension. A further improved version, the Type 80-II incorporates further automotive improvements.

ISRAELI MODIFIED VARIANTS:

Ti-67 These modifications include replacing the 100-mm gun by a 105-mm M68 rifled gun, ammunition racks modified to accept 105-mm ammunition, new communications equipment, commander's seat modified, gunner's seat replaced, installation of azimuth indicator, driver's hatch can now be opened from the outside, commander's traverse control installed, sighting system modified for 105-mm ammunition, replacing the coaxial machine gun by a 7.62-mm (0.30) Browning machine gun and the 12.7-mm DShKM anti-aircraft machine gun by a 12.7-mm (0.50) Browning M2 HB machine gun, new fire control and electrical system, air-conditioning system, new radio mounts on turret rear, American infantry telephone on hull rear, Browning 0.30 machine gun at loader's station, exhaust outlet angled upwards, additional track stowage, fire-extinguishing system installed and new night vision equipment.

Ti-67 Model S In addition to all of the previous modifications, this is the Ti-67 with many other improvements including the American Detroit Diesel 8V-71T engine developing 609 hp, new semi-automatic hydromechanical transmission equipped with a torque converter, new air cleaners, Blazer explosive reactive armor added to the hull and turret, Cadillac Gage Textron weapon stabilization system, installation of EL-OP computerized Matador fire control system, new low-profile commander's cupola, infra-red detectors, passive night vision equipment for commander, gunner and driver, Spectronix fire detection and suppression system, new turret basket and extensive external stowage, modernized driver's station including replacement of sticks by a steering wheel, new final drives, new fuel system with all fuel now internal and improved suspension.

ROMANIAN VARIANTS:

TR-580 (TR-77) This is a variant of the T-55 using a lengthened hull and a new suspension system with spoked wheels.

TR-85 (TR-80 or TR-800) This is a drastically modified version of the T-55 with a new turret, a new German diesel engine and a completely redesigned suspension.  


T-62 Main Battle Tank 

The T-62 medium tank has a fully tracked, five road-wheeled chassis. The chassis has close spaces between the three front road wheels and large gaps separating the third, fourth and fifth road wheels. The drive sprocket is at the rear and the idler is at the front; there are no track return rollers. The rounded turret, mounted over the third road wheel, is more smoothly cast and more nearly egg-shaped than that of the T-54/55 series. The commander's cupola on the left is cast with the turret. The loader's hatch on the right is also farther forward. The 115-mm smoothbore main gun has a longer and thinner tube than the 100-mm main gun of the T-54/55. Its bore evacuator is about two-thirds of the way up the gun tube from the turret. There is also a 7.62-mm coaxial machine-gun. The T-62M also mounts a 12.7-mm antiaircraft DShK machine-gun at the loader's hatch position. A gunner's IR searchlight is mounted on the right, above the main gun. A smaller IR searchlight is mounted over on the commander's cupola. The driver's hatch is in front of the turret on the left side of the flat, low-silhouetted hull. Like the T-55, the T-62 has a 580-hp, V-12, water-cooled diesel engine. This engine gives the T-62 a cruising range of 280 kilometers cross-country; 450 kilometers on paved roads, with integral fuel cells; and 400 kilometers cross-country, or 650 kilometers on paved roads, with two 200-liter auxiliary fuel tanks. The tank also shares the snorkeling and smoke screen-generating capabilities of the T-54/55 series. It has the same PAZ radiation detection system as the T-55. Some T-62's may have been retrofitted with full NBC collective protection systems (air filtration and overpressure). Most models have the same IR night sight and driving equipment and the same fire control equipment as the T-54/55. Some T-62s, however, have received a passive night sight. This replaces the gunner's active IR sight. A laser rangefinder may now replace the stadiametric reticle rangefinder. The most significant improvement over the T-54/55 tanks, however, is the 115-mm smoothbore main gun. It fires hypervelocity, armor-piercing, fin-stabilized, discarding sabot (HVAPFSDS) round with a muzzle velocity of 1,615 meters per second. The penetrator flies in a very flat trajectory, and is extremely accurate out to 1600 meters. The normal 40-round basic load typically includes 12 HVAPFSDS, 6 HEAT, and 22 HE-Frag rounds. The T-62 also has an automatic shell ejector system. The recoil of the main gun activates this system, which ejects the spent shell casings through a port in the rear of the turret. The T-62 has the standard 7.62-mm PKT coaxial machine-gun with a range of 1,000 meters. The T-62M also mounts a 12.7-mm antiaircraft DShK machine-gun. The DShK has a range of 1,500 meters against ground targets and a slant range of 1,000 meters against aircraft. The T-62A also has a stabilized main gun; it enables the gunner to track and fire on the move with improved accuracy.

VARIANTS:

T-62 This is the basic T-62 model, which essentially was a stretched T-55 chassis, with a new suspension, and a new turret equipped with the U-5T (2A20) Rapira 115-mm smoothbore gun. The gun has the new Meteor two-axis stabilization system.

T-62K This is the command tank variant of the T-62, and like earlier types, has one additional R-122 radio, a TNA-2 navigation system, a 4-meter antenna, but less ammunition. The corresponding command tank for the T-62M is the T-62MK.

T-62M (Also called T-62A) This tank includes the addition of a 12.7-mm antiaircraft DShK machine-gun on the loader's hatch. This modification included modification of the turret right side.

T-62M Model 1975 This is the T-62M with the addition of the KTD-1 laser rangefinder over the main gun mantlet.

T-62E The war in Afghanistan forced the Soviets to up-armor their tanks to provide better protection from infantry antitank weapons, such as the RPG-7. This upgrade led to the BDD appliqu? armor package. This package consists of a panel of armor on the glacis plate, two panels of "horse-shoe" armor around the front of the turret, and an optional package of belly armor for anti-mine protection. The total package adds 3.9 tons to the weight of the vehicle.

T-62M1 This further modification of the T-62A includes much of the modifications added to the T-55 to make the T-55AM2PB. These improvements include the Volna fire control system with the BV-62 computer, Meteor M1 gun stabilization package, TShSM-41U sight, KDT-2 laser rangefinder and 1K13 guidance sight package. This tank is equipped with the AT-12 Sheksna laser-guided antitank guided missile, which operates in much the same way as the AT-10 STABBER ATGM. This tank also includes the uprated V-55U engine, and the R-173 radio system. This vehicle is also usually fitted with the BDD appliqu? armor package.

T-62MV This is the T-62M fitted with the ERA package found on the T-55MV 


T-64 Main Battle Tank

The T-64 retains the low silhouette of the T-54/55/62 series of tanks. The suspension consists of six small dual road wheels with the drive sprocket at the rear, idler at the front and four track-return rollers which support the inside of the double-pin track only. The first, second, fifth and sixth road wheel stations are provided with a hydraulic shock absorber. Over the top of the suspension, which slopes downward towards the rear, is a rail on which panels of additional armor can be attached. The driver's hatch is centered at the top of a sharply sloped upper glacis. The glacis has four steel ribs and a v-shaped water and debris deflector. Integrated fuel cells and stowage containers give a streamlined appearance to the fenders. The tank has a toothed shovel/dozer blade on the front of the hull beneath the glacis. There are attachment points beneath the blade for the KMT-6 mine-clearing plow. The low, rounded turret is centered on the hull. The commander's cupola is on the right side of the turret; the gunner's hatch is on the left side. The 125-mm main gun has a four section removable thermal shield. It has two sections in front of, and two sections to the rear of the mid-tube bore evacuator. A 7.62-mm coaxial machine-gun is mounted to the right of the mantlet. The infra-red searchlight is mounted on the left of the main armament. Two or three boxes of 12.7-mm ammunition are mounted on the left side of the turret. The snorkel is carried on the top of the turret at the rear and at the very rear of the turret is a detachable stowage box. The T-64 has two snorkels for deep fording; one is fitted to the turret and the other to the engine compartment. The T-64 has superior mobility than its predecessors. The 5-cylinder, opposed-piston, diesel engine has an output of 700 hp. The hull and turret are of cast and welded steel armor that incorporates a mixture of conventional steel and ceramic inserts called Combination K, with the ceramic inserts providing superior protection against HEAT attack. The sides of the hull and upper part of the suspension were provided with gill type armor panels which sprung outward during combat to reduce the effectiveness of HEAT projectiles. The T-64 is armed with the 125-mm 2A26 smoothbore gun with a vertical ammunition stowage system, and automatic loader. The incorporation of an automatic loader allowed for a three-man crew. The 125-mm gun is stabilized in both elevation and traverse with the ordnance being fitted with a thermal sleeve and fume extractor. The main armament can be laid and fired while the T-64 is moving across country and the commander can override the gunner if required. The 125-mm gun is stabilized, but does not have the same firing on the move capability as Western MBT such as the M1 or Leopard 2. The 125-mm gun has a sighted range out to 4000 m using the day sight and 800 m using the night sight. Maximum effective range of the 125-mm smoothbore gun of the T-64B is 2000 meters, firing the following types of ammunition: APFSDS, HE-FRAG, HEAT, and a Beehive anti-personnel round. The T-64B's 125-mm ordnance also fires the AT-8 Songster ATGM, which is kept in the automatic loader in two separate parts like standard APFSDS or HEAT-FS rounds and loaded using the automatic loader. A T-64B normally carries six AT-8 Songsters plus 36 rounds (projectile and charge) of 125-mm ammunition. The 12.7-mm anti-aircraft machine gun has electric elevation with manual controls being provided for emergency use. The 12.7-mm antiaircraft machine-gun of the T-64 can be aimed and fired from within the tank. It has the PAZ radiation detection system, an anti-radiation liner, and a collective NBC filtration and overpressure system.

VARIANTS:

T-64R This was the initial production model armed with 115-mm D-68 smoothbore gun for which 40 rounds of ammunition were carried, of this total 30 rounds were in the automatic loader for ready use. It is believed that 600 were built, but none now remain in service. T-64 This was the initial production version with the 125-mm smoothbore gun with ZIP tool stowage bin on right side and no rear turret stowage bin. Most of these were subsequently rebuilt to the T-64A configuration.

T-64K The command version of the T-64. When stationary a 10 m telescopic mast is erected over the turret and held in position by stays that are pegged to the ground. The command version does not normally have the 12.7-mm anti-aircraft gun fitted. T-64A This version features several improvements including a modified sight for the gunner with an enlarged opening. A bump stop for the fourth road wheel was added. Smoke grenade launchers were fitted to both sides of the 125-mm gun. Hinges for the attachment of side skirts were added to the hull sides. Each bank of six smoke launchers fires grenades to a range of 150 to 200 m. The handrails on either side of the turret front were omitted and the forward stowage boxes on the right hand sponson were replaced by additional external fuel tanks as on the left hand sponson. The forward skirts were originally spring-loaded so that they faced the front, but these were subsequently replaced by skirts.

T-64A (rebuild) This is a rebuilt T-64 or T-64A incorporating the new improvements found on the later T-64 models, including the substitution of a rubber side skirt for the gill armor, addition of glacis plate hull armor appliqu?, stowage improvements and other changes.

T-64AK The command version of the T-64A

T-64B This was a major redesign of the T-64A to incorporate a new hull and turret armor that was not as bulky as the first generation Combination K armor on the T-64A, but at the same time offering the same or better protection. The T-64B has a laser rangefinder for improved first round hit probability, explosive reactive armor and strengthened turret hatch protection. There are at least two versions of the T-64B. New construction T-64Bs that appear to lack the usual forward gunner's sight and rebuilt T-64Bs, which are modifications of earlier T-64s.

T-64BV This is the correct designation for the T-64B fitted with explosive reactive armor. The T-64BV has a different explosive reactive armor package from the T-80. The former has about 111 blocks; the latter has between 185 and 221 blocks. On the T-64BV the reactive armor covers the glacis plate, the forward part of the turret front, sides and roof and hull sides extending to the five road wheels. When fitted with explosive reactive armor, the smoke dischargers are moved from either side of the main armament to either side of the turret rear, roughly in line with the fourth and fifth road wheels. T-64B1 The designation T-64B1 may distinguish the difference between new-build T-64Bs, and T-64As which have been improved to the T-64B standard.

T-64B1K This is the command tank version of the T-64B1 and has additional communications equipment installed.

T-64BV1K This is the T-64B fitted with explosive reactive armor and fitted with additional communications equipment for use in the command role.  


T-72 Main Battle Tank 

The T-72 retains the low silhouette of the T-54/55/62 series of tanks. The suspension consists of six large, die-cast, rubber-coated road wheels with the drive sprocket at the rear, idler at the front and three track-return rollers that support the inside of the track only. Shock absorbers are fitted at the first, second and sixth road wheel stations. The track of the T-72 is of the single pin type with rubber. Over the top of the suspension, which slopes downward towards the rear, is a rail on which panels of additional armor can be attached. There is an engine exhaust on the left side of the hull above the last road wheel. The glacis is well sloped, transversely ribbed and has a deep V splash-board. Integrated fuel cells and stowage containers give a streamlined appearance to the fenders. The low, rounded turret is centered on the hull. The commander's cupola is on the right side of the turret; the gunner's hatch is on the left side. The 125-mm main gun has a four section removable thermal shield. It has two sections in front of, and two sections to the rear of the mid-tube bore evacuator. A 7.62-mm coaxial machine-gun is mounted to the right of the mantlet. The T-72 mounts an infra-red searchlight on the right side of the main armament rather than the left as in the case of the earlier T-64. There are two light steel stowage boxes mounted on the turret, one at the rear and the other on the right slightly behind the commander's position. The snorkel is carried on the left side of the turret to the rear. The T-72 normally carries an unditching beam at the rear and there is also provision for carrying two 200 liter fuel drums at the rear to increase operational range. These can be quickly jettisoned if required by the tactical situation. The T-72B1 is powered by a V-12 piston multi-fuel air-cooled engine that develops 840 hp. The engine will run on three fuels: Diesel, Benzene or Kerosene. The turret has conventional cast armor with a maximum thickness of 280-mm, the nose is about 80-mm thick and the glacis is of a new laminate armor 200-mm thick, which when inclined gives between 500/600-mm of protection. Late production T-72s do however incorporate advanced armor protection in their turrets. Main armament is a 125-mm (2A46) smoothbore gun fitted with a light alloy thermal sleeve and a bore evacuator. The 125-mm gun is stabilized in both planes. The gun fires three main types of separate loading ammunition, APFSDS, HEAT-FS, and HE-FRAG(FS). Using the gunner's quadrant, the T-72 can fire HE-Frag rounds in the indirect mode out to 9400 m. Of 39 rounds of ammunition carried, 12 are APFSDS-T, 21 HE-FRAG(FS) and the remaining six HEAT-FS. The ammunition is of the separate loading type with a consumable cartridge case; all that remains of the latter after firing is a stub. The additional rounds of ammunition are stowed in racks behind the turret basket and in indentations in the rear floor fuel cell and second forward right cell near the driver. The carousel automatic loader is mounted on the turret floor and on the rear wall of the turret. The projectile is loaded in the lower half of a carrier, the cartridge and propellant in the upper half. The carousel carries 24 ready use projectiles. A 7.62-mm PKT machine gun is mounted coaxially to the right of the main armament and has 250 rounds of ready use ammunition. A 12.7-mm NSV machine gun is mounted on the commander's cupola. The 12.7-mm machine gun can, however, only be used with the commander exposing the upper part of his body. Maximum sight range in the ground-to-ground role is 2000 m; maximum sight range in the anti-aircraft role is 1500 m. The T-72 mounts a dozer blade under the nose of the tank, to clear obstacles and prepare fire positions. Like most other former Soviet tanks, the T-72 can be fitted with mine-clearing equipment such as the KMT-5, KMT-6 and KMT-6 M2. The dozer blade can be brought into the operating position in one or two minutes and enables the tank to prepare its own defilade position without calling on engineer support. The T-72 is provided with an NBC system and can be fitted with a snorkel for deep fording. The tank takes about 20 minutes to prepare for amphibious use and is ready for action within two minutes of leaving the water.

VARIANTS:

T-72 First version of the T-72 to enter production with early versions having searchlight mounted on left as well as the standard production type TPD-2-49 coincidence rangefinder sight that protrudes from the turret.

T-72K Command version of original T-72 with additional communications equipment. The K-series tanks are essentially the same: company Ks having two R-123M or R-173 radios, and battalion/regiment versions have one R123M/R-173 and one R-130M that has a 10 m antenna when erected.

T-72A This has the coincidence rangefinder replaced by the TPD-K1 laser rangefinder. Called T-72M in the former Warsaw Pact with export versions being called the T-72G. Also has plastic armor side skirts in place of the flipper type armor panels found on the earlier models. This skirt covers the upper part of the suspension with separate panels protecting the sides of the fuel and stowage panniers.

T-72AK Command version of T-72A with additional communications equipment.

T-72B This model has the thickened frontal turret armor and is commonly known in the United States as the Dolly Parton. It also has improved engine cooling and a plate of 20-mm appliqu? armor added to the top of the glacis plate. The T-72B with 12 smoke mortars on the turret front is referred to as the SMT M1981/3. The SMT M1984 has its snorkel moved to rear aft of stowage bin, and a third stowage bin added on left side of turret. Late models have appliqu? armor matting on turret roof and either side of the driver's station.

T-72BK Command version of T-72B.

T-72BV This is T-72B with explosive reaction armor packages fitted to the hull and turret. The glacis plate is covered with a layer of single ERA blocks while the turret is covered by one, two or three layers with one being the more usual. A single layer of ERA also covers the sides of the vehicle to provide protection to the suspension and upper sides of the hull. There are two types of former Soviet ERA blocks. First the standard shoe type box which has overall dimensions of about 25.5 cm by 13.5 cm and second the wedge type block. Both of these often have an arrow indicating the way that they should be installed to provide the maximum degree of protection. The standard ERA block has an ERA element (two plates of steel separated by explosive) which can be positioned in one of two positions for maximum protection while the wedge type has a fixed ERA element.

T-72B1 This is the first T-72 with NDZ armor and externally identifiable with the considerably thickened turret frontal armor, this is referred to as the Super Dolly Parton. The SMT M1988 has eight smoke mortars on left side and has explosive reactive armor and larger gunner's night sight housing. The T-72B1 is fitted with the fire control system for the 9M119 Svir AT-11 SNIPER missile system.

T-72B1K This is a T-72B1 with additional communications equipment for use in the command post role.

T-72B1V This is a T-72B1 with explosive reaction armor packages fitted to the turret and hull.

T-72S This is an export version of the T-72B1.

T-72BM This is the T-72B1 fitted with 2nd Generation Reactive armor, similar to that on the T-90.

M-84 This is a Yugoslav version of the T-72 which is almost identical to late production Soviet T-72 with two banks of smoke dischargers mounted on the turret front, seven on the left and five on the right. The main areas of difference are in the computerized fire control system and vehicle optics. The M-84 has a distinctive mast containing sensors fitted on the forward part of the turret to the immediate rear of the 125-mm gun. An improved version, the M-84A has a number of improvements including a more powerful 1000 hp diesel engine which gives a higher road speed, greater acceleration and improved power-to-weight ratio, and improved armor protection.

TR-125 This is the Romanian version of the T-72 which has a number of significant differences to the original Soviet MBT. The TR-125 weighs 48 tons, due to increased armor protection over the frontal arc. The TR-125 has seven road wheels of a different design, a new one piece skirt and is powered by a more powerful 880 hp diesel engine. PT-91 Twardy This Polish variant of the T-72 has a number of improvements over the earlier T-72M1. The major improvements include: Polish-developed explosive reactive armor Type ERAWA-1; four laser warning receivers, which warn the crew if they are being targeted by a laser rangefinder or designator; new computerized fire control system, with optional thermal sight; new passive night sights; improved automotive components including 850 hp engine, rubber bushed tracks, and a modern fire detection and suppression system.

T-72AM Banan The T-72AM Banan is an advanced T-72 design, equipped with the same 6TD-2 diesel engine (1250 hp) as the T-84 (see T-84 in T-80 Variants section). The vehicle is covered extensively with early generation ERA tiles and thus looks very similar to the latest Russian T-72s.

T-72 with PW-LWD mine clearance system The Polish Army has deployed a tank-mounted rocket propelled mine-clearing system on a T-72 chassis. This system consists of a rocket that is attached to a 170 m explosive filled hose. The complete system is carried in a boat-shaped container that slides onto a special mount on the hull top at the rear of the vehicle. The vehicle halts on arrival at the minefield, and the PW-LWD system is fired. The explosive hose falls to the ground and is detonated, setting off any mines in its path.

MTU-72 AVLB The FSU has deployed an armored vehicle launched bridge system based on the T-72 MBT chassis that is similar in appearance and concept to the older MTU-20 that is based on the T-55 chassis (q.v.). It is estimated that the bridge, when opened out, is 20.6 m long.

BREM-1 Armored Recovery and Repair Vehicle This is based on the chassis of the T-72 and mounted at the front of the hull on the left side is a hydraulic crane which can lift 12 tons, a main winch with a capacity of 25 tons which can be increased to 100 tons, auxiliary winch, hydraulically operated dozer/stabilizing blade at the front of the hull, towing equipment and a complete range of tools and recovery equipment.

WZT-3 Armored Recovery Vehicle This ARV is based on the T-72M1 hull, and is armed with a 12.7-mm machine-gun, which is fitted to the commander's hatch. Standard equipment includes: crane with telescopic jib that can lift a maximum load of 15 tons, front mounted stabilizing dozer blade, main and secondary winch.

IMR-2 Combat Engineer Vehicle A T-72 MBT chassis is used as the basis for the new IMR-2 combat engineer vehicle. The crane can be fitted with a number of attachments including pincers for uprooting trees. Pivoted at the front of the vehicle is a dozer blade that can be used in a V-configuration or as a straight dozer blade. When not required it is raised clear of the ground.  


T-80 Main Battle Tank 

The T-80 retains the low silhouette of the earlier FSU tanks. The suspension consists of six forged steel-aluminum rubber-tired road wheels, drive sprocket at the rear, idler at the front, and five return road wheels. The rubber-tired road wheels are in two halves that are bolted together. The road wheel spacing is not identical and there are distinct gaps between the second and third, fourth and fifth, and fifth and sixth road wheels. The side skirt covers the return rollers. The rubber-bushed, double-pin track has rubber track pads and U-shaped track guides. The T-80 has a distinct oblong exhaust outlet in the hull rear. The driver's hatch is centered at the top of a sharply sloped upper glacis. Integrated fuel cells and stowage containers give a streamlined appearance to the fenders. The tank has a toothed shovel/dozer blade on the front of the hull beneath the glacis. There are attachment points beneath the blade for the KMT-6 mine-clearing plow. The low, rounded turret is centered on the hull. The commander's cupola is on the right side of the turret; the gunner's hatch is on the left side. The 125-mm main gun has a four section removable thermal shield. It has two sections in front of, and two sections to the rear of the mid-tube bore evacuator. A 7.62-mm coaxial machine-gun is mounted to the right of the mantlet. The infra-red searchlight is mounted on the right of the main armament. Banks of electrically operated smoke dischargers are mounted either side of the 125-mm gun/missile launcher, normally five on the left and four on the right. The T-80 has a GTD-1000 gas-turbine engine developing 1100 hp coupled to a manual transmission with five forward and one reverse gears. This is the first former Soviet operational tank to be powered by a gas-turhorns. The glacis plate is of the laminate type for improved protection against kinetic energy and HEAT attack and there is a dozer blade under the nose of the vehicle. The turret is steel with an inner layer of special armor; the gunner sits on the left and the tank commander on the right. The T-80 MBT uses the same 125-mm gun and horizontal ammunition system as the T-72 whereas the T-64 uses a 125-mm 2A26 gun with vertical ammunition stowage. The fire control system is an improvement over that fitted to earlier former Soviet tanks. This tank can fire either the AT-8 Songster ATGM or four types of separate loading ammunition, e.g., projectile and semi-combustible cartridge case. These four rounds are HE-FRAG (FS), HEAT-FS, APFSDS-T and Flechette. A total of six AT-8 Songster ATGMs are carried and these are identical to those launched by the T-64B MBT deployed some years ago. A 7.62-mm PKT machine gun is mounted coaxially to the right of the main armament and a 12.7-mm NSV machine gun is mounted on the commander's cupola. To extend the operational range of the T-80, additional fuel tanks can be mounted at the hull rear. These can be quickly jettisoned if required. Standard equipment includes snorkels for deep fording operations that are carried on the turret rear when not required, an overpressure type NBC protection system, night vision equipment for all three crew members, unditching beam carried across the hull rear and a laser warning device activated by laser rangefinders, laser designators or precision-guided munitions fitted with a laser guidance device. Mounted on the turret rear is a large circular container that carries two snorkels. The larger one is the snorkel for the gas-turbine, with another one being fitted onto the radiator grill by means of two adapters. This provides an air intake for the gas-turbine.

VARIANTS:

T-80 This was the first production model of the T-80 and is understood to have entered production in 1978. Only a few hundred are believed to have been built when production switched to the T-80B. The first version of T-80 is sometimes referred to as the Kobra as its 125-mm gun can fire the 9M117 Kobra (NATO designation AT-8 Songster) ATGM. Combat weight is 39.7 tons. T-80B This is also sometimes referred to as the Beryoza (Birch Tree) and was the first major redesign of the T-80 with a modified turret incorporating a new generation composite K ceramic armor which offers better protection against APFSDS kinetic energy penetrators. The turret has an equivalent level of 500-mm of steel compared to 410-mm in earlier models. T-80BK This is the command version of the T-80B and has additional communications equipment and therefore additional antennas.

T-80BV This is essentially the T-80B fitted with first generation explosive reactive armor. In addition there is a late production type with a new turret similar to the T-80U but fitted with the turbine engine and first generation explosive reactive armor. When fitted with its explosive reactive armor package, the T-80 is virtually immune over its frontal arc to penetration from all current NATO ATGMs which rely on a HEAT warhead to penetrate armor. With the explosive reactive armor fitted the smoke grenade launchers are moved from either side of the main armament back to either side of the turret and positioned between the turret side and the explosive reactive panels On the turret of the T-80, the panels are joined to form a shallow chevron pointing. Explosive reactive armor is also fitted to the forward part of the turret roof to provide protection against top attack weapons The explosive reactive armor package on the T-80 provides a high degree of protection against ATGMs such as MILAN, HOT, TOW and SWINGFIRE over the frontal arc. It does not provide any added protection against APDS or APFSDS attack. When the HEAT projectile reaches the MBT its high speed jet initiates the explosive between the two plates and drives the plates aside. These moving plates perturb and eat the mass of the incoming jet. The jet is then unable to achieve any significant penetration of the main tank armor.

T-80BVK This is the command version of the T-80BV and is fitted with additional communications equipment and antennas.

T-80U This was first observed in 1989 and is referred to by NATO as the SMT (Soviet Medium Tank) M1989. The new turret has an improved frontal armor package with second generation explosive reactive armor. This version is also equipped to fire the 9K120 Svir (NATO designation AT-11 Sniper) laser-guided anti-tank missile in place of the older Kobra. Although based on the chassis of the T-80B it has many improvements including the replacement of the gas turbine engine by a more fuel efficient and more powerful turbine engine (GTD-1250, developing 1250 hp), different engine decking, new commander's cupola with 12.7-mm NVS machine gun now capable of being fired from within the turret under remote-control in a similar manner to the earlier T-64, a bank of four 81-mm electrically operated smoke dischargers either side of the turret firing to the frontal arc (902B Tucha), smaller snorkel kept on rear of turret when not required, the commander's sight appears to be new and may well incorporate an image intensification channel as there is no infra-red searchlight on the commander's cupola. The turret roof between the commander's and gunner's hatches has been provided with additional protection against top attack weapons and a collar of rubber skirts hangs from the turret front. Mounted on the roof forward of the tank commander's cupola is the laser designation system which projects a modulated beam; the system is protected by a rectangular armored box cover. The T-80U has full length side skirts but those above the first three road wheels are armored and are provided with lifting handles. There are also rubber elements fitted beneath the front glacis which provide additional protection against mines with tilt-rod fuses and HEAT warheads. The forward skirt elements are armored and a radiation absorption liner coats the armor inside and outside. Protection for the driver, particularly against mine explosions, is enhanced by suspending the driver's seat from the hull roof. A special camouflage paint distorts the tank's appearance in the visible and IR wavebands.

T-80UD This vehicle is the T-80U powered with the GTF diesel engine, which develops 1000 hp.

T-80UK This is the command version of the T-80U fitted with additional radios and antennas. At a recent display of military equipment, a T-80UK was displayed fitted with the Shtora-1 electro-optical countermeasures system, a metero-logical sensor, laser warning receivers, and thermal sights. The Shtora-1 system consists of a laser warning device, remote aerosol formations system (81-mm smoke mortars), and electro-optical jammers.

T-84 This vehicle is essentially a T-80UD tank produced by the Ukraine and powered by an uprated 6TD-2 diesel engine. This engine develops 1200 hp, giving the vehicle an improved power-to-weight ratio of about 27 hp/ton. The T-84 also includes the Shtora-1 electro-optical countermeasures system, the Arena vehicle protection system, improved tracks, thermal protection for the engine, and an air conditioning system for the crew. The armament consists of a Ukrainian produced 125-mm KBA-3 main gun, fitted with an autoloader for 28 rounds. The fire control system enables accurate fire in daylight for up to 5000 meters for the AT-11 ATGM and up to 2500 meters for main gun rounds. At night, the gunners fire-control system gives a forward field of view of up to 1200 meters while the thermal imager extends this to 3000 meters. The Shtora-1 (described in the T-80UK section) is fitted to this tank, with the primary differences being six 81-mm smoke mortars on either side of the turret, instead of the 4 fitted to the T-80UK. The Shtora-1 system is reported to reduce the hit-probability of ATGMs with semi-automatic control systems (TOW, HOT, Dragon, and MILAN) up to five fold, while missiles with laser-homing heads (Hellfire, Maverick and Copperhead) have a similarly reduced probability of hitting.  


T-90 Main Battle Tank 

The T-90 retains the low silhouette of the earlier FSU tanks. The suspension consists of six large, die-cast, rubber-coated road wheels with the drive sprocket at the rear, idler at the front and three track-return rollers that support the inside of the track only. Shock absorbers are fitted at the first, second and sixth road wheel stations. There are side skirts that extend along the entire side of the tank. The front third of this skirt consists of armored panels, whereas the rear two-thirds consist only of rubberized panels. There is an engine exhaust on the left side of the hull above the last road wheel. The glacis is well sloped, and is covered by second generation ERA bricks and a large transverse rib that extends horizontally across the glacis. The driver sits at the front of the hull and has a single piece hatch cover that opens to the right, in front of which is a single wide-angle observation periscope. Integrated fuel cells and stowage containers give a streamlined appearance to the fenders. The tank has a toothed shovel/dozer blade on the front of the hull beneath the glacis. There are attachment points beneath the blade for the KMT-6 mine-clearing plow. The low, rounded turret is centered on the hull. The commander's cupola is on the right side of the turret; the gunner's hatch is on the left side. The 125-mm main gun has a four section removable thermal shield. It has two sections in front of, and two sections to the rear of the mid-tube bore evacuator. A 7.62-mm coaxial machine-gun is mounted to the right of the mantlet. The T-90 mounts two infra-red searchlights on either side of the main armament; these are part of the Shtora ATGM defense system. The turret is covered with second generation reactive armor on the frontal arc. This ERA gives the turret an angled appearance, with the ERA bricks forming a "clam shell" appearance. There are ERA bricks on the turret roof to provide protection from top-attack weapons. There are banks of smoke mortars on either side of the turret, The T-90 is powered by the Model 84 V-84 diesel engine, which produces 840 hp. This results in a power to weight ratio of only 18.06 hp/ton, which is considerably less than that of the T-80. The second generation ERA package, combined with the advanced armor technology, makes the T-90 one of the best protected main battle tanks in the world. This high level of protection is supplanted with the TShU-1-7 IR-Jamming system, which is designed to disrupt the guidance of incoming ATGMs. This system consists of two infrared lights, one on each side of the main gun, which continuously emit coded pulsed infrared jamming when an incoming ATGM has been detected. The T-90 is also equipped with a laser warning package that warns the tank crew when it is being lased. The T-90 retains the 125-mm 2A46-series main gun of the T-72 and T-80, and is capable of firing the AT-11 SNIPER laser-guided ATGM. The AT-11, which can penetrate 700-mm of RHAe out to 4000 meters, gives the T-90 the ability to engage other MBTs, vehicle ATGMs, and even most helicopters before they can engage the T-90. The computerized fire control system and laser range-finder, coupled with the new gunner's thermal sight permit the T-90 to engage targets while on the move and at night. Detailed information on the Agave gunner's thermal sight is not yet available, but this is probably a first generation system and not as capable as current Western systems.