To the untrained eye, many may confuse the BVP M80 with the Russian BMP-2 at first glance, however the easiest way to recognise the M80 (&M80A) is it has five road wheels (these are the ones between the front and rear wheels, which are called drive and return wheels) where as the Russian BMP’s have six. The M80’s also have smaller turrets and overall are almost half a meter shorter.
The BVP M80 Infantry Fighting Vehicle was the former Yugoslavia’s first IFV and first prototypes were delivered to the Army for field testing in 1974. It entered service & full production in 1982, but had a short run of just a year and was replaced with the improved M-80A.
The original M80 used a 260hp French engine as used in their AMX-10 APC. However the M80A used the improved 315hp German Daimler-Benz, which gave an increased speed and power to weight ratio and was built under licence by FAMOS.
The vehicle is fully amphibious after erection of the water trim and is propelled by the vehicles tracks.
The vehicle was steel in construction, but is believed to have used Aluminium / Titanium on top of this, similar to the Bradley, but offered better protection over the BMP-2. It was equipped with smoke grenade dischargers and diesel could be injected on to the hot exhaust to generate smoke screens. An NBC and fire suppression system in the infantry compartment was installed.
The principal weapon is the HS 804, 20mm auto cannon and carries total of 1400 rounds.
For close encounters it uses a coaxial 7.62mm MG and carries a total of 2000 rounds.
The BVP M80 Infantry Fighting Vehicle has a turret roof mounted twin launcher, which fires the Russian AT-3 Sagger Anti-Tank Wire Guided Missile, which is licence manufactured. 4 further missiles are stored in the vehicle. The launcher is reloaded via the two roof hatches in the infantry section of the vehicle (at the rear of the hull).
The embarked infantry can also support close encounters with their personal arms by firing through the 3 ports on either side of the vehicle in their compartment. Each port has a periscope for aiming.
The driver sits front left, with the commander directly behind him, with the engine to their right. The one man turret is located in the centre of the vehicle, housing the gunner. 6 infantrymen are in the rear and sit back to back, (3per side) down the centre. The disembark via two large doors in the rear of the vehicle.
The BVP M80 Infantry Fighting Vehicle Variants
BVP M80AK – New one man turret (angled sides, older M80 & M80A are circular) with a 30mm main gun and Sagger launcher.
BVP M80A1 – Two man turret armed with twin 30mm Anti-Aircraft guns, prototype only.
BVP M80A KC – Company commanders vehicle.
BVP M80A KB – Battalion commanders vehicle.
BVP M80A LT anti-tank – New turret with a ready to fire launcher, which holds 6 Stagger missiles at once.
BVP M80A Sn – Non turret ambulance.
SAVA – Low altitude SAM system.
Its estimated that between 600 to 800 vehicles were manufactured and distributed through out the former Yugoslavia and was used by all sides through out the various Yugoslav wars during the 90’s.
The BVP M80 Infantry Fighting Vehicle Operators
Its in service with, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia. Some countries are planning upgrades for their vehicles.