The Russian BTR-70 8×8 Wheeled Armoured Personnel Carrier

BTR-70
The Russian BTR-70 8×8 Wheeled Armoured Personnel Carrier

The Russian BTR-70 8×8 Wheeled Armoured Personnel Carrier was the successor to the BTR-60. Manufactured at the Gorkiy Automobile Plant in Russia and in Romania (up-graded & designated the TAB-77) it was an improved vehicle of the final production BTR-60PB. Its principal up-grades focused on the engine. It was equipped with two new ZMZ-49-05 V-8 petrol engines generating a small increase in hp. It also increased the power-to-weight ratio. With the BTR-70, one engine powers the 1st and 3rd wheels on both sides and the other engine powers the 2nd and 4th wheels on both sides, so should one engine break down, the vehicle could make it to safety under limited speed, unlike the BTR-60. The number of firing ports for the embarked infantry to fire from were increased, giving better protection to those as they disembarked. The vehicle is longer than its predecessor and made wider to giver better protection to the wheels.

The lay out of the vehicle is the commander & driver sit in the front, whilst an infantryman sits behind each of them using the newly added fire ports. Behind them is the turret which is operated by an infantryman. Behind that is the infantry compartment. 6 infantry then sat on 2 bench’s facing the hull so they could use the firing ports. They left the vehicle through the small hatch’s, one on each side on the hull located between the 2nd and 3rd wheel. The rear of the vehicle is were the engine is housed. The vehicle was amphibious and propulsion is via a single water jet at the rear of the vehicle. The only preparation is the activation of bilge pumps and a trim vane is erected at the front of the vehicle. Development of the vehicle started in 1971 and production in 1972, however it didn’t enter service until 1976 due to a fire at the factory which produced the new engines. It was first seen by the West at the 1980 November Moscow parade. In Afghanistan it proved vulnerable to attack from heavy MG fire and RPG-7’s. Field up-grades were completed which included additional armour and the main gun replaced with the AGS-17 grenade launcher.

The BTR-70V saw the replacement of the original turret with the BPU-1 turret (modified) fitted on the BTR-80 with 1PZ-2 sight. The turret was not fitted with the Tucha smoke grenade launchers. The BTR-70M was a further up-graded model with the turret, diesel engine and rear hull section of the BTR-80.

Known operators and vehicle numbers up to 2005

Operator number Operator number Operator number
Armenia
20
Republic of Macedonia
58
Tajikistan
2
Azerbaijan
28
Moldova
5
Turkmenistan
170
Belarus
446
Nepal
135
Ukraine
1026
Georgia
19
Pakistan
169
Uzbekistan
36
Kazakhstan
45
Romania
170
Kyrgyzstan
45
Russia
2000

 

Combat history of the BTR-70

Conflict
Date
The Soviet war in Afghanistan
1979 – 1988
The Bosnian War
1992 – 1995
The Kosovo War
1996 – 1999

Russian/Former Soviet Union variants

Variant:
Characteristics:
BTR-70MS
Turret less communications vehicle.
BTR-70KShM
Command and control variant.
BREM
ARV fitted with tow bars, a work platform and a light crane.
SPR-2
Electronic warfare vehicle (radar jammer).
BTR-70Kh
Chemical reconnaissance vehicle.
BTR-70MBP
Artillery command and forward observer vehicle.
MBP
This variant was used by security forces on Strategic Rocket bases. The 1PN22M1 improved sight was mounted on a new replacement turret. It was equipped with loudspeakers, an OU-3GA-2 IR search light, new TNPO-170 additional periscopes and an NSVT 12.7 mm MG.

Ukrainian variants

Variant:
Characteristics:
BTR-70D
Upgraded from 2001 with a 300hp IVECO diesel engine. Also has two-piece escape hatches in the hull sides similar to those on the BTR-80.
BTR-70DI
Further up-graded with a IVECO Euro II 276hp diesel engine. Can be fitted with modular turrets or with the Zaslon active protection system.
BTR-70M
Upgraded with a UTD-20 300hp engine.
BTR-70SM
Unarmed ambulance with a new internal hull lay out.

Romanian variants

Variant:
Characteristics:
TAB-77
Romanian developed improved version of the BTR-70. Differences include the use of the same turret with LOTA aiming system as the TAB-71. The original engines were replaced with Saviem 797-05M1 132hp diesel engines.
TAB-77A PCOMA
This variant was an artillery command and forward observer vehicle. It had a range finding equipment housed in a large unarmed turret.
TAB-77A R-1451/M
This was a commanders vehicle equipped with R-1070 and R-1451M radio sets and a rear-mounted generator.
TAB-77A R-1452
Used by signal corps, this variant was equipped with a R-1452 radio, a dummy turret, a telescopic mast, two generators at the rear and a pintle-mounted machine gun on the hull roof.
TERA-77L
This variant was the ARV and has a 5t crane and dozer blade.
TABC-79
shorter version with only 4 wheels. Several variants exist.

Variants of former East-Germany

Variant:
Characteristics:
SPW 70
Initial production model, given this designation by the former National People’s Army of East Germany. These vehicles were manufactured in Romania and 1316 were imported between 1980 to 1990.
SPW 70(S)
Staff vehicle (senior officers) with 2 additional radio’s and a slim telescopic mast on the right side of the hull roof.
SPW 70(SL)
This variant was a forward air control vehicle and was equipped with a R-809M2 radio to communicate with aircraft.
SPW 70(Ch)
This variant was a prototype vehicle fitted with an NBC system. It was a reconnaissance vehicle equipped with detection and marking systems.

BTR-70

Variants from other countries

Operator:
Variant:
Characteristics:
Slovakia/Belarus
Cobra-K
Fitted with modular turret 2A42-Cobra. Optionally equipped with a new diesel engine KamAZ-7403.
Belarus BREM This vehicle is a Prototype technical support vehicle based on the BTR-70. It is fitted with tow bars, a work platform and a light crane.

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