Advertising image of the BTR-82A
The serial production of new armored personnel carriers BTR-82A and the modernization of the existing BTR-80 to the state of the BTR-82AM continue. According to the latest news, this year the armed forces will receive several hundred more units of such equipment. It is curious that as a result of these processes, the BTR-82A (M) has already become the most massive vehicle of its class in the Russian army.
The BTR-82A (M) armored personnel carrier was officially put into service in 2013, although supplies to the troops were carried out earlier. The production of new armored vehicles of the BTR-82A type was mastered by the Arzamas Machine-Building Plant. In addition, overhaul of the existing BTR-80 with modernization according to the BTR-82AM project is carried out at repair enterprises. The production and modernization of equipment quickly gained the required pace and continues to this day.
According to The Military Balance 2020, by the beginning of last year, the ground forces had 1,000 BTR-82A (M) armored personnel carriers. The authors of the reference book counted 661 more vehicles of these types in the coastal troops. The Airborne Forces had only 20 modern armored personnel carriers. At the same time, 1,500 older BTR-80s were present in the army, and 100 such vehicles remained in the coastal troops. The core of the airborne armored personnel carrier fleet was made up of specialized BTR-D and BTR-MDM – more than 780 units in total.
Thus, in just a few years, the army and industry carried out a very large program of massive renewal of armored vehicles. The number of armored personnel carriers of new models and modifications gradually approached the number of old vehicles, which made it possible to more fully realize the qualitative advantages of modern models.
BTR-80 is no longer the most massive armored personnel carrier of the Russian army
It should be noted that the main contribution to such a renewal of the fleet of armored vehicles is made by the modernization of available vehicles. It is cheaper and easier to build the BTR-82A from scratch, but it allows you to get the same results. In different years, the modernized BTR-82AM accounted for at least 50-60 percent. from the total release of such equipment.
Last year’s indicators
Production plans for 2020 were revealed last spring. Then the Ministry of Defense announced that at least 460 armored personnel carriers of two types would arrive in the unit by the end of the year. BTR-82A new construction was expected in the amount of 130 units.
Some messages about the delivery of the BTR-82A (M) in part have appeared since the beginning of last year. Recent deliveries of more than 100 units. took place already in December. From the available reports, it follows that the plans for the production of 460 armored vehicles were successfully completed. As a result of this, a number of units of different types of troops received improved equipment, while others began operating wheeled armored personnel carriers for the first time.
According to the results of last year’s deliveries, the total number of BTR-82A (M) in the troops should have reached the level of 2140-2150 units. In 2020, it was planned to repair and rebuild at least 330 BTR-80 from combat units. This means that the number of such vehicles in the original configuration could be reduced to 1300 units. or less. However, in modern BTR-82AM armored vehicles can be rebuilt from storage, which will allow not to reduce the active fleet of BTR-80 and combine quantitative growth with a qualitative upgrade.
One of the BTR-82A armored personnel carriers of the airborne troops
On February 22, the Ministry of Defense revealed plans for the rearmament of the ground forces for this year. Hundreds of armored combat vehicles of various classes will be purchased. The most popular will be the armored personnel carriers of the latest models – about 300 units. A few days later, the news about the procurement of armored vehicles was repeated, but without much detail. In particular, the shares of completely new and updated equipment are not indicated.
The expected completion of orders for this year will lead to understandable results. The total number of modern BTR-82A (M) will exceed 2,400 units, and the number of older BTR-80s may be reduced again. By the end of the year, the units may have less than 1,000 such armored personnel carriers.
Most likely, in the next 2022, the production and modernization of armored vehicles will continue. The volumes of future orders are unknown and, possibly, have not yet been determined, since they must be determined taking into account the result of previous work. At the same time, it is clear what consequences the continuation of the current rearmament program will lead to.
Save and grow
The BTR-82AM project proposes the restructuring of the existing BTR-80 armored vehicle according to a new project with a number of important capabilities. When using equipment from combat units, the BTR-80 is gradually replaced with new BTR-82AM while maintaining the total number – and improving the condition of the park, as well as increasing combat capabilities.
The construction of the BTR-82A is carried out from scratch. Distinguished by greater complexity and cost, it allows you to increase the total number of armored personnel carriers in the army. Such capabilities are used to equip newly created formations or to re-equip existing ones.
For example, in November 2020, the newly formed motorized rifle regiment of the 127th motorized rifle division received three dozen new armored personnel carriers. Later, in December, the re-equipment of three battalions of the 205th separate motorized rifle brigade was completed. Previously, they used MT-LB vehicles, and now they are mastering modern BTR-82s. Without the production of the BTR-82A (M), such processes would at least be difficult and would have limited results.
The BTR-82A (M) project offers a deep modernization of the existing BTR-80 armored personnel carrier with the replacement of a number of key units. Due to this, significant advantages are achieved over the basic machine in all main characteristics. However, the BTR-82A (M) is noticeably inferior to promising models that are preparing for adoption.
In the course of modernization, measures were taken to increase the resource of the structure. The increase in weight is compensated by the installation of a new KAMAZ-740.14-300 engine with a capacity of 300 hp. The same measures allow you to increase mobility and patency.
BTR-82AM on patrol
Much attention is paid to the issues of protection. A new anti-splinter lining has appeared on the armor inside the habitable compartments, designed to complement the hull sheets. Enhanced mine protection is envisaged. In addition, the seats of the crew and the landing party with an energy-absorbing suspension are used. An air conditioner has been introduced to improve working conditions.
BTR-82A (M) receives a turret cannon and machine gun mount with a 30-mm 2A72 cannon and a PKTM machine gun. The installation has a two-plane stabilizer and a combined (day-night) sight TKN-4GA. Such a complex of weapons allows you to obtain high firepower, increased accuracy and the ability to effectively fire at any time of the day.
Quantity and quality
Thus, the BTR-82A (M) project makes it possible to do without the production of fundamentally new equipment, saving time and resources, but at the same time getting a noticeable increase in the main characteristics and capabilities. In addition, there is no need for a lengthy and complex retraining of crews, and the operation processes are simplified.
A similar approach has been implemented over the past few years and has already yielded noticeable results. The total number of BTR-82A (M) gradually approached the number of BTR-80, and then exceeded it. It is expected that the modernization of the fleet of armored vehicles will continue, incl. with the renewal of old armored personnel carriers according to a modern project. It is very likely that in a few years this will completely abandon the outdated BTR-80 and fully use the potential of the modern BTR-82A (M) project.