BTR 80


BTR 80

Although similar in appearance to its predecessor the BTR70, there are a number of significant differences and improvements. The chassis is larger, the turret has a higher angle of fire (60 degrees instead of 30 degrees) and there is a single diesel engine as opposed to the earlier petrol installation. The vehicle has been in service since the late 1980s. There are various special purpose variants available as well as optional upgrades, which include a turret with a 30mm gun.

Access to the vehicle has also been improved, with proper doors on either side between the second and third wheel installations. These doors are in halves, the top opening to the front to provide some measure of protection during use and the bottom part folding down, thus supplying a step. The upper half of the door is fitted with a firing port. Additional firing ports include one for the commander and two in the roof hatches.

All eight wheels are driven and the steering is on the front four. The whole vehicle shows a more squared-off profile than that of the BTR 70. The higher angle of engagement of the weapons appear to be the result of experience in Afghanistan where the opposition soon worked out the limitations of 30 degree elevation and took advantage. The firing ports forward are angled so that additional fire can be directed there.

Like other contemporary Soviet designs the BTR 80 is fully amphibious, propelled by a single water jet at the rear, and has a central tyre pressure regulation system.

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