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BRDM-2 (BTR-40P-2)
Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle

In an attempt to improve the amphibious characteristics and increase the combat power of their wheeled reconnaissance vehicles, the Soviets produced the BRDM-2. This vehicle differs from the original BRDM in that the powerplant has improved and moved to the rear of the vehicle, and that a small 14.5mm machinegun-armed turret has been fitted. This turret is identical to that found on the BTR-60PB armored personnel carrier. The original BRDM (BTR-40P) first appeared in 1959. The BRDM-2 also is known as BTR-40P-2 or BTR-40PB (hence also BTR-40P-2rkh or BTR-40PB-rkh, etc.). It was first seen in 1966 and by the mid-1980s was rapidly replacing the BRDM in the Soviet and Warsaw Pact armies. Care must be taken to distinguish the BRDM-2 from the Hungarian FUG (OT-65) and FUG-70 amphibious scout cars which also have rear engines but have twin waterjets.

The BRDM-2 series, with maximum armor of 14 mm, can be penetrated by artillery fragments and .50 caliber machine gun fire. Its tires are not protected by armor and are particularly vulnerable to puncture from fire of all kinds.

Like the earlier BRDM, the BRDM-2 is a fully armored, four-wheel drive, amphibious reconnaissance vehicle with two pairs of belly wheels and a centralized tire pressure regulation system for increased cross-country capability and a single water jet for propulsion through water. Externally, it differs from the BRDM due to a larger, box-like hull. It retains the boat-like bow of the BRDM, but the crew compartment has been moved farther forward and the engine has been moved to the rear. In the basic model, a small conical turret is mounted on the hull in a central position above the belly wheels. There are two front cupolas, and vision blocks are located centrally on both sides. The engine is larger than in the BRDM (140hp V-8 as opposed to 90hp 6-cylinder). The BRDM-2 is fitted with an IR spotlight and IR driving lights as well as an NBC filter system.


Like the BRDM, the BRDM-2 exists in several versions, the first four of which have the same roles as their BRDM counterparts:


Alternative Designations GAZ 41-08
Date of Introduction 1963
Proliferation At least 45 countries
Crew 4
Troop Capacity 0 (for this configuration)
Combat Weight (mt) 7.0
Chassis Length Overall (m) 5.75
Height Overall (m) 2.31
Width Overall (m) 2.75
Ground Pressure (kg/cm 2 ) INA
Drive Formula 4 x 4 (+ 4 auxiliary wheels)
Automotive Performance
Engine Type 140-hp Gasoline
Cruising Range (km) 750
Max Road Speed (km/h) 95
Max Off-Road INA
Average Cross-Country INA
Max Swim 10
Fording Depths (m) Amphibious
Radio R-123
Armor, Turret Front (mm) 10
Applique Armor (mm) N/A
Explosive Reactive Armor (mm) N/A
Mineclearing Equipment N/A
Self-Entrenching Blade N/A
Active Protective System N/A
NBC Protection System Collective
Smoke Equipment N/A
Main Armament
Caliber, Type, Name 14.5-mm Machinegun KPVT
Rate of Fire (rd/min) 150 practical/600 cyclic
Loader Type Belt feed
Ready/Stowed Rounds 500/0
Elevation () -5 / +30
Fire on Move Yes
Auxiliary Weapon
Caliber, Type, Name 7.62-mm (7.62x 54R) Machinegun PKT
Mount Type Coax
Maximum Aimed Range (m) 1,500
Max Effective Range (m)
Day 1,000m / 400-500 on the move
Night N/A
Fire on Move Yes
Rate of Fire (rd/min) 250 practical / 650 cyclic in 2-10 round bursts
ATGM Launcher N/A
Firing Ports INA
FCS Name N/A
Main Gun Stabilization N/A
Rangefinder N/A
Infrared Searchlight INA
Sights w/Magnification
Day PP-61AM
Field of View () 23
Acquisition Range (m) 2,000
Night N/A
Field of View () INA
Acquisition Range (m) INA
Commander Fire Main Gun No
Caliber, Type, Name
14.5-mm API-T
Maximum Aimed Range (m) INA
Max Effective Range (m)
Day 2,000
Night INA
Tactical AA Range 1,400
Armor Penetration (mm) 20 at 1,000 m/30 at 500 m
Other Ammunition Types 14.5-mm API, I-T, HE-T Type MDZ

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Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Friday, January 22, 1999 1:25:08 PM