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BTR-80 Armored Personnel Carrier

The BTR-80 is a modern, lightly armored vehicle with a diesel power plant. It is manufactured at the Gorkiy Automobile Factory in Nizhniy Novgorod and has been in service since the early 1980s. The BTR-80 is a lightly armored amphibious vehicle with a collective chemical-biological-radiological (CBR) protective system. Operated by a crew of three, the vehicle can carry a squad of seven infantry troops.

The BTR-80 8 x 8 armored personnel carrier is intended to carry personnel on the battlefield and provide close fire support. It can also carry out reconnaissance, combat support and patrol missions. It entered service with the Russian army in the late 1980's and has since been used in a number of military conflicts, including UN peacekeeping operations. The vehicle is in production and in service with the Russian army and with a number of other countries.

The BTR-80 is superior to BTR-60/70 with a larger chassis, high-angle-of- fire turret, and single more powerful diesel engine (vs gasoline). Aalthough the armament is same as BTR-60 and BTR-70, except for added smoke grenade dispensers on the back of the turret, the conical turret has been improved and the gun can elevate higher. This was a problem on BTR-60/BTR-70 when the Russians were fighting the Mujahadeen in the mountains and cities of Afganistan. The front and side firing ports have been greatly improved (square/inset, angled slightly forward. The BTR-80 also fixed the side entrance problems found in BTR-60 & BTR-70. Now the entrance consists of a two part door (upper and lower parts which open outwards). It's now big enough to load/unload cargo, and exit rapidly with full battle gear on.

Options include the Kliver turret with a 30-mm gun, 7.62-mm coax MG, thermal sights, superior day sights, and (four) Kornet ATGM launchers. While retaining the standard boat-shaped hull and sloped sides of all-welded steel armor construction, the rear deck has been reconfigured with a raised rear and square rearward-sloping engine compartment. The BTR-70's side-half doors are replaced by full side doors, and the firing ports are modified to face forward. The fully amphibious BTR-80 has night vision equipment, overpressure NBC protection system, and a central tire-pressure regulation system.

The single diesel engine gives the BTR-80 better performance and lower risk of fire compared to the twin gas engines of the BTR-70. The turret is improved relative to the BTR-60PB and BTR-70, and can be elevated to +60 degrees compared to the +30 degrees of earlier vehicles. The sighting system for the 14.5-mm KPV heavy machine gun and coaxial 7.62-mm PKT machineguns are also of improved design. Six 81-mm smoke mortars mounted on the rear of the turret can be fired from inside the vehicle.

The BTR-80 can carry seven infantry men, along with a crew of three, consisting of a commander, gunner and driver. The full side doors of the BTR-80, positioned between the second and third axles of the vehicle, consist of an upper half which opens forward and a lower half which opens down, forming a step ladder for troops entering or exiting. The upper half of the door is also fitted with a firing port. Additional forward-facing firing ports include one at the front of the vehicle for the commander, and two in the roof hatches. The firing ports are designed for AKMS/AK-74 individual weapons, apart from the front two firing ports which are designed for the 7.62-mm PK general purpose machine guns.

The fully amphibious BTR-80 is powered by a 7403 four-stroke, eight cylinder liquid cooled diesel engine, which provides 260 hp. It is capable of a maximum speed of 80 km/hour on paved road and 9 km/hour when afloat. Fuel endurance range is 600 km on roads. The BTR-80 is fitted with NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) protection system, automatic fire-fighting system, camouflage devices, bilge pumps and a self-recovery winch.

In a debt reduction arrangement, Russia furnished Hungary 200 BTR-80 wheeled armored personnel carriers (APCs) as replacements for the thirty-year-old Hungarian-manufactured FUG APC.


The following vehicles have been developed from the basic BTR-80:


Alternative Designations BTR-80, GAZ-5903
Date of Introduction 1984
Proliferation At least 22 countries
Crew 2
Troop Capacity 8
Combat Weight (mt) 13.6
Chassis Length Overall (m) 7.55
Height Overall (m) 2.41
Width Overall (m) 2.95
Ground Pressure (kg/cm 2 ) INA
Drive Formula 8 x 8
Automotive Performance
Engine Type 260-hp Diesel
Cruising Range (km) 600
Speed (km/h)
Max Road 85
Max Off-Road 60
Average Cross-Country 40
Max Swim 10
Fording Depths (m) Amphibious
Radio R-173
Armor, Turret Front (mm) Against 12.7mm
Applique Armor (mm) Available
Explosive Reactive Armor (mm) N/A
Active Protective System N/A
Mineclearing Equipment N/A
Self-Entrenching Blade N/A
NBC Protection System Collective
Smoke Equipment 6 x 81-mm smoke grenade launchers
Main Armament
Caliber, Type, Name 14.5-mm (14.5 x 114) heavy MG, KPVT
Rate of Fire (rd/min) 150 practical
Loader Type Belt-fed
Ready/Stowed Rounds 50/450
Elevation () -4/+60
Fire on Move Yes
Auxiliary Weapon
Caliber, Type, Name 7.62-mm machinegun, PKT
Mount Type Coax
Maximum Aimed Range (m) 1,500
Max Effective Range (m)
Day 1,000
Night N/A
Fire on Move Yes
Rate of Fire (rd/min) 250 practical/650 cyclic, 2-10 round bursts
ATGM Launcher N/A
Firing Ports 3 on each side
FCS Name N/A
Main Gun Stabilization N/A
Rangefinder N/A
Infrared Searchlight OU-3GA2M
Sights w/Magnification
Day 1P3-6, 1.2x/4x
Field of View () 49/14
Acquisition Range (m) 2,000
Night N/A
Commander Fire Main Gun No
Caliber, Type, Name 14.5-mm API-T
Maximum Aimed Range (m) 2,000
Max Effective Range (m)
Day 2,000
Night INA
Tactical AA Range 1,500-2,000
Armor Penetration (mm) 20 at 1,000 m/ 30 at 500 m
Other Ammunition Types API, I-T

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Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Friday, August 25, 2000 10:46:31 AM