BTR-4 Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), Ukraine
The BTR-4 is an armoured personnel carrier (APC) with an 8x8 axle configuration. It was developed as a new generation wheeled armoured vehicle by Ukraine's Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau (SOE KMDB) under a private venture project.
The prototype of the vehicle was unveiled in June 2006 at the Aviasvit exhibition held near Kiev, the capital and largest city of Ukraine. Amphibious capability trials were completed in January 2007.
Production of the BTR-4 was started in 2008 after receiving approval from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence. Limited deliveries were made to the Ukrainian Army. The vehicles are being manufactured by the Malyshev Plant, a state-owned manufacturer of heavy equipment, located in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Kharkiv Engine Design Bureau and other Ukrainian defence-related enterprises are also involved in production of the vehicles.
The BTR-4 APC can be deployed as an armoured vehicle in infantry units in the army or as a wheeled infantry fighting vehicle to provide fire support in combat situations. The vehicle can accomplish its jobs in varied climatic conditions throughout the day and night.
The prototype of BTR-4 amphibious armoured fighting vehicle was produced in March 2014. The new variant is equipped with an add-on armour kit to provide increased protection for occupants.
Design and features of the BTR-4 APC
The vehicle has a modular design and can be used for the development of a whole family of combat vehicles to suit customer or mission needs.
The design of the vehicle is inspired, but different, from the Russian series of BTR 8x8 wheeled APCs. The conventional layout of BTR-4 depicts western designs, such as the German armoured personnel carrier TPz Fuchs.
The layout of the BTR-4 APC is segmented into three compartments. The front compartment is meant for the driver and commander. The middle compartment is reserved for the engine and transmission, while the rear compartment is built for troops.
Troops can enter and exit from the vehicle either through the back doors or through the roof hatches. The doors are provided on either side of the hull for the driver and commander.
The vehicle's wheel arrangement includes eight large road wheels, with four provided at the hull side. Each suspended wheel is coupled along individual axles. For direction and heading, the front pair is connected by an auto-style steering wheel.
The BTR-4 is fully amphibious and can cross water obstacles at a maximum speed of ten kilometres an hour. The maximum speed of the vehicle on hard surface roads is 110km/h. Crew capacity of the vehicle is three.
Orders and deliveries of the Ukrainian armoured personnel carrier
The BTR-4 APCs are presently being operated by the armies of Ukraine and Iraq.
Iraq ordered a total of 420 BTR-4 APCs in late-2009. KMDB shipped the first batch of 26 vehicles in April 2011. The vehicles reached Iraq in May 2011. The second batch of 62 vehicles was delivered in June 2012. The third batch of 40 vehicles was accepted by the Iraqi Ministry of Defence in February 2013.
A total of 58 BTR-4 APC units are expected to be delivered to the National Guard of Ukraine. The batch will include 41 BTR-4Es, seven BTR-4K commander vehicles, two BTR-4KSh command and staff vehicles, and eight BMM-4S recovery vehicles.
BTR-4 APC variants
KMDB is developing several variants derived from the BTR-4 APC. These include the BTR-4K, BTR-4Ksh, BRM-4K, BREM-4K, BSEM-4K, MPO-4K and BTR-4 BAU.
The BTR-4K is a command vehicle. It has a combat weight of 20t and boasts a seven-man crew. The BTR-4Ksh is a staff and command vehicle.
It features a seven-man crew and has a combat weight of 18t. The BRM-4K is designated as reconnaissance armoured vehicle.
BREM-4K is a repair and recovery vehicle, BSEM-4K is a medical support vehicle, MPO-4K is a fire support vehicle fitted with a 120mm gun. The BTR-4 BAU variant is fitted with a two gun 23mm turret.
Armaments and weaponry on Ukraine's APC
The BTR-4 APC can be configured with armaments according to the customer requirements or mission needs.
The vehicle's armaments which were exhibited at the 2009 International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) included a Parus remote-controlled overhead weapon station (OWS) outfitted with 30mm 3TM-1 automatic gun, 40mm automatic grenade launcher, 7.62mm machine gun and Barrier anti-tank guided missile system.
In its standard fitting, the vehicle is equipped with a 30mm cannon, coaxial machine gun (7.62mm) and four Konkurs or Baryer anti-tank (AT) missiles. It can also be armed with a 30mm automatic grenade launcher instead of two AT missiles.
In addition, the vehicle is proposed to be armed with a number of armament modules such as the Grom module, Shkval module and BAU 23 x 2 module.
The vehicle, in its standard form, can provide protection against small arms fire and mine blasts. It can, however, be enhanced to provide immunity against 30mm gun rounds. The vehicle is also outfitted with automatic fire suppression and NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) protection systems.
Engines and propulsion of the BTR-4
The BTR-4 can be configured with various engines. In its standard fitting, the vehicle is powered by a KMDB 3TD two-stroke diesel engine, with a maximum power of 500HP.
The KMDB fitting can be replaced with a Deutz EBPO III engine upon request by the customer. It is a four-stroke, diesel fuel engine developing a power output of 489HP to 598HP.
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