PRP-4A Argus Artillery Reconnaissance Vehicle, Russia

PRP-4A Argus

PRP-4A Argus is a new armoured vehicle designed to provide reconnaissance and observation for artillery units. The vehicle is produced by Rubtsovsk Machine Building Plant, a part of Russian company Uralvagonzavod.

Rubtsovsk Affiliate presented the upgraded PRP-4A Argus reconnaissance vehicle at the Russia Arms Expo 2013. The PRP-4A entered service with the artillery brigade of the Central Military District in February 2015. Rubtsovsk delivered eight PRP-4A Argus vehicles under a three-year contract by late-2016.

PRP-4A Argus design and features

The vehicle adopts the BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle's combat-proven chassis, which offers high manoeuvrability, speed, cross-country mobility and amphibious capability. The PRP-4A is manned by a crew of four, including a driver, a commander and two operators.

The vehicle has an overall length of 6.7m, width of 2.9m, height of 2.1m and combat weight of 13.8t. It features a radio detector, and night vision, thermal vision and modern optoelectronic suppression systems for reconnaissance, survey, navigation and communication and transmission of information. The automatic equipment complex aboard the vehicle is equipped with two workstations and state-of-the-art equipment.

The PRP-4A Argus integrates a mast-mounted IL120-1 battlefield surveillance radar. It can detect a single person at a distance up to 7km and a tank within a maximum distance of 16km. The radar can be retracted into the mast while travelling. The vehicle is also installed with a 1D14-1 periscopic laser rangefinder.

The laser rangefinder can determine a range of large objects at a distance of 10km, and structures such as buildings or hills at a range of 25km. Upon identification of the targets, the data pertaining to the same with co-ordinates is transmitted to an artillery battery command post vehicle.

Armament and self-protection

The vehicle is armed with a 7.62mm PKTM machine gun, which has a maximum rate of fire of 800 rounds a minute and can fire conventional, tracer and AP-incendiary rounds and rounds with high degree of penetrability. The gun can engage targets within the range of 1,500m.

"The vehicle adopts the BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle's combat-proven chassis, which offers high manoeuvrability, speed, cross-country mobility and amphibious capability."

The welded steel armoured hull of the reconnaissance vehicle offers all-round protection against 12.7mm rounds. The frontal arc of the vehicle can partly withstand 20mm rounds. The vehicle also integrates automatic fire suppression and nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection systems.

The PRP-4A Argus also features heat shields and camouflage net, as well as smoke grenade launchers and engine smoke generating equipment, providing the smoke screen with a width of up to 100m for protection against laser-guided anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).

Reconnaissance vehicle engine and mobility

The PRP-4A Argus is powered by a UTD-20S1 turbocharged diesel engine, which develops a rated power output of 300hp. The auxiliary power unit on the vehicle supplies power to all systems and sensors aboard when the main engine is turned off.

The vehicle can attain a maximum speed of 65km/h on road and more than 7km/h on water, while on road it can reach a maximum distance of 500km. The vehicle can conduct operations in areas at an altitude of 3,000m above sea level and can operate at adverse temperatures of up to -40°C.

The PRP-4A Argus can negotiate a gradient of 60% and a side slope of 30%. It can cross a vertical step with a height of 0.7m and a trench with a width of 2.2m. The fully amphibious vehicle is propelled in water by its tracks.