The new BT-3F tracked amphibious infantry fighting vehicle took part in the Army-2016 exhibition in Russia. Image courtesy of Vitaly V. Kuzmin.
BT-3F armoured vehicle is operated by three crew members. Image courtesy of Vitaly V. Kuzmin.
BT-3F amphibious IFV has a road speed of 70km/h. Image courtesy of Vitaly V. Kuzmin.

BT-3F amphibious infantry fighting vehicle

The BT-3F amphibious vehicle is intended for use by the Army, Navy and Marine Corps and provides high manoeuvrability, armour protection and direct fire support for the troops on land and at sea.

The vehicle is designed for transportation of infantrymen, ammunition, equipment and machinery to the battlefield.

A prototype of the new BT-3F tracked amphibious infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) was unveiled by Russian machine building firm, Concern Tractor Plants (KTZ) in September.

BT-3F development details

The development of the BT-3F armoured vehicle began in 2010. The amphibious BT-3F is based on the BMP-3F marines fighting vehicle, which is derived from the BMP-3 IFV.

The new IFV is anticipated to replace Russia’s ageing MT-LB amphibious armoured personnel carrier.

BT-3F armoured vehicle design and features

The BT-3F amphibious infantry fighting vehicle is based on tracked chassis and features an armoured hull. It is 7m-long, 3.3m-wide and 3m-high, and has a gross combat weight of 18.5t.

The armoured vehicle is manned by three crew members and can carry up to 14 troops. The driver sits in the middle of the hull, while the commander and assistant commander seats are placed on either side of the driver.

Crew enter or leave the vehicle through individual roof hatches. The troop compartment has two side doors at the rear and two roof-mounted hatches to provide entry and exit for the occupants.

Weaponry and fire control

A 185kg DPV-T remote-controlled weapon station, armed with a 7.62mm x 54mm PKTM Kalashnikov machine gun, is installed on the roof of the vehicle to engage both fixed and moving ground-based targets.

The weapon system is also equipped with television / infrared imaging sight and a laser rangefinder for reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition. It has a -5° to 75° elevation range and can traverse through 360°. Its elevation and traverse aiming speeds range from 0.03 degrees per second (deg/sec) to 40deg/sec.

The turret is remotely operated by the crew using a control unit located inside the vehicle. The target location information is stored in an integrated ballistic computer, which ensures high performance and firing efficiency.

It can be optionally be fitted with a 14.5mm heavy machine gun mount.

Protection features of the BT-3F amphibious IFV

The BT-3F infantry fighting vehicle’s armoured hull offers all-round ballistic protection up to STANAG 4569 Level 4 for the occupants against 14.5mm x 114mm armour piercing ammunition rounds.

“The vehicle is designed for transportation of infantrymen, ammunition, equipment and machinery to the battlefield.”

Three 40mm smoke grenade launchers are provided on top of the vehicle to ensure the crew’s high survivability on the battlefield.

BT-3F infantry fighting vehicle engine and performance

Power for the BT-3F armoured personnel carrier comes from a four-stroke, direct injection, liquid-cooled, multi-fuel, naturally aspirated UTD-29 diesel engine, which develops a power output of 500hp. The engine, which uses dry-sump lubrication system, offers a power-to-weight ratio of 26.7hp/t.

Fitted with six wheels on either side, the IFV incorporates hydraulic shock absorbers and torsion bar suspension system that uses individual torsion bars.

The armoured personnel carrier has a road speed of 70km/h and is capable of travelling at a speed of 10km/h in water. The operational range of the vehicle is 600km.

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