Military Ground Vehicles of the People's Republic of Irasia.
T62 Series Tanks
The T-62 is a further step in the line of development begun with the T-54/55 series, entering production in 1961 and remaining in production until 1975. It became the standard main battle tank in Soviet tank and motorized rifle units, gradually replacing the T-54 and T-55. The T-62A variant first appeared in 1970. By the 1980s it was replaced by the new generation T-64/T-72/T-80 tanks as the first-line Soviet main battle tank.
The T-62 medium tank has a fully tracked, five-road wheeled chassis with close spaces between the three front road wheels and large gaps separating the third, fourth, and fifth road wheels. The drive sprocket is at the rear and the idler at the front, and there are no track return rollers. The rounded turret, mounted over the third road wheel, is more smoothly cast and more nearly egg-shaped than that of the T-54/55 series. The commander's cupola on the left is cast with the turret and not bolted on as in the case of the T-54/55. The loader's hatch on the right is also located farther forward.
The 125-mm smoothbore main gun has a longer and thinner tube than the 100-mm gun of the T-54/55, and its bore evacuator is located about two-thirds of the way up the gun tube from the turret. There is also a 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun, and model T-62A also mounts a 12.7-mm antiaircraft machine gun at the loader's hatch position.
A gunner's IR searchlight is mounted on the right above the main gun, and a smaller IR searchlight is mounted on the commander's cupola. The driver's hatch is located in front of the turret on the left side of the flat, low-silhouetted hull.
Like the T-55, the T-62 has a 580 hp V-12 water-cooled diesel engine, which gives it a cruising range of 320 km cross-country or 450 km on paved roads with integral fuel cells and 450 km cross-country or 650 km on paved roads with two 200-liter auxiliary fuel tanks. It also shares the snorkeling and smokescreen generating capabilities of the T-54/55 series and has the same PAZ radiation detection system as the T-55. Some T-62s may have been retrofitted with full NBC collective protection systems (air filtration and overpressure). Most models have the same IR night sight and driving equipment and the same fire control equipment as the T-54/55, although some T-62s have been retrofitted with a passive night sight replacing the gunner's active IR sight, and a laser rangefinder is believed to have been developed to replace the stadiametric reticule rangefinder.
The most significant improvement over the T-54/55 tanks, however, is the 115-mm smoothbore main gun which fires a hypervelocity, armor-piercing, fin-stabilized, discarding sabot (HVAPFSDS) round with a muzzle velocity of 1,61 5 meters per second. The penetrator flies in a very flat trajectory and is therefore extremely accurate out to a maximum effective range of 1,600 meters. Although the specific number of each type of round varies with the anticipated tactical situation, the 40-round basic load typically includes 12 HVAPFSDS rounds, 6 HEAT rounds, and 22 HE rounds. The T-62 also has an automatic shell ejector system which is activated by the recoil of the main gun and ejects spent casings through a port in the rear of the turret.
Available improvements include a hull bottom reinforced against mines, rubber track pads, and a thermal sleeve for the gun. There are thermal sights available for installation which permit night launch of ATGMs. The 1K13 sight is both night sight and ATGM launcher sight; however, it cannot be used for both functions simultaneously. Optional sights and fire control systems include the Israeli El-Op Red Tiger and Matador FCS, Swedish NobelTech T-series sight, and German Atlas MOLF. The British Marconi Digital FCS, South African Tiger, and Belgian SABCA Titan offer upgraded function. One of the best is the Slovenian EFCS-3 integrated FCS. A variety of thermal sights is available. They include the Russian Agava, French SAGEM-produced ALIS and Namut sight from Peleng.
Note: Irasia has licensed production of the tank from the USSR.
The tank is fitted with a 125mm D-81 smoothbore gun, a 7.62mm co-axial machine gun and a 12.7mm air defence machine gun mounted on the commander's cupola. The tank carries 45 rounds of 125mm ammunition, 22 rounds of which are carried on an automatic loading carousel.
The gun fires separate loading Armour-Piercing Discarding Sabot rounds (APDS), High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) rounds and High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG) projectiles. Fire accuracy is attained by a laser rangefinder sight, ballistic computer and a thermal barrel sleeve. Dual-axis stabilisation ensures effective firing on the move.
The tank's anti-armour missile system is the 9K120 Svir (Nato codename AT-11 Sniper), designed by the KBP Instrument Design Bureau, Tula. The system is intended to engage tanks fitted with ERA (Explosive Reactive Armour) as well as low-flying air targets. It has a range of 100m to 4,000m and firing requires the tank to be stationary.
The system's 9M119 missile has semi-automatic laser beamriding guidance. The gun's automatic loader will feed both ordnance and missiles.
The hull and turret are protected by armour plating, including combined armour arrays over the frontal arc. Since 1988, Eexplosive Reactive Armour (ERA) has been fitted. The running gear is protected by gill type armour panels.
A smokescreen can be laid by the 902B Tucha smoke discharging system or by an exhaust smoke-laying system.
The tank is equipped with a V-84 liquid-cooled four-stroke multi-fuel diesel engine which develops 618kW (840hp), providing a power to weight ratio of 13.8kW/t, planetary transmission with hydraulic servo-control system, running gear with RMSH track and torsion bar suspension with hydraulic shock absorbers.
The tank has a road speed of 60km/h and 35km/h on dry earth roads. The range on roads with main fuel tanks is 500km. The tank can negotiate fording depths to 1.2m without preparation and snorkels can be fitted for fording to a depth of 5m.
T-72SK COMMAND TANK
The T-72SK tank is intended to command and control a number of tank units and maintain communication with the brigade commander. It features an additional AB-1-P/30-Ml-U benzene powered electrical generator to supply electricity when the main powerplant is not operating.
The tank is also equipped with additional communication systems including R-713 radio, R-173P radio-receiver, HF R-134 radio set, R-174 intercom system and TNA-4-3 tank navigation aids.
IFV's and APC's
BMP-2 Fighting Vehicle
The BMP-2 [BMP = Boyevaya Mashina Pyekhota - Infantry Fighting Vehicle] infantry combat vehicle, fielded in the early 1980's [initially designated BMP 1981], is an improved version of the BMP-1 incorporating major armament changes. The new two-man turret mounts a 30-mm automatic gun with a long thin tube and double-baffle muzzle brake that can be used against aircraft and helicopters. The ATGM launcher on top of the turret can employ either AT-4 SPIGOT or AT-5 SPANDREL missiles, though the AT-5 Spandrel canister is normally mounted. Given the enlarged turret, there are two roof hatches in the rear fighting compartment, rather than the four of the BMP-1, and the the BMP-2 accommodates one less passenger. Each side of the troop compartment has three firing ports with associated roof-mounted periscopes.
The BMP-2 is a light amphibious tracked combat vehicle with high mobility and armouring. Its cross-country capabilities are improved due to employment of a different type of tracks and adjustment of the shock absorber. It is intended for destruction of various armoured targets, including enemy tanks, combat helicopters and manpower. Used by mechanized units, the vehicle enables small arms fire from firing ports when on the move. Its armor provides NBC protection of the crew. It is adjusted for air lift.
The BMP-2 is fully amphibious [water obstacles can be crossed by swimming], and the upper part of the track has a sheet metal cover deeper than that of the BMP-1 which is filled with a buoyancy aid. . Some upgrades are spall liners, air conditioning, and a more powerful engine. Russian AG-17 30-mm automatic grenade launcher modification is offered for BMP-2. Russian KBP offers a drop-in one-man turret, called Kliver, with a stabilized 2A72 30-mm gun, a 4 Kornet ATGM launcher, thermal sights, a coaxial 7.62-mm MG and improved fire control system. ATGM load consists of one ready on the launcher and four stowed. They are readily accessible, but require hand loading from an open hatch. The AT-5 and AT-5B are more likely than AT-4 and -4B. French-German Flame-V adaptor kit permits the BMP-2 system to launch Milan, Milan-2, and Milan-3 ATGMs.
Thermal sights are available, and the Russian SANOET-1 thermal gunner's sight is available. The Russian Trakt/1PN65 thermal imaging (TI) ATGM night sight is optional. Acquisition range is 2,500 m (NFI). For the launcher in dismount configuration, the Slovenian TS-F ATGM night sight is available and has a detection range of 4,500 m and recognition range of 2,000 m. The Russian Mulat/1PN86 lightweight TI ATGM thermal sight has 3,600 m detection range and 2,000 m identification range.
BTR-80 [GAZ 5903] Armored Personnel Carrier
The armored personnel carrier BTR-80 is a wheeled floating vehicle, designed for employment in combat operations, carrying a crew of up to ten people. The APC-80 with four axles and eight wheels, all of them driving, has a coupled machinegun installation as its armament. The hull is equipped with loop-holes for firing from the inside. The BTR-80 is a modern, lightly armored vehicle with a diesel power plant. 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.
ZSU-23-4 Shilka 23MM Anti-aircraft Gun
The Shilka ZSU-23-4 [ZSU = Zenitnaya Samokhodnaya Ustanovka - Anti-aircraft Self-Propelled Gun] is a Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun (SPAAG) featuring a prominent radar dish that can be folded down mounted on a modified PT-76 chassis. ZSU 23-4 Shilka, is capable of acquiring, tracking and engaging low-flying aircraft (as well as mobile ground targets while either in place or on the move). Employed in pairs 200 meters apart, 400 meters behind battalion leading elements, it is commonly used to suppress ATGM launch sites, such as TOW vehicles. The armament consists of four 23mm cannon with a maximum slant range of 3,000 meters. Ammunition is normally loaded with a ratio of three HE rounds to one AP round. Resupply vehicles carry an estimated additional 3,000 rounds for each of the four ZSUs in a typical battery. Recent (October 1997) information details ZSU-23-4 updates/modernization being offered by the Ukrainians that include: a new radar system replacing the GUN DISH radar, plus a sensor pod believed to include day/night camera, and a laser rangefinder; and mounted above radar/sensor pod is a layer of six fire-and-forget SAMs, believed to be Russian SA-18/GROUSE.
The ZSU-23-4 is a fully integrated, self-propelled antiaircraft system with four liquid-cooled 23-mm automatic cannons mounted on the front of a large, flat, armored turret. The chassis has many components borrowed from other Soviet armored vehicles, and the suspension system resembles that of the PT-76 and ASU 85 (six road wheels and no track support rollers). The driver sits in the left front of the hull, and the rest of the crew (commander, gunner, and radar operator) are located in the turret. The GUN DISH fire control radar mounted on the rear of the turret can be folded down during travel.
A number of different ZSU-23-4 models have been produced. These are primarily distinguishable externally by the types of stowage boxes on the turret and minor modifications in the mounting of the guns.
A platoon of four ZSU-23-4s is assigned, along with four SA-9/GASKIN SAM systems, to the antiaircraft battery of motorized rifle and tank regiments to cover the deadspace of the SA-6/GAINFUL in the division air defense umbrella. Two ZSU-23-4s usually will be in support of each of the two first-echelon battalions, each weapon normally separated by 200 meters, typically traveling 400 meters behind the battalion's leading elements.
The ZSU-23-4 is not amphibious, but has a fording capability of just over one meter. During river assault operations, the ZSU-23-4s would be ferried to the far bank immediately after the leading companies.
The ZSU-23-4 has the capability to both acquire and track low-flying aircraft targets, with an effective AA range of 2,500 meters. It also is capable of firing on the move because of its integrated radar/gun stabilization system. The high frequency operation of the GUN DISH radar emits a very narrow beam that provides for excellent aircraft tracking while being difficult to detect or evade. However, such a frequency also dictates a limited range, which can be compensated for by linking the system to other long-range acquisition radar in the area. The ZSU-23-4 also can be used against lightly armored ground vehicles.
The four guns are water cooled and have a cyclic rate of fire of 800 to 1,000 rounds per minute each. However, the guns are normally fired in bursts (2-3 rounds per barrel) to reduce ammunition expenditure and prolong barrel life. Each ZSU-23-4 carries about 2,000 rounds onboard. Supply trucks, which follow the ZSUs at a distance of 1.5 to 2.5 km, carry an estimated additional 3,000 rounds for each of the four ZSUs. Electronic target acquisition, tracking, and ranging are automated, and an onboard computer determines superelevation and azimuth lead. Conventional optical sights also are available. Two types of ammunition normally are mixed at a ratio of three Frag-HE-T rounds per one API-T round. An HEI-T round also may be fired.
The ZSU-23-4can be airlifted bytheAN-22 or II-76. The crew of the ZSU-23-4 is afforded a degree of protection by the thin armor (maximum thickness 9.4 mm in the hull, 8.9 in the turret). Collective NBC protection is provided by a radiation detection and warning system and an air filtration and overpressure system.
2S3 M-1973 Akatsiya (Acacia)
Note: Produced under license.
The 2S3 comprises a modified version of the 152-mm towed howitzer D-20 and a chassis similar to the SA-4/GANEF launch vehicle. The thick tube extends beyond the front of the hull by the length of the double-baffle muzzle brake. It differs from the D-20 by the addition of a bore evacuator just behind the muzzle brake and, in travel position, it is supported by a brace attached just behind the bore evacuator. The running gear differs from that of the SA-4 in that it has only six road wheels (with spaces between the three front wheels only) and different spacing between the four support rollers.
The driver sits in the left front of the vehicle, with the engine located on the right side. The commander sits at the left center of the turret, with the gunner in front of him. The loader is at the right side of the turret. A hatch in the rear of the hull is used for loading ammunition. There is also a large hatch on the right side of the turret for loading ammunition and discarding expended brass. A 7.62-mm machine gun is located on the commander's cupola.
The 2S3 provides highly mobile, all-terrain fire support for motorized rifle and tank divisions. Its maximum range with a normal round is the same as that of the 152-mm towed howitzer D-20 (17,230 meters), and it probably fires a RAP round, increasing its range to about 30,000 meters. The 2S3 has a speed of up to 50 km/hr; but, unlike the 122-mm self-propelled howitzer 2S1, it is not amphibious.
Because of the twin recuperators above the tube, the elevation is restricted to +63 degrees. Armor is thin-skinned, providing only a minimum of protection for the four-man crew.
The 2S3M is an upgrade version of the 2S3. The 2S3M turret contains the 2A33 cannon, fire-control equipment, ammunition storage space, and work positions for commander, gunner, and loader. The cannon extends beyond the vehicle front and has an electrical loader/rammer attached to the cradle. Ammunition is stored in the rear of the chassis and can be replenished through a hatch in the rear panel.
D-20 / M-55
Note; Produced under license.
The D-20 152mm Gun-Howitzer is a very large gun, equating to 6-inch caliber, and is heavy for a simple towed carriage. Its restricted mobility, however, is somewhat compensated for by its range of 17,230 meters.
The D-20, also known as the M1955 or M-55, was the newest 152-mm towed howitzer in the Soviet and Warsaw Pact inventory when first introduced in 1955, replacing the heavier, less powerful, 152-mm gun-howitzer ML-20 (M1937). It is organic to army/front-level artillery and to the artillery regiment/brigade of a tank or combined arms army, while the self-propelled version 2S3 is found in the artillery regiment organic to motorized rifle and tank divisions. The D-20 was exported to all Warsaw Pact armies (except Bulgaria). The Type-66 is a Chinese version, which has been exported to Iraq.
The D-20 uses the same carriage as the 122mm field gun D-74. This short split-trail carriage is distinguished by caster wheels (folded upward for travel) at the end of each trail; a prominent base plate connected to the bottom forward cradle; and a scalloped, winged shield with traveling central portion. The tube, however, differs from that of the D-74inthat it is much shorter (29 versus 47 cal), larger in diameter, and has a larger size double-baffle muzzle brake. Both guns have a two-cylinder recoil mechanism above the tube, and both tubes are prominently stepped, with a semi-automatic, vertically-sliding, wedge breech block. Both guns also fire similar case-type, variable-charge, separate-loading ammunition. The circular firing jack and caster wheels make it possible to rotate the whole gun swiftly through up to 360 degrees. It also has direct fire sights for both day and night and is capable of engaging armored targets with direct fire. It can be towed by truck or armored tractor (AT-L).
The D-20 was the first 152-mm cannon system to incorporate a semiautomatic vertical-sliding-wedge breech block. It fires FRAG-HE, OF-540 with a RGM-2 Fuze Model at a rate of 5-6 rounds per minute with a maximum firing range of 10 miles. Although the ammunition for the system was not changed, modifications allowed a slightly higher rate of fire to be achieved (6 rounds per minute rather than 4), although the sustained rate of fire was unchanged. Because the carriage is based on that of the 122-mm gun D-74, the D-20 cannot be elevated above 45?.
9P140 Uragan (Hurricane)
The 9P140 Uragan (previously referred to incorrectly as BM-22) is the world?s first modern fin and spin-stabilized heavy rocket system. The BM-27 was first seen in 1977, hence the preliminary designation MRL M1977. The launcher, 9T452 transloader, rockets, and support equipment constitutes the 9K57 complex. The 220-mm rocket launcher (16-round) BM-27 is mounted on a ZIL-1 35 8x8 truck chassis similar to that used for the FROG-7 system. Launch tubes are arranged in three banks, with the lower two banks having six tubes each and the upper bank having four tubes. Essentially a scaled-up version of the BM-21, the 9P140 use many of the same design features.
The Russian BM-27 MRL system, with rocket projectiles of 220mm in caliber, boasts a firing range of up to 40 km. The BM-27 fires rockets with high-explosive fragmentation, chemical, and scatterable-mine submunition warheads. The fin- and spin-stabilized rockets are estimated to have a range of 35,000-40,000 meters, greatly exceeding the ranges of earlier Soviet heavy rocket launchers. The maximum rate of fire for the BM-27 is approximately one round per second. Reloading the launcher with a second set of 16 rockets takes up to 20 minutes.
The 9P140 and its transloader are both based on variants of the gasoline-powered ZIL-135LM 8-ton 8x8 chassis. The truck is unusual in that it uses two engines, each driving the wheels on one side of the truck, and only the front and rear axles steer. The 9P140 cab has a blast shield that is raised during firing, and the vehicle is stabilized during firing by two manually emplaced hydraulic jacks at the rear of the chassis. The launcher has electrically powered traversing and elevating mechanisms. During travel, the launcher assembly is oriented rearward and a light sheet metal cover over the muzzle end of the tubes prevents foreign material from entering the tube. This is a safety feature that is designed for travel when loaded. There is no such cover for the muzzle end of an unloaded launcher.
The BM-27 launch vehicle is complemented by a reload vehicle, also based on the ZIL-1 35 chassis. It is a flatbed vehicle carrying 16 rockets arranged in two stacks positioned on either side of the vehicle bed. A loading device used to transfer the rockets from the reload vehicle to the launcher is mounted between the two stacks.