BTR-70MB1 Completes State Trials
The BTR-70MB1 upgraded armoured personnel carrier completed state trials on 11 November 2016.
The project to upgrade the BTR-70 to the BTR-70MB1 level has been carried out by 140 Repair Plant at its own expense. A customer is the Armour Directorate of the Belarusian Defence Ministry. In accordance with the requirement specification it was expected to significantly improve driving and protective characteristics of the armoured personnel carrier, as well as make some changes to ergonomics of the vehicle’s workspace. The upgraded vehicle retains the BTR-70’s organic turret and weapon systems.
Installation of a more powerful power unit – a 260 hp KAMAZ-7403.10 diesel engine – as well as new transfer case, transmission components and hydrojet of the BTR-80 required major changes to the vehicle’s hull. As a result, the vehicle’s weight has been increased by one and a half tonnes and now the armoured personnel carrier weighs approximately 13,000 kg (the BTR-70 weighs 11,500 kg and the BTR-80 weighs 13,600 kg). However, this did not affect driving performance of the BTR-70MB1. The vehicle reached a speed of 92 km/h on a motorway and demonstrated a good off-road capability during the tests.
Serious changes were made to interior ergonomics. In particular, to ensure comfortable accommodation of troops in the troop compartment, roof sizes have been increased by 14 cm. Side door openings have been widened and double doors have been installed to facilitate exit from the vehicle. To provide better and more reliable communication, the BTR-70MB1 has been fitted with the R-181-50TU Drofa digital radio station, which greatly improves noise immunity of a radio channel during voice and digital data transmission.
In addition, protective features have been improved. The vehicle has been equipped with six 902V Tucha smoke grenade launchers that fire the 3D6 smoke grenades, allowing the APC to mask itself behind a dense smokescreen or the crew to leave a vehicle that was hit.
At the final stage the BTR-70MB1 passed a series of tests at ranges in Brest, Vitebsk and Minsk regions. According to experts, in its driving performance and protective characteristics the vehicle has come very close to the BTR-80.
It is expected that after some shortcomings noted by representatives of the state commission are addressed, the BTR-70MB1 will enter service with the Belarusian Armed Forces in January 2017.