BTR 3 armoured personnel carrier


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Oct 20, 2015
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The BTR-3U Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) was jointly developed in 2000 by Ukrainian and Emirati companies as a private venture. It can be seen as an improved variant of the Soviet BTR-80 APC. However the BTR-3U was a newly built vehicle, rather than upgrade of existing APC. It represent a further development of the Ukrainian BTR-94. Despite similar appearance the BTR-3U has greater internal volume, more powerful and fuel efficient engine, and many other improvements over the BTR-94. This armored vehicle was first publicly revealed in 2001. The United Arab Emirates ordered 90 of these APCs. A small number of BTR-3Us were delivered to Azerbaijan. Eventually a number of BTR-3 variants were developed. Major operators are Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria and Thailand. Small numbers of the BTR-3 series APCs were delivered to Chad, Ecuador, and Kazakhstan. The BTR-3 is being license-produced in Myanmar for local needs from knock-down kits. This APC was also adopted by the Ukrainian military. Ukraine expects to supplement its ageing APCs with the BTR-3. By 2014 at least 22 BTR-3E armored personnel carriers were delivered to Ukrainian Armed Forces. Originally these APCs were built for the Thai Army, however were transferred to Ukrainian forces due to ongoing Russian military aggression in Ukraine. In 2016 Ukrainian MoD ordered another 40 of these APCs, including variants. Deliveries commenced during the same year.

The BTR-3U is armed with Shkval armament module. It is fitted with a 30 mm dual-fed cannon, 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, 30 mm automatic grenade launcher and Konkurs anti-tank guided missiles. Weapons on the Shkval module can be replaced, fitting it with different anti-tank missiles and so on.

Armor of the BTR-3U provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. It is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.

The BTR-3U has a crew of 3, including commander, gunner and driver. Vehicle accomodates 6 dismounts. There are versions, notably Thai, that accommodate 8 dismounts. Troops enter and leave the vehicle through the side doors or roof hatches. A number of firing ports are provided for the passengers.

The BTR-3U is powered by a German Deutz BF6M1015 diesel engine, developing 326 horsepower. This engine has a service life of 60 000 km which is quite a lot for this class of vehicles. This APC is fitted with a central tyre pressure system, that allows to adjust the tyre pressure to suit terrain conditions. Also it is fitted with run-flat tyres. The BTR-3U is fully amphibious. On water it is propelled by a single waterjet.

The BTR-3E1 used around 30% of components imported from Russia. After the 2014 Russian military aggression in Ukraine this cooperation stopped. At that time there was no suitable alternative for these components. It turned out that Ukrainians smuggled components for their APCs from Russia.


BTR-3U Guardian, variant for the UAE Marines, fitted with Buran-N1 turret. This armored vehicle was fitted with the German Deutz BF6M1015 diesel engine (326 hp). The engine was mated to Allison automatic transmission. The United Arab Emirates ordered 90 of these APCs.

BTR-3E, export variant, fitted with a different engine, possibly Ukrainian UTD-20 diesel.

BTR-3E1, export variant, fitted with BM-3 Shturm turret and new engine.

BTR-3E1D is an improved Ukrainian version. This armored vehicle is powered by a German Deutz BF6M1015CF diesel engine. Engine is mated to an Allison automatic transmission. It is fitted with a BM-3 Shturm turret. It is armed with a 30 mm automatic cannon and carries 350 rounds of ammunition. There is also a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun with 2 500 rounds of ammunition. The first batch of 6 vehicles was delivered to Ukrainian armed forces in 2016.

BTR-3EU1 is a version developed for Ukrainian Armed Forces. It was approved by Ukrainian MoD in 2015.

BTR-3E Fire support vehicle, fitted with turret-mounted Cockerill 90 mm gun.

BTR-3BR, also referred as BTR-3E ARV, is an armored recovery vehicle.

BTR-3K command post carrier.

BTR-3S armored ambulance.

BTR-3RK anti-tank missile carrier.

BTR-3M1 is a 81/82 mm mortar carrier.

BTR-3M2 is a 120 mm mortar carrier.

BTR-3DA is a version with improved protection. It was adopted by the Ukrainian MoD in 2015.

BTR-3DA70 is a version which used automotive components from the older BTR-70 APC. It was created as a stop-gap measure to meet urgent operational requirements due to the Russian military aggression.

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