Armor: July 11, 2001

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The Czech Army has refitted two Russian-built 4x4 BRDM armored cars into an upgraded BRDM-B scout car and a BRDM-VR command vehicle. These are now undergoing tests and the Czechs plan to upgrade most of their BRDM fleet. The new BRDM-B has a 12.7mm NVST machinegun instead of the original 14.5mm machinegun. The turret gunner has been eliminated; the commander rotates the turret and fires the weapons by remote control from his position in the hull. BRDM-B has a GPS navigation system with a digital map. The small "belly wheels" have been removed to provide extra internal volume; the vehicle now carriers a driver, commander, and four dismounted scouts. The 140-horsepower gasoline engine has been replaced with a 162-horsepower diesel. New bulletproof glass windows improve driver visibility. Other upgrades include new brakes, and upgraded chassis, new tires, NATO-standard radios, a modern hot water heater, and a complete nuclear-chemical-biological protection system. Combat weight is eight tons, and maximum road speed is 101 kilometers per hour (63 miles per hour). Operating range is 800 kilometers. The new command variant carries only four people, the extra space being taken up by more radios and a diesel generator. Both versions are amphibious, propelled by a water jet. These same upgrades will be applied to Czech BRDMs carrying AT5 Spandrel anti-tank missiles and SA-9 Gaskin anti-aircraft missiles.--Stephen V Cole

 


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