BTR-3U armored personnel carrier being used in the Ukraine conflict.

Currently, these vehicles are being deployed by Ukrainian forces to enter and take over the city of Kherson cautiously, after the withdrawal of Russian forces. Ukrainian soldiers of the 28th Mechanized Brigade appeared in Kyslivka on November 10, a village on the outskirts of Klapaya, about 15 km from the center of Kherson city, according to the Guardian.

It is known that BTR-3U APC was developed in the period 2000-2001 by an international joint venture including: Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau of Ukraine, the ADCOM MANUFACTURING Company of Abu-Dhabi, UAE, and the State Scientific Technical Centre of Artillery & Rifle Arms of Ukraine. This is considered an improved variant based on the BTR-80 armored personnel carrier developed under the Soviet Union.

Although somewhat similar in appearance to the Russian BTR-80, the BTR-3 is an entirely new vehicle rather than an update of the existing vehicle. The BTR-3 is designed to be able to perform multiple roles, such as carrying troops, weapons and other supplies to support armed forces on the battlefield. It can be used as a reconnaissance, combat support and patrol vehicle. The hull of the BTR-3 is designed with all-welded steel armour, which provides maximum ballistic protection to troops against small-calibre automatic weapons. The body of the vehicle is lined with Kevlar liner for better protection.

Basically, the design of the BTR-3 is quite similar to the previous Soviet-era BTR wheeled vehicles, with a weight of about 16.4 tons, a length of 7.65 m, a width of 2.9 m, and a height of 2.8 m. The crew of 3 includes commander, gunner and driver. The passenger compartment can accommodate 6 soldiers. The armor provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. It is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.

The BTR-3 has greater internal volume, more powerful and fuel efficient engine, and many other improvements over the BTR family. It was powered by a Deutz AG engine, with 326 hp. The maximum speed is 85 km/h, the range is 600 km. 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-3 is fully amphibious. On water it is propelled by a single waterjet.

The troop compartment accommodates six soldiers who enter and leave the vehicle by a door in either side of the hull. The lower part of the door folds downward to form a step, with the upper part opening forwards. There are also hatches in the roof and firing ports with associated vision devices provided in the sides and front of the vehicle. An air conditioning system is fitted as standard to ensure crew comfort in hot conditions.

The BTR-3U is fitted with the one-person KBA-105 “Shkval” unified fighting module which can accommodate 30mm gun, 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, 30mm automatic grenade launcher and anti-tank guided weapons. This module design is versatile, but can also with another turret. The sighting systems include a commander’s 1PZ-3 observation periscope and a TKN-4S Agat stabilised sight which is integrated with the missile fire control system.

Ukrainian servicemen stand near an armored personnel carrier BTR-3 on the northwest of Kyiv on February 24, 2022. – Ukraine army says battle under way for airbase near Kyiv on February 24, 2022. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

Along with BTR-4, these are two lines of armored personnel carriers with strong firepower of the Ukrainian army. During the ongoing conflict with Russia, Ukraine has launched BTR-3U armored vehicles to confront the Russian army. Strong and accurate firepower, BTR-3U has repeatedly unleashed intense fire on Russian targets. However, the battlefield also recorded the losses of this vehicle before enemy fire.

Because the number of previous production was not large and on the other hand was damaged by the conflict, armored vehicles such as BTR-3U or BTR-4, although more appreciated than the Russian rival BTR-82A, do not help the Ukrainian army create a certain advantage in confrontations.

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