Born in 1970s and still used today in 35 countries around the world, the BTR-70 represents the successful development of the Soviet armored personnel carrier.
The BTR-70 was developed as a potential successor for the earlier BTR-60 series of Soviet wheeled armored personnel carriers, specifically the BTR-60PB, which it most closely resembled. On August 21, 1972, it was accepted into Soviet service and would later be widely exported.
The BTR-70 is longer comparing with its predecessor. It has a weight of 11.5 tons, a length of 7.5 m, a width of 2.8 m, and a height of 2.32 m. Standard crew of 3 and can carry 7 soldiers in the passenger compartment.
This armored vehicle is fitted with two triangle-shaped hatches on each side between second and third axles. These hatches are intended for enter and exit. Alternatively crewmembers and dismounts can enter and leave through the roof hatches.
The armaments consist of a KPVT heavy machine gun with 500 rounds and a coaxial 7.62 mm PKT machine gun with 2,000 rounds. Also on board are two “Igla” or “Strela-3” Man-portable air-defense systems, and optionally two AGS-17 grenade launchers at the expense of two infantry men.
The BTR-70 was first made public to Western observers in a 1980 Moscow parade. Since then, the vehicle has appeared in quantity and in varied forms. BTR-70 systems serving in the Soviet war with Afghanistan were seen fitted with the AGS-17 30mm automatic grenade launcher just to the rear of the driver roof hatch.
The design was still regarded as suffering from some of the same disadvantages as the previous BTR-60PB, such as two flammable gasoline engines and poor vehicle access. These flaws became especially apparent when the vehicle was tested in combat during the Soviet-Afghan War. As a result, in 1984, the Soviet Army received a new wheeled armored personnel carrier, the BTR-80, equipped with a single 260 hp diesel engine and a simpler locomotive. Production of the BTR-70 was discontinued that year.