BTR-80 – armored personnel carrier of the Soviet Union, created as the next development of BTR-70.

Basically, the BTR-80 is built on an 8×8 chassis, to support infantry on the battlefield. It weighs 13.6 tons, is 7.7 m (25.3 ft) long, width is 2.9 m (9.5 ft), and height is 2.41 m (7.9 ft). BTR-80 is operated by a crew of 3 people, including driver, commander and gunner. The rear passenger compartment carries up to eight combat-ready soldiers. The redesigned side doors are split horizontally. The upper portion opens forward; this gives dismounting troops some protection against small arms fire from the front of the vehicle. The lower portion opens down, forming a step.

The Soviets removed the roof chamfers of the modified BTR-70, raised the rear, and squared off the rearward-sloping engine compartment. Standard equipment includes TNPO vision blocks, TNP-B and TKN-3 optical devices for the driver and commander, an OU-3GA2M infrared search light, six 81 mm smoke grenade launchers 902V “Tucha”, a radioset, an intercom, and hydrojets for amphibious propulsion.

BTR-80
BTR-80

The driver and commander were situated at the front of the hull under the shallow glacis plate while the gunner manned the powered turret system. Passengers could take part in a given firefight thanks to the inclusion of rounded firing ports complete with ball mounts located at the side and front facings of the hull.

The gasoline engine on the BTR-70 was replaced with a diesel engine KamAZ-7403, with 260 hp. The engine compartment is located at the rear of the hull to improve weight distribution and amphibious capabilities. However such layout also resulted in uncomfortable entrance and exit for the dismounts. Independent suspension and powertrain are offered on all eight wheels, with steering only supported on the front four. BTR-80 can reach a maximum speed of 90 km/h, a range of 600 km. As an amphibious vehicle, it can swim at speeds of 10 km/h. It can climb a slope with up to 60% gradient and climb a vertical step of 0.5 m.

The weapon system is packed in a one-man turret, low profile and capable of traveling 360 degrees, allows the 14.5 mm KPVT and coaxial 7.62 mm PKT machine guns to be elevated to a maximum of 60 degrees. This high angle of fire is useful in engaging targets on steep slopes, in urban fighting, and for engaging low slow flying air targets.

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