The BTR-87 was first introduced at the Army 2018 international military-technical forum.

A special combat vehicle with an appearance similar to the BTR-87 armored personnel carrier was seen on one of Russia’s highways and attracted great attention from the media. The BTR-87 armored personnel carrier is one of Russia’s most regretful weapons projects. Developed as a private project, it is an improved version of the BTR-82A with some modifications. The BTR-87 is not approved by the Russian Army because it currently operates the BTR-82A APCs, and it is believed to be mainly for export.

The BTR-87 was first introduced at the Army 2018 international military-technical forum. Developed based on the proven BTR-80 and BTR-82A armored personnel carriers, with its troop compartment relocated to the rear, while the frontally mounted engine provides additional ballistic protection. Troops enter and leave the vehicle via rear entry doors rather than the side doors of the BTR-80 series vehicles.

BTR-87 has a combat weight of 16.5 tons, a 312-horsepower engine for a maximum road speed of 90 km/h, a swimming speed of about 12-14 km/h, and a cruising range of 800 km. The vehicle carries 10 fully armed soldiers. It is claimed that with add-on armor fitted front arc of the BTR-87 withstands hits from 23 mm cannon. Sides of this vehicle withstand 12.7 mm rounds. All-round protection is likely to be against 7.62 mm bullets and artillery shell splinters. So protection has been improved over the BTR-82.

The BTR-87 is fitted with the 32V01 remote controlled weapon station instead of a modified manned turret of the BTR-82A APC. The combat module is armed with a 2A42 30 mm automatic cannon and a Kalashnikov PKTM 7.62 mm coaxial medium machinegun. The variant of the station integrated onto the modernized BTR-87 carrier has additionally received two ready-use Ataka-T (NATO reporting name: AT-9 Spiral-2) anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) and four Tucha-family smoke dischargers.

The station can engage a ground target at a distance of up to 4 km, using the main gun, and at a distance of up to 1.5 km, using the coaxial machinegun. The station`s sensor package incorporates a TV camera, thermal imager and laser rangefinder.

Previously, Russian media reported that in the period 2016-2018, the latest armored personnel carriers would be put into the service of the country’s army, but then that did not happen. Competition among manufacturers in the Russian defense industry led to the selection of the BTR-82A. However, after witnessing the disadvantages of the BTR-82A on the battlefield, it is likely that the Russian Defense Ministry has come to the conclusion that they need a better armored vehicle.

The newly discovered BTR-87 is most likely being taken to the testing center to continue to undergo the necessary assessments, before officially entering mass production. It should be noted that in addition to the main function, this armored personnel carrier BTR-87 can also become a platform for installing special weapons and military equipment.


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