A very strange armored vehicle built on a T-64 tank chassis but without a turret has been discovered in the Bakhmut area.

Ukrainian media said that this is the armored personnel carrier BTR-T. The BTR-T is built as an armored personnel carrier, with a troop compartment enough for 8 soldiers with full armament. The hull of the T-64 with the position of the engine compartment unchanged, only a ramp is added.

It should be noted that Ukraine has implemented several programs to convert T-64 tanks into heavy infantry fighting vehicles before, but it is not until now that an armored personnel carrier version has been deployed in the field. The appearance of such machines in the Ukrainian Army is appropriate, and it is clear that they can be mass-produced only after undergoing real combat tests.

As Based on the T-64, the APC is heavily armored at the front, but much more thinly armored along its sides and back. The new APC can withstand heavy machine gun fire, autocannon shells, artillery fragments and possibly even cannon fire from Russia’s older tanks. The new vehicle showed up in a photo and video, apparently around the eastern city of Bakhmut.

The old turret was removed, replaced by a heavy machine gun and banks of smoke grenades on top of the APC’s superstructure. A vehicle like this might have a crew of two: driver and commander. There are Kontakt explosive reactive armor blocks – seemingly hundreds of them. The standard T-64 hull itself is well protected with layers of steel and fiberglass, thanks to the hull’s sharp angles, provide the same level of protection against high-explosive shells offered by 600 millimeters of steel. Adding reactive armor can double the effective protection.

The conversion of a tank into an armored personnel carrier was previously experienced by the Israeli Army, who for decades have modified old tank hulls into thickly-armored personnel carriers. Initially, it built only heavy armored personnel carriers to take advantage of the spoils of T-54/55 tanks obtained from the Arab countries after the war. But then the efficiency of a “battle taxi” using a main battle tank chassis was so great that it convinced Israeli military authorities to accept “sacrifice” the Merkava MK IVs to create Namer.

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