Belarus’ new Volat V2 wheeled combat vehicle is considered a potential replacement for the country’s obsolete Soviet-era armored vehicles.

At the international exhibition of weapons and military equipment MILEX-2021, Belarus’ new wheeled armored personnel carrier Volat V2 was first presented and publicly introduced.

It is expected that this new Volat V2 wheeled armored vehicle will replace all other Soviet-made tracked and wheeled vehicles, currently in service with the Belarusian army, such as: BMP-1, BMP-2, BTR -70, and BTR-80. In addition, the successful construction of its own armored vehicle will allow Minsk to reconsider its need to purchase Russian BTR-82A combat vehicles.

The Volat V2 is produced by the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant (MZKT), and is the second attempt of the MZKT to create an indigenous armored vehicle. It was developed as a private venture and is aimed at the Belarusian military as well as possible export customers.

The Volat V2 is quite large in size and looks similar to most vehicles in its class. The total weight of the vehicle is 20 tons, with a crew of 3 and can accommodate 8 fully equipped soldiers. The Volat V2 armored personnel carrier has the characteristics of the European MOWAG Piranha armored personnel carrier, the American Stryker and the new Russian armored personnel carriers built on the Boomerang wheeled platform.

According to military-today, the Volat V2 can withstand 12.7 mm bullets in the forward arc, and all-round protection is against 7.62 mm armor-piercing bullets and artillery shell splinters. Vehicle has improved protection against landmines. This armored vehicle reportedly survives blasts equivalent to 6 kg of TNT anywhere under the hull or under any wheel. There is an NBC protection system for the crew.

The Volat V2 is equipped with a modernized turret of the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle. The turret is fitted with new armor and sights. The main armament is a 30 mm 2A42 automatic cannon, widely used on Soviet and Russian armored vehicles and attack helicopters. The gun is fully stabilizes and the vehicle can fire accurately on the move. There is a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. Also there is a Konkurs anti-tank guided missile launcher. It is possible that other armament variants will become available over time.

The main power plant is a Chinese inline six-cylinder diesel engine with an output of 550 hp, coupled with a six-speed automatic gearbox manufactured by MZKT. The vehicle has a maximum road speed of up to 110 km/h. The Belarusian Volat V2 retains the ability to overcome water obstacles afloat, with a speed of 10 km/h.

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