Armor: December 10, 1999


To support sales of the BMP-3 (which have been surprisingly brisk), Russia has produced two training devices to help train crews. One of these is a BMP-3 chassis configured as a driver training vehicle. The turret has been replaced by a glass-enclosed cabin where an instructor and several other students can sit. The driver has his usual seat and another seat for an instructor is provided down in the hull adjacent to the original driver position. The forward machinegun positions have been eliminated and the rear troop compartment (what is left of it) is used for storage. The instructors have their own brake and a switch to shut off the engine. The other new training device is a complete turret (the main armament is only simulated) fitted on a stand so that it could be used inside a building. The two-man turret crew mounts their normal seats and can rotate the assembly and operate its subsystems. Targets painted on a wall or projected on a screen can be engaged through the specially modified sights. Other training systems are available, consisting of the engine, transmission, water jets, hydraulic pumps, bilge pumps, suspension, and running gear. Each sub-assembly is mounted in what amounts to a mock-up of a part of the vehicle, allowing student mechanics to approach the problems from realistic angles, while instructors and other students can observe through "missing" parts of the hull.--Stephen V Cole

The Canadian Army has received the first of 114 of its German-built Leopard-1 tanks which have been refitted with thermal sights and digital fire control computers. The program is costing $91 million for all 114 tanks. Simultaneously, the Canadian Army is examining options to replace its Leopards (and its Coyote wheeled tank destroyers with their 76mm guns) with a new vehicle, perhaps a tank or a wheeled tank destroyer. --Stephen V Cole


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