Armor: March 12, 2002

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Although the Russian army can't afford to buy many armored vehicles these days, many Russian manufacturers are still in business, trying to stay alive by exporting. Arzamas produces the BTR series of wheeled combat vehicles and designed the 21 ton BTR-90 solely for export. A prototype was shown in 1994, but it wasn't until the end of the 1990s that orders began to trickle in. What made the 8 wheeled BTR-90 different from its predecessors was the addition of the turret and 30mm cannon and 30mm automatic grenade launcher from the BMP-2 tracked infantry fighting vehicle plus other improvements like thermal imaging. By the late 1990s there was an improved version, the BTR-90M, that contained the turret from the BMP-3. This included a 100mm gun that fired laser guided missiles and a 30mm cannon as well. The fire control system is similar to that found in the U.S. M-1 tank. The vehicle can be fitted with explosive armor. Pricing is flexible, and always below Western LAVs. But most buyers are still but off by the questionable effectiveness of Russian military hi-tech. 

 


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