Armor: Shkval Saves BMP-1

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May 29, 2016: Ukraine has modified its Shkval RWS (remote weapons station) to be used on older BMP-1 IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles). BMP-1 is a 1960s era design that is still in service in part because Ukraine provides refurbishment and upgrades for these vehicles. . BMP-1 is a 13 ton armored vehicle with a cramped one man turret armed with a 73mm low-recoil cannon and four ATGMs (Anti-Tank Guided Missiles). This BMP-1 turret was always a source of user complaints and the Shkval, introduced in 2012 for more recent wheeled armored vehicles, seems like a good solution. While Shkval weighs 1.9 tons, it allows the operator to sit below the turret and more easily handle the many weapons packed into Shkval. These include a 30m autocannon (with 225 rounds ready to fire), a coaxial 7.62mm machine-gun (with 2,500 rounds), a 30mm grenade launcher (with 29 rounds), two modern ATGMs and six smoke grenade launchers (using grenades generating a mist that confuses laser guided missiles). Shkval uses a modern computerized fire control system that includes a weapon stabilizer. The operator has a thermal sight available as well as a laser rangefinder.

 


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