The “infantry’s taxi” is a a common name for the military armored personal carrier. In the Army, APC’s bring troops to the battlefield, while in the Marines, they transport infantry from the landing ships to the beach, and after doing so can provide fire support. In Russia, and the rest of the world, the most common APC is the BTR-80. Of course, over the 30 years that it has been in service, the BTR-80 has aged considerably, so the vehicle is constantly being modernized. We will now explain how the APC has changed.
The predecessor of this vehicle, the world renowned BTR-80, is similar to the AK assault rifle: it has been used in almost all modern conflicts. The BTR-82A bears almost all of the characteristics of its father: it is quick, has great mobility, and is unpretentious, but it has become tougher and its “teeth” have become sharper. While its predecessor’s arsenal comprised of a 14.5 mm machine gun, the BTR-82A packs a 30 mm automatic cannon, which can penetrate even heavy armor. The turret also has a new electronic stabilizer which improves the accuracy of the weapon when it’s fired on the move.
“The previous APC could only shoot while stationary, but this vehicle can fire while moving, even at 80 km/hr”, stated the Chief Technology Officer, Vladimir Gushin. The new 300 hp engine has increased the APC’s speed as well as off-road mobility. These vehicles are built at the Arzamas Machine Building Plant, which is one of the largest enterprises of the Russian defense industry. The vehicle is a combined effort of several corporations. The engine is delivered by Kamaz from the city of Naberezhnye Chelny, the 30 mm cannon is supplied by the gunsmiths in Tula, and the hull is built near Arzamas, in Vyksa.
Following the final assembly, each vehicle must pass the driving test at the factory. One of the requirements is to be able to “swim” or forge through water. The task is not easy for a 15+ ton vehicle, but the BTR-82A apparently does not understand that steel is heavier than water. The APC can swim at speeds exceeding 9 km/hr. The new armored personal carrier has managed to help the Arzamas factory stay in business, with orders for the new vehicle being made both by Russia and abroad.
Now this here is the well-known Tiger, except this is not the regular one, but a heavily armored version, known as the Tiger-6A. This vehicle is equipped with level 6 protection. That means that the vehicle’s armor can withstand hits from even a heavy machine gun. “The only drawback was the slight weight increase of the Tiger, it now weighs 8 tons”, stated the director of the project, Alexander Sokolov. Of course, the Tiger-6A is not really inferior to its lighter brother in terms of mobility. And according to the drivers, operating this vehicle is not any more difficult than driving a civilian truck. The BTR-82A and the Tiger-6A are currently the main projects of the Armaz plant, but the line of armored vehicles will increase in the future. Currently, a new vehicle, called the “Wolf” is being tested. The creators expect the Wolf to be able to compete with foreign counterparts.