BTR-82A APC’s On Exercise In Shali, Chechnya


The colony of BTR’s kicks up dust and jumps over pits that get in the way. The crews receive information that the enemy has appeared in the field, and are ordered to take aim open fire. Soldiers of the 18th separate motorized brigade are the shooting grounds all day today. During winter, they went through theoretic training, now they are going through practical training. The —čergeants are learning to fire the main guns of the new APC’s that entered service with the Southern Military District in the beginning of this year. The main difference between this BTR and its predecessors is the new 30 mm automatic cannon.


This weapon is capable of destroying all types of targets, even those that are heavily armored. The life of the crew and the vehicle depends on the accuracy of the gunner. The BTR-82A can not only engage other armored personal carriers, but do significant damage to tanks (damage the electronics, fuel tanks, etc). The commander orders the crews to reload the BTR’s and move to position. First they practice firing in a stationary position, then behind cover, and then the hardest part, firing at the enemy while on the move. During training, the machine gun on one of the BTR’s jammed, just like in real combat situations. The barrel was cleared within seconds, and the machine gun was reloaded.


Only contractors are accepted for service in this brigade, and everyone here is very familiar with the technology, so it is easy for them to get used to the new BTR’s. “It takes half a day of intense and non-stop training to get a soldier qualified to use this new technology”, stated Alexander Cherkasov, the commander of the 18th separate motorized brigade. At the end of the day, the commander lines up the crews, analyzes the training session, and scores the brigade’s accuracy. Here is a row of targets, two of the targets were blown off their frames from 30 mm fire, while one target is still in its frame, though riddled with holes from Kalashnikov fire. All crews received a B score for today’s training.


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