Big Bang Ricochet 032: Russia's BTR-70 APC

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Designer(s): Dana Jorgensen

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In 1978, the Soviet military introduced their second generation modern APC, the BTR-70. In the following decade, it would become one of the most extensively modified military machines in the world.

The BTR-70 is a war machine forged in the crucible of warfare in Afghanistan. Originally designed for combat on the coastal plains of northern Europe, like most Soviet era military equipment, it was not equipped to deal with the harsh nature of combat in the high mountains of southwestern Asia. Beginning with early field modifications to add roof firing ports, the BTR-70 evolved step by step into a military vehicle well suited to handling combat on the low ground, outfitted with rocket launchers, machine guns and grenade launchers able to fire high into the mountain cliffs.

Though two additional generations of the BTR family have since been introduced to the Russian military, the BTR-70 soldiers on, the subject of numerous potent modernization programs in Russia, Ukraine, Belorus, and Slovakia, all enabling the BTR-70 to keep pace with the advancements made in the design of later generation BTRs, making the BTR-70 a valuable commodity on the international arms market.

Along with detailing the original BTR-70 family of vehicles plus the modifications made during the Soviet-Afghan War, this booklet also details the numerous modernized versions of the vehicle, including the Russian BTR-70M4 and BTR-70D, Belorussian/Slovakian BTR-70 Kobra-K, and the Ukrainian BTR-70 KMDB Upgrade and BTR-70 GROM. Statistics are provided for all modernized versions.


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Robert VanDormolen 10 10 10 Entire Big Bang Ricochet series are concise articles packed with useful wargaming info.

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