BTR-70 Armoured Personnel Carrier


The BTR-70 (8 x 8) amphibious armoured personnel carrier was shown in public for the first time during the November 1980 parade in Moscow. For a short period, the US Army referred to the BTR-70 as the M1978 as this was the first time that it was observed; the East German Army referred to the vehicle as the SPW-70. The BTR-80 was designed by the Dedkov design bureau in Gorkiy-Arzamas under the development designation of the Obiekt 60. This entered production as the BTR-70 in 1972. Although the manufacturer is normally given as the Gorky Automobile Plant, production of this and the later BTR-80 was undertaken in the neighbouring Arzamas facility.


The hull of the BTR-70 is of all-welded steel armour construction with improved protection over its frontal arc compared to the original BTR-60 series. The nose is also wider and the front of the vehicle provides added protection to the front wheels. The bow section of the BTR-70 may incorporate special layered armour for increased protection.
The commander sits at the front of the hull on the right with the driver to his left. The commander has a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the front. The driver also has a single-piece hatch cover that opens at a 45 angle towards the centre of the vehicle. Both the commander and driver have a window to their front which is covered in combat by an armoured hatch cover hinged at the top. Each also has three forward- and one side-facing periscopes, with a single firing port under the commander's last periscope only. To the rear of the commander and driver are two infantrymen facing the front. Over the second axle is the turret, armed with a 14.5 mm and a 7.62 mm machine gun. This turret is identical to that fitted to the BTR-60PB (8 x 8) armoured personnel carrier and the BRDM-2 (4 x 4) armoured car. Some BTR-70 (8 x 8) APCs have been observed fitted with the complete turret of the BTR-80 (8 x 8) APC described in the previous entry.

The troop compartment is to the rear of the turret with three firing ports and one vision block in each side of the hull. Over the top of the troop compartment are two square roof hatches each with a circular firing port, opening to the front and rear respectively. Between the second and third axles is a small door that opens to the front. The six infantrymen sit on a bench seat down the centre, back-to-back, enabling them to use the firing ports. The engine compartment is at the rear of the hull and is fitted with a fire extinguishing system. The air inlets are in the top of the engine compartment and the air outlets at the rear. The exhaust pipes run from the top of the engine compartment down either side towards the rear. The original two GAZ-49B six-cylinder in-line water-cooled petrol engines have been replaced by two ZMZ-4905 petrol engines developing 120 hp each compared to the 90 hp each of the BTR-60. Each engine has its own transmission with the right engine providing power for the first and third axles, the left for the second and fourth axles. If one engine is damaged or disabled then the vehicle can still travel on the other, although at a reduced speed. Steering is power assisted on the front two axles. Early models of the BTR-70 had the same wheels and tyres as the BTR-60 series. Standard equipment includes an NBC system, a central tyre-pressure regulation system and a front-mounted winch which is provided with 50 m of cable and has a maximum pull capacity of 6,000 kg. It also has a fire detection/suppression system, a DP-3B roentgenometer, a service device for chemical reconnaissance (VPKhR), special toolsets, towing mountings and lifejackets.
The wheels have split rims with pneumatic directional tread tyres fitted as standard. The driver can adjust the tyre pressure of all eight wheels from 2.8 to 0.5 kg/cm{2} without leaving his seat. If a tyre is damaged the onboard compressor compensates for the leakage of air.

The BTR-70 is fully amphibious and propelled in the water by a single water-jet at the rear of the hull. On the BTR-60 this had a two-part cover but on the BTR-70 a one-part cover is fitted, hinged at the top left. Before entering the water the trim vane is erected at the front of the hull. When travelling, this is stowed on top of the hull front whereas on the BTR-60 series it is under the nose of the vehicle. Internal stowage space is provided for a light anti-tank launcher such as the RPG-7 and two 30 mm AGS-17 automatic grenade launchers plus nine hand grenades.


BTR-70 with BTR-80 turret

A number of BTR-70 (8 x 8) APCs have been observed fitted with the turret of the more recent BTR-80. Details of this turret are given in the entry for the BTR-80. This version has the NATO/US designation of BTR-70 M1986/1. In addition to being fitted with the complete BTR-80 (8 x 8) turret, it has a modified wave deflector, rear bumpers, headlight brushguards, additional armour brackets on the vehicle sides and two additional firing ports in the very top of each side of the troop compartment between the hull sides and the roof.


Chemical reconnaissance vehicle.


Possible radar jamming variant.

BTR-70 with AGS-17

A number of BTR-70s were seen in Afghanistan fitted with the 30 mm AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher on the roof to the rear of the driver and commander. These vehicles retain the machine gun turret.


This is a turretless communications vehicle with the MS standing for Mashina Svyazi (signals vehicle).


This is a command/staff vehicle with the KShM standing for Komandno-Shtabnaya Mashina.

BREM repair and recovery vehicle

This is a turretless BTR-70 fitted with a bow-mounted jib crane and other equipment; BREM stands for Bronirovannaya Remontno-Evakuatsionannaya Mashina - armoured repair and recovery vehicle.

Configuration: 8 x 8
Combat weight: 11,500 kg
Power-to-weight ratio: 20.86 hp/t
Length: 7.535 m
Width: 2.8 m
(to top of sight) 2.32 m
(to top of turret) 2.235 m
Ground clearance: 0.475 m
Track: 2.38 m
Wheelbase: 4.4 m
Max speed:
(road) 80 km/h
(water) 10 km/h
Fuel capacity: 350 liters (est)
Max range: 600 km (with external fuel tanks)
Fording: amphibious
Gradient: 60%
Side slope: 40%
Vertical obstacle: 0.5 m
Trench: 2 m
Engines: 2 x ZMZ-4905 8-cylinder petrol developing 120 hp each
Transmissions: manual with 4 forward and 1 reverse gears
Transfer case: 2-speed
Steering: power-assisted
Turning radius: 6.3 m
Suspension: torsion bar with hydraulic shock-absorbers
Electrical system: 12 V
(main) 1 x 14.5 mm KPVT MG
(coaxial) 1 x 7.62 mm PKVT MG
(main) 500
(coaxial) 2,000
Gun control equipment
Turret power control: manual
Gun elevation/depression: +30/-5
Turret traverse: 360
Gun stabiliser:
(vertical) no
(horizontal) no
NBC system: yes
Night vision equipment: yes

Status :

Production complete. 160 in service with Pakistan in UN and Army role.

COMPANY NAME : Gorky Automobile Plant