||Wheeled Amphibious Armored Personnel Carrier
|Place of origin
||13 December 1959 – present
||See List of Conflicts
||V. A. Dedkov
||Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod (USSR)
Ratmil Regie Autonoma (Romania, TAB-71)
||1960 – 1976 (USSR)
+1,872 (Romania, TAB-71)
||10.3 tonnes (11.4 tons)
||2.83 m (9.28 ft)
||2.31 m (7.58 ft)
||3 + 14 passengers (original roofless BTR-60P had 2+14 capacity, reduced to 2+12 in BTR-60PA and 2+8 in BTR-60PB)
7 mm at 86° hull upper front
9 mm at 47° hull lower front
7 mm hull sides
5 mm hull upper rear
7 mm hull lower rear
5 mm hull floor
7 mm hull roof
10 mm turret front
7 mm turret sides
7 mm turret sear
7 mm turret roof
|14.5mm KPVT heavy machine gun (500 rounds)
|7.62 mm PKT tank coaxial machine gun (3,000 rounds)
||2×GAZ-40P 6-cylinder gasoline
90 hp (67 kW) each
180 hp (134 kW) (combined)
||18.4 hp/tonne (13.7 kW/tonne)
||475 mm (18.7 in)
||290 l (76.6 g)
|500 km (310.7 mi)
||80 km/h (49.7 mi/h) on road
10 km/h (6.2 mi/h) in water
The BTR-60 is the first vehicle in a series of Soviet eight-wheeled armoured personnel carriers (APCs). It was developed in the late 1950s as a replacement for the BTR-152 and was seen in public for the first time in 1961. BTR stands for Bronetransporter (БТР, Бронетранспортер, literally "armoured transporter").
The BTR-152 and BTR-40, the first two Soviet mass-produced APCs developed after the Second World War, gave the Soviet Army useful experience with wheeled armoured personnel carriers. However, even as they were designed, they weren't suited for the needs of the Soviet Army as they lacked a roof (which was added in later versions designated BTR-152K and BTR-40B respectively). The low combat values of the BTR-152 and BTR-40 were exposed when the Egyptian Army used them during the Suez Crisis. This was one of the reasons why the new APC was developed.
Between 1956 and 1957, a decision was made to convert all rifle and mechanized divisions into motor rifle divisions and a requirement for a new transport vehicle was drawn up.
ZiL-153 at the Kubinka Tank Museum.
Development proceeded along two paths: a more expensive vehicle that would eventually become the BMP-1, for use in tank divisions, and a cheaper vehicle for use in motor rifle divisions, that would eventually become the BTR-60. Two design bureaus were given the requirements, GAZ led by V. A. Dedkov, and ZiL led by Rodionov and Orlov. The requirements stated that the vehicle should have all wheel drive, at least two turnable axles, independent suspension as well as mobility and fording capabilities allowing it to operate alongside tanks. The vehicle was also supposed to be amphibious. The GAZ design team started to work on the new APC during the winter of 1956. Despite the fact that the army wanted a fully roofed vehicle with NBC protection system, the GAZ design did not have those features. It was argued that firing from the cramped interior would be difficult and that the limitation of losses wasn't a priority. The prototype was built between 1957 and 1958. ZiL developed a 6x6 design, the ZiL-153, similar in hull shape to the GAZ design. There were also three other 8x8 prototypes: Ob'yekt 560 (also known as MMZ-560), Ob'yekt 1015 (developed by KAZ), Ob'yekt 1015B (developed by KAZ, it had with a turret-mounted armament and stream propellers, also known as BTR-1015B) and Ob'yekt 1020B (developed by KAZ). All prototypes were submitted to and passed state trials in 1959. Even though the Ob'yekt 1015B performed best, the GAZ design was selected and given the designation BTR-60P. Officially, the committee that made the decision did so because of the GAZ plant's production capabilities and experience. The main reason was that the GAZ design was the simplest and cheapest one and introduced the lowest amount of technological advancements, which made it easier to put into mass production.
BTR-60P had open-roofed crew and troop compartments, which was deemed to be a serious disadvantage. Accordingly, a new version with an armoured roof, designated BTR-60PA, entered production in 1963. This new version's capacity was reduced from 16 soldiers to 14 soldiers.
The appearance of the German HS.30 APC, which was armed with a 20 mm cannon, prompted the addition of the conical BPU-1 turret. This turret, which was originally developed for the BRDM-2 amphibious armoured scout car, was armed with the KPVT 14.5 mm heavy machine gun and a PKT 7.62 mm tank machine gun. The new vehicle was designated the BTR-60PAI and entered production in 1965. It was, however, quickly replaced by the BTR-60PB, which had a better sighting system for the machine guns.
BTR-60 was a revolutionary design for its time. It had a non-standard layout for an APC; the crew compartment was in the front, the troop compartment in the middle and the engine compartment in the rear. This meant that, while the BTR-60 didn't share some of the weaknesses that other APCs had, it had several disadvantages of its own.
In the BTR-60, the crew compartment is located in the front of the vehicle and had a roof - unlike the troop compartment, which first received one with the introduction of the BTR-60PA. In the BTR-60P and BTR-60PA, the crew consists of a driver and a commander. The driver's seat is on the left and commander's seat is on the right. In the BTR-60PAI, BTR-60PB and BTR-60PZ, the crew consists of a driver, a commander and a gunner. The position of the driver and commander stations remained unchanged in later models. The gunner operates the BPU-1 turret, using the PP-61A optical sight. In the BTR-60P, both the driver and commander manned their positions by entering the vehicle through the sides. The BTR-60PA introduced two hatches over their stations and crew members had to climb on top of the vehicle to use them. The entry method did not change in later production models. The BTR-60B introduced a side door for the gunner on the right side, and firing ports for both the driver and commander, and two for the gunner, one on each side. (For more information on the BTR-60's firing port see the troop compartment section). Both the driver and the commander have forward views through bulletproof windshields, onto which steel covers can be lowered. In the BTR-60P and BTR-60PA, the covers had vision slots, and additional slots on both sides of the crew compartment. These were removed in the BTR-60PB in favor of two periscopes on each side.[clarification needed] In early models of the BTR-60P and BTR-60PA, only the driver had a periscope, while the commander had a removable OU-3 infrared searchlight. In the BTR-60PB, both the driver and the commander have three periscopes in the front (the commander's center periscope can be hard to see as it's just below the OU-3 infrared light). The vehicle was usually equipped with an R-113 radio; however,some models used the R-123. The initial BTR-60P production model lacked night-vision and had only four headlights (two infrared, two white, one of each kind per side, these remained in all BTR-60 models). Late BTR-60P models were fitted with night-vision; the TKN-1 connected with the OU-3 infrared searchlight for the commander and the TWN-2 for the driver. This remained unchanged in later models.
Ex-Egyptian or ex-Syrian BTR-60PB, in the Yad la-Shiryon museum, Israel, 2005. Notice the exposed water jet with both of its lids opened.
The BTR-60 is fully amphibious, propelled in the water by a jet centrally mounted at the rear of the hull. It was, however, prone to breakdowns.When not in use, it is protected by the sideways opening lids. Before entering the water, the trim vane at the front of the hull should be erected to prevent water from flooding over the bow. While in its traveling position, it serves as additional lower frontal armor.