.: Min Hin Chong's Trumpeter 1/72nd Russian BTR80

The BTR-80 8x8 armoured personnel carrier, manufactured by the Arzamas machinery Construction Plant of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, is intended to carry personnel on the battlefield and provide close fire support. It can also carry out reconnaissance, combat support and patrol missions.

It entered service with the Russian Army in the late 1980s and has since been used in a number of military conflicts, including UN peacekeeping operations.

BTR-80 variants and developments

The following vehicles have also been developed from the basic BTR-80 armoured personnel carrier: BREM-K armoured recovery and repair vehicle; BMM armoured ambulance vehicle; RkhM-4-01 radiation and chemical reconnaissance vehicle; and 2S23 Nona SVK 120mm self-propelled gun, in service with the Russian Army since 1990.

An enlarged version, the BTR-90 with improved armour protection, has been developed. The BTR-90 has a 30mm 2A42 automatic cannon and is capable of mounting a launcher for the Konkurs anti-tank missile system. BTR-90 entered production in May 2008.

In July 2005, Bumar, a Polish company, was awarded a contract by the Iraqi Ministry of Defence for 98 reconditioned, ex-Hungarian Army BTR-80 APCs. The first three vehicles, which were newly built by Nikolayev of Ukraine, were delivered in September 2006. Delivery of the reconditioned vehicles will begin in 2007.

Bangladesh ordered a further 60 BTR-80 APC vehicles for use in UN peacekeeping missions. Deliveries completed in April 2006.

Fully amphibious design

The fully amphibious BTR-80 is equipped to carry ten personnel: commander, driver/mechanic, gunner and seven troops. There are seven ball-swivel firing ports in the vehicle hull, four on the right and three on the left side of the vehicle, as well as ports in the upper hatches of the firing compartment. The hatches have armoured doors and are situated on both sides of the vehicle.

The BTR-80 is fitted with NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) protection system, automatic firefighting system, camouflage devices, bilge pumps and a self-recovery winch.

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