Vietnamese Army developed BTR-152 armored vehicle medevac variant

Vietnamese defense industry has unveiled a medical evacuation vehicle based on the chassis of the BTR-152 armored personnel carrier (APC), according to the QPVN news channel.

Vietnamese Army developed BTR 152 armored vehicle medevac variant 001
People's Army of Vietnam BTR-152 armored personnel carriers

The vehicle us intended for the Vietnamese peacekeepers in South Sudan. "During a trip in South Sudan last October, a representative of Vietnam`s Department of Peacekeeping Operations offered the UN mission in the country [United Nations Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS] to deploy a medical evacuation vehicle to Bentiu. [The UNMISS] has approved the deployment," QVPN says.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Defense has assigned the General Technical Department with the task to rebuild a BTR-152 6x6 APC into a wheeled medevac. The works have been conducted by the Z153 armor repair plant. The vehicle`s troops compartment has been rebuilt: it is equipped with five anti-blast seats, a rack for two pairs of stretchers, and anti-heat liner. The BTR-152-based ambulance has received an upgraded air cooling unit, a defibrillator, a health monitoring system, and other pieces of medical equipment. The driver`s workseat has received a thermal imager that facilitates driving in sandy terrains. The crew and afflicted persons are protected by the organic ballistic armor and bulletproof windows. The power output of the vehicle`s engine has been increased to 130 hp. According to the Vietnamese military, the rebuilding process took no more than 30 days.

The People`s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) still operates a large number of Soviet-era armored platforms. According to the Military Balance 2018 analytical book published by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), PAVN has 70 T-62, 350 Type 59 and 850 T-54/55 main battle tanks, 300 PT-76 and 320 Type 62/Type 63 light amphibious tanks, 100 BRDM-1 and BRDM-2 armored reconnaissance cars, 300 BMP-1 and BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, over 280 BTR-50, 200 M113, and 80 Type 63 tracked APCs, and 1,100 BTR-40/BTR-60/BTR-152 wheeled APCs. Therefore, the PAVN`s current armor fleet dates back to the 1960s.

Vietnam has no automotive industry capable of designing and manufacturing of light and heavy armored vehicles. Considering this fact, the modernization of legacy platforms is the only appropriate way of shoring up of the Vietnamese mechanized troops` combat potential.

The BTR-152 APC was developed in the 1950s. The baseline carrier has a combat weight of 8.6 t. The vehicle is powered by a ZIL-123 petrol engine with a maximum power output of 110 hp. The powerplant produces a speed of up to 75 km/h and a power-to-weight ratio of 12.8 hp/t. The BTR-152 has a cruising range of 550-600 km. The baseline variant of the vehicle is armed with a SGM 7.62 mm medium machinegun with an ammunition load of 1,250 cartridges. The APC is fitted with a 10-RT-12 radio.

Like WWII-era infantry carriers, the BTR-152 lacks any roof protection. Vietnamese engineers have fixed this drawback through the installation of an armored hood.

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