Russian BRDM-2MS 4x4 modernized armored vehicles in service with Myanmar army
The Russian-made BRDM-2MS was showcased for the first time on March 27, 2021, during a military parade celebrating Myanmar Armed Forces Day. According to the SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) Arms Trade Database, Myanmar has purchase from Russia an undisclosed number of modernized BRDM-2, 4x4 reconnaissance armored vehicles in BRDM-2MS configuration that were delivered in 2019.
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New Russian-made BRDM-2MS of Myanmar armed forces at military parade that was held in March 2021. (Picture source Russian MoD)
Since the 2000s, Myanmar has purchased an impressive number of military equipment from China and Russia including fire control radar, anti-ship missiles, main battle tanks, air defense missile system, frigates and drones from China as well as air defense missile systems, combat helicopters, fighter aircraft from Russia.
China and Russia have key defense cooperation with Myanmar that includes military exercises and the delivery of weapons. In 2016, Myanmar and Russia signed a broad cooperation agreement including military training.
The BRDM-2MS is an upgraded version of the Soviet-made BRDM-2, a 4x4 wheeled reconnaissance armored vehicle that was unveiled for the first time to the public in 1966, during a military parade in Moscow.
The original BRDM-2 has an all-welded steel armor hull providing protection against firing of small arms and artillery shell splinters. The vehicle is fitted with a one-man turret armed with one 14.5 mm KPVT machine gun and one coaxial 7.62 mm PKT machine gun mounted to the right.
The BRDM-2 is powered by a GAZ-41 V-8 water-cooled petrol engine developing 140 hp at 3,400 rpm coupled to a manual transmission with 4 forward and 1 reverse gears. It can run at a maximum road speed of 100 km with a maximum road range of 750 km. The vehicle has a crew of four and is fully amphibious propelled in the water at a maximum speed of 10 km/g thanks to a single water-jet mounted at the rear of the hull.
The BRDM-2MS has many new features including an anti-fire device, thermal vision camera, laser range finder, surveillance systems for commander and gunner, target acquisition system, a geo-positioning system using GPS and electronic map, electronic monitoring of engine operation on driver’s panel, six cameras providing 360° awareness outside of the vehicle.
The BRDM-2MS is powered by a new Diesel engine developing 150 hp. It has now a side door that enables the crew to quickly enter and leave the vehicle. Additional armor protection is mounted at the front and on each side of the hull. The floor of the vehicle has also been reinforced to provide protection against mines and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) blasts.
The BRDM-2MS maintains the one-man turret using the same armament as the original BRDM-2 including one 14.5 mm and one 7.62mm machine guns. The roof of the turret is now equipped with optics and observation systems. According to our first analysis, the vehicle lost its amphibious capabilities due to a storage box mounted at the rear of the hull.
The BRDM-2MS is also in service with the Serbian armed forces. The first vehicles were delivered by Russia to Serbia in 2020.