Syrian army receives BTR-70M APCs

The governmental armed forces of the Syrian Arab Republic (SAR) have received some BTR-70M armored personnel carriers (APCs), according to Syrian media outlets.An armor unit of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces (SAAF) in northern Syria has taken the delivery of a batch of at least three BTR-70M 8x8 APCs. Previously, the SAAF operated ageing BTR-60 8x8 carriers and BRDM-2 4x4 armored reconnaissance vehicles (ARV). Several units were reported to be equipped with BTR-80 and BTR-82A APCs.

Syrian army receives BTR 70M APCs
BTR-70M (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The BTR-70M has been fitted with a KAMAZ-7403 diesel engine with a power output of 260 hp instead of two ZMZ-4905 petrol engines. The upgraded carrier has received the transmission, fuel system, and steering unit of the BTR-80 APC. The BTR-70M has also received the BTR-80`s manned turret with the 1P3-7 optical sight, TVNE-4B observation system, and TKN-3 combined observation system with day and night passive channels. The armament suite of the upgraded BTR-70 remains the same, comprising a KPVT 14.5 mm heavy machinegun and a Kalashnikov PKT 7.62 mm coaxial medium machine gun. Six Tucha 902V smoke dischargers are installed on the rear of the turret.

The BTR-70M features a moderate demand in the global arms market. In 2014, the Nicaraguan Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas de Nicaragua) showed several BTR-70Ms during a defense show in the country`s capital, Managua. However, Nicaragua`s military did not specify the size of its fleet of the BTR-70M carriers.

The Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic also receive the BTR-70M APCs. By February 2016, the country had taken the delivery of 20 upgraded vehicles. The BTR-70Ms have been delivered to Tajikistan. The Mongolian military operates at least 10 BTR-70Ms. Belarus has developed its own variant of the BTR-70 modernization, which is named BTR-70MB1. Like the BTR-70M, the BTR-70MB1 is powered by a KAMAZ-7403.10 turbocharged diesel engine with a power output of 260 hp. Owing to the integration of a more powerful engine, the maximum speed of the BTR-70MB1 has reached 92 km/h. The organic R-123M radio has been replaced by the Belarusian-made R-181-50TU Drofa jamming-resistant digital radio.

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