Russian BTR-82 armoured personnel carrier could be upgraded with AU-220M turret 57mm cannon TASS 10810161

Military Defense Industry Technology - BTR-82 with 57mm gun
 
Russian BTR-82 armoured personnel carrier could be upgraded with AU-220M turret 57mm cannon
Russian upgraded armored personnel carrier (APC) BTR-82 may be afforded the AU-220M fighting module with a 57-mm gun instead of the current 30-mm one, according to the Izvestia daily. A tentative decision has been made for fitting the AU-220M Baikal artillery combat mode to the BTR-82’s chassis, with the project awaiting approval now, a Russian Defense Ministry official close to the matter said.
     
Russian upgraded armored personnel carrier (APC) BTR-82 may be afforded the AU-220M fighting module with a 57-mm gun instead of the current 30-mm one, according to the Izvestia daily. A tentative decision has been made for fitting the AU-220M Baikal artillery combat mode to the BTR-82’s chassis, with the project awaiting approval now, a Russian Defense Ministry official close to the matter said. AU-220M turret with 57mm cannon at IDEX 2015
     
The APC’s primary job is to carry troops to the battlefield, but the module will ramp up its firepower. Hence, in addition to the technical aspect of the program, there is work under way to figure out the missions the Baikal-equipped BTR-82 will be able to accomplish.

The BTR-82 is a derivative of the legendary BTR-80 APC, which upgrade saw the replacement of its 14.5-mm machinegun with the 30-mm 2A72 automatic gun and the introduction of up-to-date sights, digital communications and data transmission equipment and beefed-up mine protections. The Defense Ministry has bought more than 1,000 advanced BTR-82s and fielded them with scout units, Marine brigades and Special Forces groups in addition to regular infantry brigades and divisions.

According to expert Sergei Suvorov, the equipping of the APC with the cutting-edge 57-mm AU-220M Baikal automated remote-controlled gun module is pursuing several objectives at once. One is a considerable firepower increase. The 57-mm caliber is most versatile these days. The new gun is heavier than the BTR-82’s organic 30-mm 2A72 but lighter than the 100-mm main gun of the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). With its rate of fire standing at 120 rd/min., the Baikal is capable of hitting virtually any armored threat in battle, including tanks.

In addition, the unmanned module releases room inside the fighting vehicle, the expert stressed, which allows more comfort in the troop compartment.

The solution increases personnel safety, because the ammunition load is outside of the manned compartment of the vehicle - in the unmanned turret. If the ammo load goes off, the troops will not be affected, Sergei Suvorov explained. The AU-220M also can be used as a fully automated stationary weapon. The APC may be left in the firing position, with its fire controlled remotely, which will improve the crew’s chances for survival even more.
     
     
Interestingly, the Russian Defense Ministry is not alone in having decided to arm its APCs with a 57-mm automatic gun. In particular, the Kazakh Army will have received as soon as this year its first Barys APCs derived from the South Africa-built Mbombe combat vehicle and furnished with Russian-made AU-220M Baikal fighting modules.

Expert Alexei Khlopotov emphasizes that the lessons learnt from recent wars and armed conflicts prove that enemy lightly armed jeeps, rather than tanks, APCs and IFVs, are turning into the primary target for APC crews.

The global trend in dealing such targets is to take them out with one or two projectiles at maximum range. The 30-mm 2A42 and 2A72 light automatic guns equipping the Russian in-service IFVs and APCs will be unable to do the job due to their high dispersion at long range.

According to the expert, the Russian-made BTR-82 packing a 57-mm gun will become both an effective counter to armed pickup trucks at maximum range and a dangerous opponent to main battle tanks, because the Baikal’s projectiles will not only destroy a tank’s sights and other add-on equipment out to 2-2.5 km but also punch through its side armor.

According to a Defense Ministry official close to the program, there have been technical problems with adapting the AU-220M Baikal to the BTR-82 chassis. At present, the BTR-82 armed with the 30-mm 2A72 weighs 16 tons, which is, essentially, the limit for the running gear and suspension of the BTR-80, which derivative the BTR-82 is. Therefore, the primary objective of the Baikal’s integration is to meet the APC’s weight and size caps, which is possible, in fact, according to the Izvestia daily.
     
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