Slovak Army new tracked reconnaissance vehicle BPsVI based on BMP-1 IFV


The Slovak Army has upgraded a number of BMP-1-based BPsV Svatava armored reconnaissance vehicles to the BPsVI (Bojove Prieskumne Vozidlo ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance)) level.


Slovak Army new tracked reconnaissance vehicle BPsVI based on BMP 1 IFV 925 002
The new BPsVI reconnaissance tracked vehicle is based on the Soviet-made BMP-1 IFV Infantry Fighting vehicle  (Picture source forum.valka.cz)


"The ground forces of the Slovak Armed Forces have taken delivery of 18 BPsVI vehicles as of mid-2017," the analysts of the think-tank says, adding that the BPsVI is based on the Soviet-made BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) that was produced by Czechoslovak defense enterprises under license provided by the Soviet Union. " The BPsVI is optimized for the tracked ISTAR role," they point out.

The BPsVI armored reconnaissance vehicle has been developed by a consortium of Slovakian companies that is comprised of EVPU, Konstrukta Defence, DMD Group and MSM Group.

The combat weight of the vehicle has increased to 15.29 t during the modernization process, while its length remains the same of the baseline platform (6.73 m). The BPsVI has received side-mounted additional floatation devices that have increased the vehicle's width to 3.46 m. Owing to the installation of the aforementioned devices, the platform has retained swimming capability.

The BPsVI has retained the original powerpack that is based on a UTD-20 diesel engine with a power output of 300 h.p. The vehicle has a cruising range of nearly 550 km when being fueled by basic fuel supply.

The BMP-1's organic turret that incorporates a 73mm semi-automatic cannon, a coaxial 7.62mm medium machinegun and a launcher of the Malyutka (NATO reporting name: AT-3 Sagger) has been replaced by the Turra 30 remote controlled weapon station (RCWS) armed with a 30mm 2A42 automatic cannon, a PKT 7.62mm coaxial medium machinegun and a twin launcher of Konkurs (AT-5 Spandrel) ATGMs. It should be mentioned that the 2A42 cannon integrated with the RCWS is manufactured by Slovakia's ZTS Special company. The turret has received the SDIO (System Detekcie a Indikacie Oziarenia) laser warning system, which is fitted with a sensor produced by Israel's Elbit Systems company. The BPsVI's sensor suite also includes a surveillance radar, a weather meter, a Micro Falcon unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a mine detection system and a ground sensor system. The vehicle's communication suite is provided by the US-based Harris Corporation.


Slovak Army new tracked reconnaissance vehicle BPsVI based on BMP 1 IFV 925 001
The BPsVI is an upgraded version of the BPsV 'Svatava' tracked reconnaissance platform (Picture source Army Recognition)


The Slovak Army is reported to be operating a large number of Soviet-originated platforms. According to the Military Balance 2017 analytical report issued by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the service operated 30 T-72M main battle tanks and 148 BMP-1 and 91 BMP-2 IFVs as of early 2017.

Previously, the Slovak Army used the BPsV Svatava armored reconnaissance vehicles that were also based on the chassis of the BMP-1. According to the open sources, nearly 200 Svatava vehicles were produced for the Czechoslovakian Armed Forces in 1988-1990. The BPsV was fitted with an advanced sensor suite that incorporated a radar, a night vision device, a laser rangefinder, a laser warning system and other sensors. The vehicle retained the armament suite of the baseline BMP-1 IFV, and its crew totaled six. Both Army of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Army still operate the BPsV Svatava.

Despite its age, the BMP-1 IFVs (primarily, its upgraded modifications) remain in service with several East European NATO member states, i.e. Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. It is noteworthy that Poland has recently demonstrated an updated variant of the BMP-1-based BWP-1S armored reconnaissance vehicle. The vehicle is believed to enter service at an early date. The modernized BWP-1S features two thermal imagers, two TV cameras, a laser rangefinder, an artillery fire detector and modern radios. The vehicle is also fitted with a GPS satellite navigation system, a smoke screen generator, a data transmitting unit, a camouflaging coating and other pieces of hardware.


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