The success in military operations in nowaday’s conflicts often depends on the mobility of military formations, in some cases this eliminates the possibility of the battle itself.
High manoeuvrability of small units, especially when moving across irregular terrain with water barriers, could be provided by an armoured fighting vehicle that negotiates the obstacles on the fly, without advance preparation.
BТ-3F armoured personnel carrier
And it was the vehicle that was developed by designers of the Special Design Bureau of Machine Building OJSC (Kurgan) and specialists of the Kurgan Machine Building Plant (“Kurganmashzavod” JSC) having created the developmental prototype of BT-3F armoured fighting vehicle on the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle chassis.
As a matter of priority, Kurgan designers sought to lay high level of protection into the new vehicle. Great attention was paid to qualitative improvement of the characteristics of habitability and ergonomics. The basic parameters of mobility and unification with the base vehicle were kept.
The BT-3F armoured personnel carrier inherited from the BMP-3 high protection against both conventional weapons and effects from a nuclear explosion, which makes it possible to use these vehicles together in combat missions.
The 5ETS16U remote-controlled weapon station mounted on the BT-3F with the 12.7 mm Kord machine gun is equipped with the TV-thermal imaging sight with the laser rangefinder. It is indispensable for combating light armored targets and weapons, as well as for destruction of the enemy's manpower. It is essential for fighting soft targets and fire units for enemy fighters destruction. By the way, the video surveillance system provides the all-round view of the area, while the image is displayed on the driver’s and mounted troopers’ video and vision devices.
The accommodation of the mounted troops has options: besides crew members the vehicle can accommodate also up to 10 mounted troops, in addition, it is possible to accommodate five more people. It is important that the BT-3F can be used for transportation of a large volume of goods, ammunition, and stationing of the devices and equipment. In fact, the new-generation armored personnel carrier is offered as a base chassis for development of vehicles of wide application range.
The 450 hp engine allows keeping the BT-3F mobility characteristics at the level of the BMP-3 IFV: speed on highway up to 70 km/h, swim capability at sea state three.
Another undoubted advantage of the vehicle is its transportability. The BT-3F can be transported by motor, by air, by sea, and by rail. The BT-3F can also be transported on the external suspension of the MI-26 helicopter.
Due to the use in the design of the armored personnel carrier of serial produced units and assemblies of the BMP-3 IFV, being in service for a long time, the new BT-3F can be introduced into serial production at the “Kurganmashzavod” in short time, without actually carrying out preparatory work. And there will be no problem to train crews that have had experience of the BMP-3 and BMP-3F operation.
This circumstance makes it possible to name as the most promising foreign markets for BT-3F vehicles those states which already have the BMP-3 IFVs in service. Of course, the BT-3F amphibious armored personnel carrier manufactured by "Kurganmashzavod" JSC will occupy its niche in the global arms market, where the Russian offer is traditionally strong.