Boraq / Boragh
|Manufacturer:||Defence Industries Organisation (D.I.O.)|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Tracked armoured personnel carrier|
Development of the Boraq (or Boragh) armoured personnel carrier commenced in 1986 with the first prototype completed 17 months later in 1987.
It underwent extensive trials that led to an improved model with the second and third prototypes completed in 1991. This design was subsequently adopted and first production Boraq vehicles were completed in 1997. While the current name of the vehicle is the Boraq, in the past it has also been referred to as the Boragh. The Iranian Defense Industries Corporation also referred to the Boraq as an infantry support vehicle. It is understood that at least one foreign country has purchased this vehicle.
In many respects the basic hull of the Boraq APC is similar to the Russian BMP-1, or its Chinese equivalent, the China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) WZ 501 full-tracked infantry combat vehicle, which are described in detail in a separate entry.
The Russian BMP-1 has been in service with Iran for many years and it is estimated that up to 300 vehicles are still in use. The BMP-1 has a one-man turret armed with a 73 mm 2A28 gun with a Russian Kolomna KBM 9K11 Malyutka (AT-3 'Sagger') wire-guided anti-tank missile above and a 7.62 mm PKT coaxial machine gun. First examples of the Boraq APC had a much simpler weapons station.
According to Iran, the hull of the Boraq APC is of all-welded steel armour which provides protection against 7.62 and 12.7 mm small arms fire and shell splinters.
The driver is seated at the front left and has a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the right and four day periscopes for observation to his front and sides. The middle periscopes can be replaced from under armour by a passive periscope for night driving.
The V-8 air-cooled power pack is mounted to the right of the driver with the air inlet and outlets being in the roof and the exhaust outlet on the right side of the hull. The Boraq can lay its own smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust outlet.
The BMP-1 is powered by a Type UTD-20 six-cylinder in-line water-cooled diesel developing 300 hp at 2,000 rpm but the Boraq is powered by a V-8 air-cooled turbocharged diesel developing 330 hp at 2,300 rpm. This diesel may be of Chinese origin.
The troop compartment is at the rear with the main difference being that the Iranian vehicle is armed with a pintle-mounted Iranian-built 12.7 mm Dooshka machine gun (the Russian 12.7 mm DShKM machine gun) and there is no commander's position to the rear of the driver on the left side.
The 12.7 mm machine gun can also be fitted with side and rear armour protection similar to that fitted to the more recent Chinese NORINCO Type 90 series of full-tracked APC. The pintle-mounted 12.7 mm MG is on a turntable that can be traversed through a full 360°, complete with its armour protection.
There are only two roof hatches over the rear troop compartment rather than the four on the BMP-1. In each side of the troop compartment are three firing ports with roof-mounted day periscopes above, which allow the infantry to fire their weapons from inside. The first firing port on each side would normally be used for a machine gun with the other two for assault rifles.
On the Russian BMP-1 the infantry are seated back to back down the centre of the vehicle facing outwards. To their rear is the diesel fuel tank. On the Iranian Boraq the infantry are seated down either side facing inwards which makes it easier to load cargo.
The infantry would normally enter and leave the vehicle by two doors in the rear of the vehicle, which open outwards with the left door having a firing port and associated vision device.
It is probable that like the original Russian vehicle, these rear doors each contain an integral diesel fuel tank, which is connected to the main fuel tank.
The suspension either side is of the torsion bar type with the drive sprocket at the front, idler at the rear, track-return rollers and six dual rubber-tyred road wheels. The tracks have replaceable rubber pads and two different types can be fitted. The first two road wheels either side have a hydraulic shock-absorber.
The road wheels are a different design from those on the Russian BMP-1 (which, like the Type 90, only has five road wheels either side) and appear to be very similar to those of the now BAE Systems, Ground Systems Division (previously United Defense) M113 series APC which have been in service with the Iranian Army for many years.
The Iranian DIO has been making replacement M113 series road wheels and tracks for some years and for logistical reasons it is logical that any locally manufactured APC would use these.
The upper part of the suspension of the Boraq is covered by a four-part rubber skirt, which hinges upwards to allow access to the suspension for maintenance purposes. On the BMP-1 a light sheet steel cover was fitted.
The Boraq APC is fully amphibious, being propelled in the water by its tracks. Before entering the water, a trim vane is erected at the front of the vehicle by the driver without leaving his seat and the bilge pumps are switched on.
The basic vehicle is fitted with a ventilation system with air entering the vehicle via a roof-mounted device to the rear of the 12.7 mm machine gun installation.
Standard equipment includes a vehicle intercom and a radio, the antenna for the latter is positioned at the rear of the vehicle on the left side. It is also fitted with a fire detection system and a BC protection system.
Optional equipment includes NBC system, electrically operated smoke dischargers, fire detection and suppression system and various communications systems. Variants
Iran has developed an enhanced composite armour package for the Boraq APC that can be rapidly fitted on the front of the hull to provide protection against 30 mm armour-piercing (AP) attack. The original vehicle only provided protection against heavy machine gun fire over the frontal arc.
The Boraq shown in Abu Dhabi in early 2003 was also fitted with a locally produced air conditioning system.
This was first revealed in 2002 and has a raised superstructure to the rear of the driver and power pack compartment. It has a two-part opening roof hatch to enable the 120 mm mortar to be fired from within the vehicle.
The latter has a traverse of 15° left and right with elevation limits from +43° to +86°. Maximum range of the mortar is quoted as 9,000 m with a minimum range of 500 m. This version has a power-operated ramp in the hull rear.
This has a raised roof to the rear of the third road wheel station for greater internal volume.
No details of this have been released but it may be similar to the above vehicle, fitted with additional communications for its specialist role.
No details of this are currently available.
The ammunition resupply vehicle, which would probably be used to support the locally developed 155 mm Raad-2 and 122 mm Raad-1 self-propelled artillery systems, has the power pack front right with a new raised crew compartment on the left side for the driver and commander to provide increased visibility over the frontal arc.
To the rear of the vehicle is an open-topped cargo area that can be covered by a tarpaulin cover when required, with access to this being via a ramp in the hull rear. A total of 4,000 kg of ammunition or other supplies can be carried.
This has a similar turret to the Russian BMP-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). It has a crew of three (commander, gunner and driver) and can carry six fully equipped troops in the rear troop compartment.
These are seated three down each side facing outwards and enter and leave via two doors in the hull rear. Firing ports and associated vision devices allow the troops to fire their weapons from within the hull.
The two-person power-operated turret is armed with a 30 mm cannon and a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun. Mounted on the turret roof is a launcher for the Russian Tula KBP 9M111 (NATO AT-4 Spigot) series of Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) which have a maximum range of 2,500 m. A total of 500 rounds of 30 mm ammunition are carried plus five ATGW (one in the ready-to-launch position and four internally for manual reloading).
The Aerospace Industries Organisation (AIO) of Iran has developed and placed in production a new one-person turret that can launch the Toophan series of wire-guided Anti-Tank Guided Weapon (ATGW).
This is essentially a reverse engineered US Raytheon Systems TOW ATGW.
The first version of the ATGW is called the Toophan and is fitted with a single High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) warhead weighing 3.6 kg that will penetrate 550 mm of conventional steel armour.
The second version, Toophan 2, has a tandem HEAT warhead weighing 4.1 kg that is claimed will penetrate 760 mm of conventional steel armour protected by Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA).
The new turret system can launch both versions of the Toophan ATGW and has the standard Toophan Semi-Automatic Command-to-Line-Of-Sight (SACLOS) guidance system.
In this all the gunner has to do to ensure that the missile hits the target is to keep his sight on the target throughout the target engagement. Once the missile hits the target new missiles are loaded via a hatch in the roof of the Boraq APC.
Maximum range of both missiles is 3,850 m and time of flight to maximum range is 13 seconds. Toophan is very similar to the US Raytheon Systems Company Basic TOW while the Toophan 2 is comparable to the Improved TOW that also has an extendable nose probe.
It is believed that the AOI is also developing a laser beam riding version of Toophan which will have a longer range. This may be designated Toophan 3 or Toophan 4.
Consideration is also being given to the development of a turret with the gunner under full armour protection from small arms fire and shell splinters.
The DIO Shahid Kolahdooz Industrial Complex also builds the Russian BMP-2 IFV under licence. As far as it is known, this is identical to the Russian-built vehicle.