|Manufacturer:||VOP CZ, s.p.|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
Early in 2001 the Czech Army completed trials of two Russian-designed and -built BRDM-2 (4 × 4) amphibious scout cars which were upgraded by the local VOP 026 overhaul facility with the assistance and co-operation of a number of other companies and government establishments in the Czech Republic.
These two prototype vehicles are designated the BRDM-B and the BRDM-VR, with the former being a reconnaissance vehicle and the latter a command and control vehicle (BRDM-VR) with additional communications equipment.
As a result of trials with the prototype vehicles, the user has requested a number of modifications, which will be incorporated into a run of preproduction vehicles. It is understood that the first production batch will consist of 50 units that will be earmarked for use by the Czech rapid reaction units. As of mid-2007 no volume production of the upgraded BRDM-2 amphibious scout car had been undertaken by VOP 026.
The overall layout of the VOP 026 upgraded BRDM-2 (4 × 4) amphibious scout car is almost identical to the original vehicle developed well over 35 years ago, with large numbers being built at the Molotov GAZ Plant in Gorkiy, Russia. Russia is also offering an upgrade for the BRDM-2 but as far as it is known this remains at the prototype stage. Full details of this are given in a separate entry as are details of the Polish upgrade package for the BRDM-2.
The normal BRDM-2 is fitted with a one-person manually operated turret armed with a 14.5 mm KPVT and a 7.62 mm PKT coaxial machine gun and a crew of four.
On the upgraded BRDM-2 the turret has been modified and is armed with a 12.7 mm NVST and a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun, which are laid by the commander/gunner by remote control from within the hull. The turret is fitted with a TV system with integrated daytime Charge Coupled Device (CCD) television camera and an infra-red camera.
The onboard navigation system consists of a fully integrated Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and an integrated digital map. In addition, this can be integrated with a higher-level information system. All of the information is displayed on the commander's/gunner's flat display screen. A portable laser range-finder is carried as standard.
On the original BRDM-2, two belly wheels were mounted either side of the hull between the front and rear wheels, which were lowered by the driver when rough terrain was being crossed. On the upgraded BRDM-2 these have been removed to increase internal volume as well as allowing a front-opening entry door to be provided in each side of the hull. The hull floor protection has also been improved against anti-personnel mines. The basic armour of the BRDM-2 provided protection against 7.62 mm small arms fire.
The original BRDM-2 was powered by a GAZ-41 V-8 petrol engine developing 140 hp coupled to a manual transmission. In the upgraded version this has been replaced by a new Renault turbocharged diesel developing 162 hp coupled to a new ZF manual transmission and a new modified transmission for the propeller drive. The cooling and lubrication system has also been improved. A new braking system has been installed, as has a new lighting system.
Vision has been enhanced by the installation of bulletproof windows around the forward part of the hull. The large main windscreen is fitted with wipers and washers. A maximum of six people can now carried including the commander/gunner and driver. There is also a bulletproof observation device above the door in either side of the hull.
Like the original BRDM-2, the upgraded vehicle is fully amphibious, being propelled when afloat by a single water-jet mounted at the hull rear. Before entering the water a trim vane is erected at the front of the vehicle and the bilge pumps are switched on.
Other modifications include new brakes, upgraded chassis, new tyres, communications equipment to NATO standards, new NBC system and modern hot water heater. The engine compartment has been fitted with a semi-automatic fire detection and suppression system.
The BRDM-VR is similar to the BRDM-B but has been optimised for the command post role and has a crew of four and additional communications equipment installed. It is also provided with a dismounted generator to power the additional communications equipment when the vehicle is used in the static role. It would typically be used in the company command post role.
The hull modifications of this upgrade are also applicable to the Russian BRDM-2 tank destroyer armed with Tula KBP Konkurs (NATO AT-5 'Spandrel') anti-tank guided missiles and the KB Tochmash 9K31 Strela-1 (SA-9 'Gaskin') surface-to-air missile system. The former is still used by the Russian Army and many overseas armies. The latter has been phased out of front line service with the Russian Army but is still widely deployed overseas.