|Manufacturer:||Ratmil Regie Automoma|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Wheeled armoured personnel carrier|
For some years the ROMARM company, previously known at RATMIL, manufactured a modified version of the Russian BTR-70 (8 × 8) armoured personnel carrier under licence. This has the Romanian designation of the TAB-77 and differs from the BTR-70 in a number of areas. Production of the TAB-77 is now complete and it is no longer marketed by ROMARM.
The most significant difference is that the Romanian TAB-77 is powered by two Model 797-05M1 diesel engines whereas the Russian BTR-70 has two ZMZ-4095 petrol engines. The Romanian vehicle is heavier than the Russian BTR-70 and has a lower power-to-weight ratio.
The all-welded steel hull of the TAB-77 provides the crew with protection from 7.62 mm small arms fire fired from a range of 100 m.
The layout of the TAB-77 is similar to the Russian BTR-70, with the driver seated at the front left with the vehicle commander to his right. Both have forward-opening hatch covers that can be locked in the vertical position.
Both these crew members are provided with a windscreen to their front which, when the vehicle is in a combat area, are covered by a hinged shutter, forward observation then being by roof-mounted day periscopes with additional observation devices being provided to give observation to the sides. The commander also has a roof-mounted searchlight operated from within the vehicle.
The one-man manually operated turret is mounted in the centre of the hull roof and, like that fitted to the BTR-60/BTR-70 vehicles, is not fitted with a hatch cover. Armament comprises one 14.5 mm KPVT and one PKT 7.62 mm co-axial machine gun with the day sight being on the left side of the turret. Turret traverse and weapon elevation is manual.
The troop compartment is in the centre and has two roof hatches with the troops normally entering and leaving the vehicle via a small forward-opening door situated between the second and third roadwheel stations.
The engine compartment is located at the rear of the vehicle with a single exhaust pipe being located either side of the hull at the rear.
The TAB-77 is fully amphibious, being propelled in the water by a single water-jet situated in the rear of the hull. Before entering the water the bilge pumps are switched on and the trim vane is hydraulically erected by the driver from his seat. When travelling on land this is stowed retracted on the glacis plate.
Standard equipment includes an automatic fire detection and suppression system, front-mounted winch with a capacity of 5,500 kg, an NBC system, infra-red night vision equipment, power steering on the front four wheels, a central tyre-pressure regulation system, that allows the driver to adjust the tyre pressure from his seat while the vehicle is in motion, and an engine preheater.
This is an armoured artillery command post vehicle, with the turret removed and a larger cupola with a hatch cover fitted which opens to the rear. The cupola contains an optical range-finder. Mounted above the commander's hatch at the front of the vehicle is a 7.62 mm PKMS machine gun. This version has additional but unspecified communications equipment.
This is a signals vehicle which has a new low-profile turret armed with a 14.5 mm KPVT machine gun and additional communications equipment. There are eight antennas including a pole-type mast on the right side of the roof. Mounted externally at the rear of the vehicle are two large stowage boxes. The TAB-77R-1452 is equipped with the low-profile turret but only has a dummy machine gun. At the rear are the same generators and on the roof are mounted seven whip antennas and a single telescopic antenna.
This is a dedicated maintenance and recovery vehicle and is fitted with a hydraulic crane, which is mounted on the roof and traversed to the rear when not required, a front-mounted dozer/stabiliser blade and a winch.
Although originally believed to be an improved version of the TAB-77, which is based on the Russian BTR-70 APC, it is now known that the B33 Zimbru is, in fact, based on the more recent Russian BTR-80 APC and is in service with Romania under the name TAB Sumbra. Full details of the B33 APCs are given in a separate entry.
This 6 × 6 APC is a joint development between Romania and Turkey and details are provided in a separate entry. This has been evaluated by the Turkish Land Forces Command but as of late-2006, no production orders had been placed by Romania or Turkey for the RN-94. In 2005 Romania supplied Bangladesh with nine RN-94 (6 × 6) in APC/ambulance role for use by the United Nations role.
Romania produced large quantities of BTR-70 series APCs for export. Between 1980 and 1986 the East German Army received 647 under the local designation of the SPW-70. Another 613 were delivered between 1987 and 1990.