|Manufacturer:||Arzamas Machinery Plant|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Wheeled armoured personnel carrier|
In November 1946, the BM Fitterman design bureau started development work on a 6 × 6 armoured personnel carrier called the BTR-140. This was based on the chassis of the ZiS-123 truck, itself a derivative of the ZiS-151 truck but with an improved engine. The first prototypes of the BTR-140 were completed in May 1947 and tests were completed in 1949. The BTR-140 was accepted for service on 24 March 1950 under the designation BTR-152 and first production vehicles were completed in 1950.
The first production models were based on the chassis of the ZIL-151 (6 × 6) 2,500 kg truck but later vehicles (from and including the BTR-152V1) were based on the chassis of the improved ZIL-157 (6 × 6) 2,500 kg truck.
By today's standards the BTR-152 (6 × 6) is obsolete as it lacks cross-country mobility and has poor protection for its occupants from small arms fire, shell splinters and mines. As the baseline chassis was manufactured so long ago there would be problems in obtaining spare parts.
According to United Nations sources there were no exports of surplus BTR-152 series APCs by any country between 1992 and 2005. Description
The hull of the BTR-152 is made of all-welded armoured steel with the engine at the front, commander and driver immediately behind the engine and the troop compartment at the rear. The armour of the BTR-152 provides the occupants with protection from small arms fire and shell splinters.
Armoured shutters, controlled from inside the driver's compartment, protect the radiator from damage by small arms fire. Power is transmitted from the ZIL-123 petrol engine to the five speed manual transmission and then by a propeller shaft to the transfer box in the centre of the vehicle. Power is then transmitted by a propeller shaft to the front axle and each of the rear axles.
The driver sits on the left of the vehicle with the commander to his right, both have a windscreen which can be covered by an armoured shutter hinged at the top. This shutter has a vision block for observation when the shutter is closed. Both the commander and driver have a door in the side of the hull and the upper part, which has a small vision slit, folds down on the outside for increased visibility. The roof over the commander and driver positions is armoured.
The 17 infantrymen are seated in the open-topped troop compartment at the back of the vehicle, the top of which can be covered by a tarpaulin, which is normally carried in the vehicle. The seating arrangements depend on the model: in some there are bench seats across the vehicle and others have them down either side. The infantrymen enter and leave the vehicle by twin doors in the rear of the hull, which open outwards, with the left door carrying the spare wheel. There are three firing ports in each side of the hull and another two in the rear, one each side of the doors.
The BTR-152 has no NBC system, no night vision equipment and no amphibious capability. A saw is carried externally on the left side of the hull. The winch, if fitted, is mounted at the very front of the vehicle and has a maximum capacity of 5,000 kg and 70 m of cable. The winch is also equipped with a special block, which can be used as a pulley block to increase pulling capacity, or as a conventional block to change the direction of pull. The winch incorporates a three-speed Power Take-Off (PTO) unit (low, high and reverse) controlled by a lever in the driver's compartment.
Some models (see variants) have a central tyre pressure-regulation system, which allows the driver to adjust the tyre pressures to suit the type of ground being crossed. Some models had the air lines mounted internally of the wheels, while other versions have external ones.
There are three sockets for mounting machine guns, one on the top of the armour cover over the commander's and driver's position and the other two either side of the troop compartment. The forward mounting normally has a 7.62 mm SGMB machine gun, which can be elevated from -6 to +23.5° and has a traverse of 45° left and right, or a 12.7 mm DShKM heavy machine gun. The side mountings normally have 7.62 mm SGMB machine guns. Variants
This was the first model to enter service and is also known in the West as the Model A. It has an open top, no winch and no central tyre-pressure regulation system.
This was first seen in 1954 and was accepted for service in October 1955. This model has a central tyre pressure-regulation system for improved cross-country performance. The artillery command vehicle is called the BTR-152I.
This has been referred to as the Model B in the West and has an open top, front-mounted winch and a central tyre-pressure regulation system with external air lines. The BTR-152V1 was developed in 1959 and entered service in 1962.
Basic BTR-152 fitted with a central tyre-pressure regulation system but no winch.
This is also known as the Model C in the West and has an open roof, a front-mounted winch, a central tyre pressure regulation system with internal air lines and infra-red driving lights.
This model, which is also known as the Model D (or 1961) in the West, has all the modifications of the BTR-152V3 plus full overhead armour protection. Over the top of the troop compartment are two roof hatches that open to the right, one with a single firing port and one with two.
The command vehicle is usually based on the BTR-152V1 or BTR-152V3 APC but has a much higher superstructure to allow the command staff to work upright. There are four windows in the upper part of the superstructure, two on the left, one on the right and one at the back. Access to stowage racks on the roof is by a ladder forward of the roof. The BTR-152U normally tows a trailer carrying additional equipment such as a generator. The first of these PUA (artillery command post) vehicles with a higher roof entered service in 1952 as the BTR-152B but did not have the central tyre pressure-regulation system, unlike the BTR-152S that does.
This is armed with twin 14.5 mm KPV heavy machine guns in a manually operated turret (ZTPU-2) with a traverse of 360°. The guns have an elevation of +80° and a depression of -5°. The weapons have a maximum horizontal range of 8,000 m and a maximum vertical range of 5,000 m. Effective anti-aircraft range however is 1,400 m and effective range when being used in the ground role is 2,000 m. These weapons and mount are also used on the BTR-40A (4 × 4) anti-aircraft vehicle (which has the same turret as the BTR-152A); towed models of the KPV are called the ZPU-1 (single barrel), ZPU-2 (twin barrel) and ZPU-4 (quad barrel). KPV machine guns are also mounted in armoured vehicles.
The BTR-152A was designed at the same time as the BTR-152 APC and entered service in 1952. The BTR-152D also had four KPV machine guns for anti-aircraft use, plus 2,000 rounds of ammunition and a crew of five. In 1955, the BTR-152E was introduced with a twin 14.5 mm KPV machine gun system, but based on the BTR-152V chassis.
The Egyptians fitted a number of their vehicles with the Czech Quad 12.7 mm M53 anti-aircraft system. The M53 consists of four Russian-designed 12.7 mm DShKM machine guns on a Czech-designed two-wheeled mount. It is believed that these are no longer in front-line service with the Egyptian Army. Some of these were encountered in Afghanistan, operated by the Afghan Army.
During the fighting in Lebanon in the summer of 1982, the Israel Defence Force captured from the PLO, several BTR-152 APCs which were fitted with the towed twin 23 mm automatic anti-aircraft gun ZU-23-2 in the rear of the troop compartment. The 23 mm ZU-23-2 has a maximum vertical effective anti-aircraft range of 2,500 m. There was also another with the ZU-23-2 mounted lower down at the hull rear which was cut away at an angle of about 45°.