Manufacturer: GAZ JSC  
Product type: Armoured Vehicles  
Name: Reconnaissance Vehicle  


TheBRDM-l amphibious scout car first appeared in the Spring of 1959 and was designed by V K Rubtsov of the Dedkov OKB who later designed the BRDM-2 (4 x 4) reconnaissance vehicle covered in the previous entry.

The first prototype was completed in February 1956 and went to the Black Sea area for official government trials. It was accepted for service with the Soviet Army the following year and production began late in 1957.

In Russian units the BRDM-1 has now been replaced by the BRDM-2, which has a higher road speed and is fitted with a turret armed with a 14.5 mm and a 7.62 mm machine gun rather than weapons on unprotected mounts.

The BRDM Model 1957 has an open roof and the BRDM-1 Model 1958 has a closed roof with twin hatches, this being the standard production model-

Total production of the BRDM-1 is believed to have amounted to around 10,000 vehicles. In most countries the BRDM-1 is now held in reserve or used by second-line units. There are no known upgrades of this vehicle and by today's standards it must be considered obsolete.


The hull of the BRDM-1 is made of all-welded steel with the engine at the front and the crew compartment at the rear. The driver is seated at the front of the vehicle on the left with the commander to his right. Both are provided with a hatch to their front that is hinged at the top and opens forwards, and a windscreen with a wiper blade. The hatch cover has a vision block for use when closed. A vision slit protected by a vision block is provided to the left of the driver and right of the commander. There are two firing ports in each side of the hull and two large hatches in the forward part of the roof that open to the rear. The rear of the crew compartment slopes at an angle of about 30 and is fitted with a two-piece hatch that opens either side of the superstructure. There is a firing port in each hatch. On either side of the vehicle, between the front and rear wheels, are two belly wheels which are lowered by the driver and give the BRDM-1 improved cross-country performance and also allow it to cross ditches. The BRDM-1 is fully amphibious, being propelled in the water by a single water-jet at the rear of the hull. Before entering the water a trim board, which is stowed folded under the nose of the vehicle when not in use, is erected at the front of the hull. Standard equipment includes a system that allows the driver to adjust the tyre pressures to suit the type of ground being crossed. The vehicle is not fitted with an NBC system and when introduced was not fitted with any night vision equipment. A white light searchlight mounted on the left side of the hull is operated by the driver. A communications reel and wire is mounted on the left side of the superstructure towards the rear.

The vehicle is normally armed with a 7.62 mm SGMB machine gun pintle mounted on the forward part of the roof, which has a limited traverse of 45 left and right and can be elevated from -6 to +23.5. Some vehicles are fitted with a 12.7 mm DShKM heavy machine gun mounted on the forward part of the roof with a 7.62 mm SGMB machine gun mounted at the rear.


  • Command vehicle (BRDM-U)

This can be distinguished from the basic vehicle as it has a radio antenna on each side of the hull and two radio antennas at the rear, whereas the basic vehicle only has a single radio antenna on the right side of the hull.

  • BRDM-1-RKhb (radiobiological-chemical-biological reconnaissance vehicle)

This is easily distinguishable from the basic vehicle as

on either side of the hull at the rear of the vehicle are two rectangular racks which contain lane marking poles with pennants. The racks are normally covered with a canvas cover and when required are swung through 90 so that they are vertical over the rear of the vehicle. The poles are used to mark lanes through contaminated areas.

  • BRDM-1 with ATGWs

As far as is known, the following versions of the BRDM-1 with ATGWs are no longer in service.

Property Value
Weight (kg)
Length (mm)
Width (mm)
Height (mm)
Wheelbase (mm)
Track (mm)
Ground clearance (mm)
Main weapon caliber (mm)
Ammunition of the main gun
Engine power output (h.p.)
Max. road speed (km/h)
Max. water speed (km/h)
Max. road range (km)

BRDM-1 quantities:
Country Qnt

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