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Russian BTR-80 during Den Pobedi (Victory Day) celebrations in Moscow
TypeArmored personnel carrier
Variants: Infantry fighting vehicle
Self-propelled artillery
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1986–present
Used bySee Operators
WarsSoviet–Afghan War
First Nagorno-Karabakh War
Georgian Civil War
Kurdish–Turkish conflict (1978–present)
Transnistria War
Tajikistan Civil War
War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
First Chechen War
War of Dagestan
Second Chechen War
Russo-Georgian War
Insurgency in the North Caucasus[1]
Iraqi insurgency (2011–13)
Sudanese conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile[2]
Sri Lankan Civil War
War in Donbas
2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Production history
ManufacturerArzamas Machine-Building Plant, Nizhniy Novgorod[3]
No. built5,000
Mass13.6 tonnes (15.0 tons)
Length7.7 m (25.3 ft)
Width2.9 m (9.5 ft)
Height2.41 m (7.9 ft)
Crew3 (+7 passengers)

Armor10 mm (hull)
7 mm (turret)[4]
14.5 mm KPVT machine gun or
30 mm 2A72
7.62 mm PKT machine gun
Enginediesel KamAZ-7403
260 hp (190 kW)
Power/weight19 hp/tonne
Suspensionwheeled 8×8
600 km (372.8 mi)
Maximum speed 80–90 km/h (49.7–55.9 m/h)
swim 10 km/h (6.2 m/h)

The BTR-80 (Russian: бронетранспортёр, romanizedbronetransportyor, lit.'armoured carrier') is an 8×8 wheeled amphibious armoured personnel carrier (APC) designed in the Soviet Union. It was adopted in 1985 and replaced the previous vehicles, the BTR-60 and BTR-70, in the Soviet Army.[5] It was first deployed during the Soviet–Afghan War.[6]

The BTR-80 was developed into the larger BTR-90.


The BTR-80 is based on the BTR-70 APC, which itself was based on the BTR-60. It has a single 260-hp V-8 turbocharged water-cooled diesel engine, an improvement over the twin gasoline engines installed in the BTR-60 and BTR-70 vehicles. The reconfigured rear portion of the hull accommodates the new, single engine. The Soviets removed the roof chamfers of the modified BTR-70, raised the rear, and squared off the rearward-sloping engine compartment.

Standard equipment includes TNPO vision blocks, TNP-B and TKN-3 optical devices for the driver and commander, an OU-3GA2M infrared search light, six 81 mm smoke grenade launchers 902V "Tucha", a radioset (R-173 or R-163-50U), an intercom, and hydrojets for amphibious propulsion.[citation needed]


A BTR-80 interior

The Soviets modified the truncated cone turret used on the BTR-70 for the BTR-80 by redesigning the mantlet. This allows the 14.5 mm (0.57 in) KPVT and coaxial 7.62 mm (0.3 in) PKT machine guns to be elevated to a maximum of 60 degrees. This high angle of fire is useful in engaging targets on steep slopes, in urban fighting, and for engaging low slow flying air targets.[7]

The Soviets modified the design and positioning of the firing ports. The ports are now round rather than tear-shaped, and have ball mounts similar to those used on the BMP-1. The forward firing ports now sit in angled recesses, which allows infantry to fire to the front of the vehicle.[citation needed]

The redesigned side doors are split horizontally. The upper portion opens forward. This gives dismounting troops some protection against small arms fire from the front of the vehicle. The lower portion opens down, forming a step. Six smoke grenade projectors are mounted on the rear of the turret.[citation needed]

The BTR-80 can climb a slope with up to 60% gradient and climb a vertical step of 0.5 m.[8]


The BTR-80's protection is similar to that of prior models, intended only to provide protection from small arms ball ammo and small bomb splinters all-around. However it has minor armor upgrades: the front and sides of the hull were thickened from 7 mm to 9 mm (on par with the turret). Its armor scheme in high-hardness steel is as follows:[citation needed]

  • Turret front and sides: 9 mm at 45 degrees (13 mm line of sight (LOS) thickness)
  • Upper hull front: 9 mm at 64 degrees (21 mm LOS)
  • Lower hull front: 9 mm at 45 degrees (13 mm LOS)
  • Upper and lower hull sides: 9 mm at ~25 degrees (10 mm LOS)
  • Turret rear: 7 mm at 45 degrees (10 mm LOS)
  • Hull rear and roof: 7 mm, vertical


A Russian BTR-80 in water.

In 1984, the Soviets began production of a diesel-engined variant of the BTR-70, which they called the BTR-80. The Soviets have retrofitted some BTR-70s with several of the improvements incorporated into the BTR-80, including the high-angle-of-fire turret. The twin doors are designed to allow the infantry to disembark while the vehicle is in motion, and allow the infantry inside to exit from one side if the other is receiving fire.

The 30mm Cannon variants are effective against most targets apart from main battle tanks, against which they can still cause significant damage to optics, weapons, and important systems. The main gun is not stabilized, so accurate fire on the move is limited to low speeds. The turret's rotation mechanism is manually operated.

The gunner sits in a roof-mounted chair located above the flat floor behind the driver/commander and two passengers, and before the passenger bench.[citation needed]

Operational history[edit]

The BTR-80 took part in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. As of 16 December 2023 both Russia and Ukraine lost significant numbers of BTR-80s. Russia was visually confirmed by Oryx to have lost 590 BTR-82As (417 destroyed, 26 damaged, 16 abandoned, and 129 captured), 191 BTR-80s (123 destroyed, 3 damaged, 8 abandoned, and 57 captured), 55 unknown BTR-80/BTR-82As (46 destroyed, 6 damaged, and 3 abandoned), 83 R-149MA1 (49 destroyed, 2 damaged, 2 abandoned, and 30 captured) and 37 R-149MA3 (15 destroyed and 22 captured).[9] Ukraine was visually confirmed by Oryx to have lost 108 BTR-80 (71 destroyed, 1 damaged, 1 abandoned, and 35 captured) and 2 BTR-80M (2 captured).[10]



2S23 Nona-SVK self-propelled mortar-howitzer.
  • BTR-80 (GAZ-5903) – armored personnel carrier.
    • BTR-80K (GAZ-59031) (kommandnyj) – command vehicle APC with telescopic antenna mast, TNA-4 navigation device and R-163-50У series of radio equipment.
    • BTR-80M – an improved model with a 240 hp DMZ-238M2 engine, a slightly longer hull and new tires. In production since 1993. It is understood that only a small number were produced until the original engine was ready for production again.
  • BTR-80A (GAZ-59034) – IFV (See pictures) with a 2A72 30 mm gun and 300 rounds as the primary weapon. The turret is called BPPU and is equipped with sights 1PZ-9 (day) and TPN-3 or TPN-3-42 "Kristall" (night). In production and service since 1994.[11][unreliable source?]
    • BTR-80S – variant of the BTR-80A for the Internal Troops of the MVD, equipped with a KPVT 14.5-mm machine gun and 7.62 mm PKT in the turret.
    • BTR-80AK – A command variant of the BTR-80A, with two whip antennas in the rear corners and with only one firing port on the right hull side.
      • BRDM-3 (bronirovannaya razvedivatel’no-dozornaya mashina) – An armoured reconnaissance/surveillance vehicle, based on the BTR-80AK and with a new day/night vision device in front of the commander's position. The crew consists of six men. In some Western sources, the name BRDM-3 is incorrectly used for the 9P148 ATGM carrier.
  • BTR-82 – the latest production version with improved armour, spall liners, more modern night vision device TKN-4GA, GLONASS navigation system and a more powerful 300 hp engine. The original armament is retained but is now installed in the BPPU turret of the BTR-80A/BTR-82A. The BTR-82 prototype was shown for the first time in November 2009.
    • BTR-82A – the latest production version with improved armour, spall liners, a more modern night vision device TKN-4GA-02, 2A72 30 mm gun (a lighter, less complex cousin of the 2A42), GLONASS navigation system and a more powerful 300 hp engine. The prototype of the BTR-82A was shown for the first time in November 2009. The Russian Ministry of Defense adopted the BTR-82A in early 2013.[12] In a Syrian government TV channel report, a BTR-82A was seen in battle in Syria around September 2015. The video showed BTR-82A crew members speaking Russian. It is widely believed[by whom?] that Russian armoured vehicle units were directly fighting anti-government groups in Syria.[13] Russia integrated the AU-220M Baikal remote turret[14] to the BTR-82A fitted with an autocannon firing the 57x348SR mm shells at 120 rpm.[15][16][17] The type tests of the updated BTR-82A armored personnel carrier have successfully been completed as of April 2019. Since 2019, all vehicles of the type will receive additional protection and a new fire control system with a thermal imager.[18] More ordered in August 2022.[19] In July 2023, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that the supplies of BTR-82A by Arzamas Machine-Building Plant had surged 4 times since early 2022.[20] An upgraded version with enhanced ballistic and anti-mine protection was unveiled in August 2023.[21]
    • BTR-82AM – A refurbished BTR-80 to the level of BTR-82A.[22][23] Distinguished by a closed (welded) embrasure in the frontal part of the vehicle.[23] The first batch was delivered in 2013. Used by naval infantry.[24][unreliable source?]
    • BTR-87 – A modification of the BTR-82A that relocates the engine compartment to the front-right part of the hull, allowing troops to disembark through rear and roof hatches.[25]
    • BTR-82V – A BTR-80 with a hull upgraded to the BTR-82A-level with 14.5 mm heavy machine gun in a manned turret. Development in accordance with terms issued by the Russian National Guard.[26]
2S23 Nona-SVK
  • 2S23 "Nona-SVK" – fire support vehicle with the 120 mm 2A60 rifled gun-mortar – developed on the base of 2А51 rifled gun/mortar of the 2S9 Nona – and a crew of 4. Adopted in 1990.[27]
  • BREM-K (GAZ-59033) (bronirovannaya remontno-evakuatsionnaya mashina) – armoured recovery vehicle with towbars, a winch, welding equipment and a light crane.
  • KM-80 or BTR-80 PBKM – command vehicle.
  • RKhM-4 (razvedivatel’naya khimicheskaya mashina) – NBC reconnaissance vehicle with detection devices including the IMD-21BA and DP-5V, an automatic chemical alarm system GSA-12, a detection set for chemical agents KPKhR-3, an MK-3M meteo set, a KPO-1 sampling device, an ASP automatic detector and a KZO-2 flag dispenser to mark contaminated areas.
    • RKhM-4-01 – improved version with more modern equipment, including the GSA-13, IMD-1R, ASP-12 systems, a PGO-11 semi-automatic detection device, R-171M and R-173M radios instead of the older R-123M.
    • RKhM-4-02 – with upgraded detection systems such as the ASP-13, IMD-2NM and IMD-23, GSA-14; analysis, storage and interface unit UIK-RKhB and T-235-1U COMSEC equipment.[28]
    • RKhM-6 "Povozka" – latest version with state-of-the-art detection systems, including the PRKhDD-2B with a detection range of about 3 km. The RKhM-6 is equipped with an SN-RKhM inertial navigation system and a 14Ts834 satellite navigation system.[28] In service since 2011.[29][30] Deployed to Syria in November 2018.[31]
    • RPM-2 – A mobile radiological reconnaissance station with KRPI system. In service since 2000. Might also be known as NKR (nazemnij kompleks radiatsionnoj razvedki, "ground nuclear recon complex").
  • R-149BMRA – command and signals vehicle.
  • R-145BM1 – 5th generation command and signals vehicle. Entered service in 2015.[32]
  • R-439-BK1 – satellite communications vehicle.
BPDM Tajfun-M base security vehicle based on the BTR-80.
  • "BPDM 15TS56M Tajfun-M" – new version for the Strategic Rocket units (RVSN), developed on the basis of the BTR-82[33] that will replace the base security vehicles MBP on BTR-60/70 chassis. The BTR-80 version is equipped with a new turret with a 7.62 mm machine gun, an unmanned aerial vehicle with a 5 km range, new optical and infrared bands observation device TKN-4S and a "Kredo-1" radar. In service since 2013. Around 70 vehicles were delivered in 2012–2020.[34][35][36][37][38]
  • ZS-88 (zvukoveshchatel’naya stantsiya) – PsyOps vehicle with loudspeaker set.
  • ZS-96 (zvukoveshchatel’naya stantsiya) – PsyOps vehicle with loudspeaker set.
  • K1Sh1 (GAZ-59032) – command post vehicle with bigger hull and unarmed turret. Also known as UNSh (unifitsirovannyj shassi, "unified chassis"). This version serves as the basis for several specialised vehicles. Estonia used this type as an APC with a machine gun turret.
    • BMM-80 "Simfoniya" (GAZ-59039) (bronirovannaya mnogofunktsionalnaya meditsinskaya mashina) – armoured ambulance, comes in three versions each of which can transport 9 patients, including two on stretchers on the rear hull (Developed in 1993):
      • BMM-1 (first aid and evacuation from the battle field),
      • BMM-2 (initial medical treatment at battalion-level) and
      • BMM-3 (mobile field hospital).
    • E-351BrM – mobile electric power station. The vehicle is equipped with an AD-30T/400 diesel-electric generator that can deliver power to up to 15 signals vehicles. It has a 2-men crew.
    • PU-12M6 (9S482M6) (punkt upravleniya) – battery command vehicle (BKP – batarejnyj kommandnyj punkt) for air defence units equipped with "Strela-1M" (SA-9), "Strela-10M2 (SA-13), "Osa-AK" (SA-8), 2S6 "Tunguska" and ZSU-23-4 "Shilka".
      • PU-12M7 (9S482M7) – improved version.
    • 1V152 – command and forward observer vehicle for field artillery units. The standard equipment consists of range finders, day/night vision devices, navigation equipment etc. The 1V152 and 1V153 (on Ural-4320 truck) belong to the KSAUO "Kapustnik-B" set.[39][40]
    • R-149BMR – signals vehicle, equipped with R-168-100KA "Akveduk-100KA", R-168-100U, R-163-25U, R-163-10V, and R-163-1V "Arbalet" HF/VHF radio sets, AVSK intercom, P-338 video system, AD-3,5U-28,5 generator, ASh-4 telescopic mast, AZI NVIS HF antenna and ShDA-50 Discone-type antenna.
    • R-149MA1 – command and signals vehicle.
    • R-149MA3 – command and signals vehicle.
R-166 radiostation of the 27th Independent Sevastopol Guards Motor Rifle Brigade.
    • R-165B – HF signals vehicle equipped with "Arbalet-500K", R-163-10V and -50, R-163-AR radios, R-016V "Vishnya" HF link equipment and an AB-4U-P28.5-1V generator. The radio sets have a declared range of 20–350 km on the move and 40–1,000 km deployed.
    • R-439-MD2 – satellite communications vehicle.
    • R-439-BK "Legenda 2BK" – satellite communications vehicle,[41] operates within 3400-3900 MHz (reception) and 5725-6225 MHz (transmission) ranges.
    • P-240BTZ – switchboard vehicle with "Zenit" set. Planned successor for the BTR-60 based P-240BT.
Armenian «Infauna» during the military parade in Yerevan
  • "Infauna" – An electronic countermeasures variant created for the Airborne Troops. The VDV accepted the first four vehicles into active service in early July 2012 after completing field evaluation which started in early 2012.[42] As of September 2016, it has been delivered to Armenia.[43]
  • Mars-2000 – Reconnaissance combat vehicle based on the BTR-82.[44]
  • BTR-90


  • BTR-80 "Caribe" [es] – version for Colombian marines with .50cal machine gun instead of 14.5 mm KPVT. 100 ordered. Caribe project is assembled in COTECMAR (Corporación Tecnológica del Mar Caribe) Plant in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia[45]


  • BTR-80 UNSh (EST)Estonian version of the BTR-80. In 1992, about 20 armoured vehicles were seized from a company trying to smuggle them out of Estonia as agricultural equipment. These vehicles were put into service in the Estonian Defence Forces.[46] In 2013, 13 vehicles were handed over to the Estonian Defence League.[47]


  • BTR-80M – Upgraded version with passive day/night sight KM-1M on top of the roof, stowage box for water bottles on the left hull side, improved NBC protection system and Kronsberg radio set.[48]
  • BTR-80 GKKO – Turret-less version with observation equipment. Prototype.
  • BTR-80 MPAEJ (műszaki páncélozott akadály elháritó jármű) – Unarmed combat engineer version without turret. In service.[49]
  • BTR-80 MPFJ (műszaki páncélozott felderitő jármű) – Unarmed obstacle clearing vehicle without turret. In service.[50]
  • BTR-80 MVJ (mentő-vontató jármű) – Repair and recovery vehicle with crane and winch. In service.[51]
  • BTR-80 SKJ (sebesült kihordó jármű) – Heavily modified ambulance version with bigger troop compartment.[52]
  • BTR-80 VSF (vegyi-sugár felderítő jármű) – NBC reconnaissance vehicle. In service.[53]

North Korea[edit]

  • M2010 8×8 – Following the acquisition of 32 BTR-80As, North Korea appears to have produced and put into service a domestic clone of the vehicle of an unknown designation. It carries 3 crew and 7–8 troops and is fitted with an indigenous turret equipped with two 14.5 mm and one 7.62 mm machine guns. Other features such as protection, engine placement, entry and exit points, and amphibious capabilities are similar to the BTR-80.[54] It is known unofficially as the M-2010 or Chunma-D, since it first appeared in a military parade in 2010.[55]
  • M2010 6×6 – North Korea developed a 6×6 version of the BTR-80A to carry troops and cargo under armor and for reconnaissance. It carries 3 crew and 6 troops and is fitted with the same indigenous turret. There is a door on either side of the hull, and it otherwise has the same protection, engine placement, and amphibious capabilities.[56] It can be fitted with a MANPADS launcher mounted on top of the turret.[57]
A Romanian Zimbru 2000 prototype.


  • Lince/Lynx - allegedly a Peruvian upgrade for BTR-80-type APCs by Desarrollos Industriales Casanave, which consist of a better suspension system, engine and gearbox.[58] A 30mm autocannon with FCS controls is installed with two Defender missiles on the cannon.[58]

Nevertheless, the recognized Ukrainian involvement in the armament (ZTM-2 cannon) and the strong visual resemblance to BTR-3 hints us to state that it is (at least a derivative of) a BTR-3.


  • TAB Zimbru (B33) (transportorul amfibiu blindat) – A modified version of the BTR-80 with Model 1240 V8-DTS engine of 268 hp (197 kW), R-1231B radio set and 500 additional rounds 7.62 mm. Made by CN RomArm SA.
    • Zimbru 2000 – An improved version with bigger hull, new Deutz BF6M 1013FC 285 hp (212 kW) engine, new transmission Allison-MD 3060 PR etc. Can be fitted with a new turret like the OWS 25R. Prototype.
BTR-80 of the Ukrainian Naval Infantry, 2010.


  • BTR-80UP – An improved version, produced in Ukraine in cooperation with Poland for Iraq (98 planned). Fitted with a new 300 hp engine, additional armour and air conditioner.[59]
    • BTR-80UP-KB – battalion level command vehicle.
    • BTR-80UP-KR – company level command vehicle.
    • BTR-80UP-S – staff vehicle.
    • BTR-80UP-M – ambulance.
    • BTR-80UP-BREM – recovery vehicle.
    • BTR-80UP-R – reconnaissance version.
    • BTR-80UP-T – cargo version.
  • BTR-94
  • KShM "Kushetka-B" – command vehicle, based on the K1Sh1 chassis and developed by Radioprylad from Ukraine. The specialised equipment consists of the "Berkut-M" HF radioset and several, VHF sets – R-171M, R-173M "Abzats-M", R-163-50U, R-163-10V and R-163-1V "Arbalet" (with a range from 5 to 350 km). Other equipment includes a navigation apparatus (probably TNA-4-6), an AB-1-P28,5-B-V1 generator as well as DLYa4.115.002 and DLYa2.091.008 telescopic antenna masts.[60]


A map of BTR-80 operators in blue

Current operators[edit]

BTR-80s of the Armenian Army
A Ukrainian Marine Corps' BTR-80 takes part in Exercise Sea Breeze 2010.

Former operators[edit]

  •  Estonia: 13 used by Estonian Defence League.[62] Phased out of active service.[67]
  •  Finland: 2 bought for testing in 1990. Withdrawn from use in 2010.[62]
  •  Turkey: 214 were bought from ex-USSR surplus. They were modernized with thermal sight. With the introduction of indigenous and modern vehicles, phased out of active service.[62]
  •  Soviet Union: passed on to successor states.[61]

Potential operators[edit]

Museum exhibits[edit]


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