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Fiery trials

The deputy Minister of defence of the Russian Federation Alexey Krivoruchko examined the new BTR-BM RCWS installed on the BTR-82 armoured personnel carrier chassis. The heads of the development companies – Alexander Krasovitsky and Dmitry Galkin – personally presented the latest development. They reported to the deputy Minister of defence about the features of the new RCWS and answered his questions. After the combat vehicle inspection, Alexey Krivoruchko was shown firing from a 30-mm automatic cannon and a 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun. The firing was performed from the spot and on the move on rough terrain at emerging and moving targets at ranges of 1,500-1,000 m (from an automatic cannon) and 900-500 m (from a coaxial machine gun). All targets were successfully hit from the first shots. Alexey Krivoruchko highly appreciated the new development.

The BTR-BM RCWS was developed on the initiative of designers and engineers of “VPK” LLC and “Oryuzheinie Masterskie” LLC. According to Alexander Krasovitsky, CEO of “VPK” LLC, the new weapon system that we developed with our colleagues from “Oryuzheinie Masterskie” LLC compares favourably with all existing analogues in that it has significantly larger angles of weapons aiming in the vertical plane, can replenish ammunition without the need for the crew to leave the combat vehicle, as well as work in an emergency mode without power supply. To date, none of the existing RCWS has such abilities."

BTR-BM RCWS is equipped with an automated fire control system (FCS), including a ballistic computer, a two-plane weapon stabilizer and electric guidance drives, a combined (day-night) gunner sighting system with independent line-of-sight stabilization with television, thermal imaging, laser rangefinder channels, and an ATGM control channel, as well as an automatic target tracking system. The thermal imaging channel allowed to increase the detection range of BMP-BTR targets at night, as well as in poor visibility (dust, rain, snow, fog) from 1,200 m to 3,000 m. The target tracking system significantly increases the probability of hitting moving targets on the move. The combat module is controlled from the automated workplace of the gunner-operator in the combat vehicle chassis the RCM is mounted on.

According to Alexander Krasovitsky, the new weapon system can be installed on modernized infantry fighting vehicles, armoured personnel carriers and other combat and special vehicles, combat boats and light warships, stationary roadblocks, and firing points.

The composition of weapons, protection, and the ability to solve tactical and fire missions makes the armoured personnel carrier equipped with an BTR-BM RCWS a wheeled infantry fighting vehicles.

The BTR-BM RCWS is not the first joint development of “VPK” LLC and “Oryuzheinie Masterskie” LLC. Heretofore, the companies successfully integrated the Arbalet-DM RCWS into the Tiger-M armoured vehicle and developed an improved combat compartment for the BTR-82A with a modern sighting system, an independent line of sight, and a thermal imaging sight.