Military/Intelligence Bulletin 03/2019 – Belarus upgrades its APCs.

Belarus upgrades its APCs with the new BTR-70MB1


The Belarusian armed forces are upgrading their fleet of armoured personnel carriers. Their current BTR-70 APCs are being modernised to the standard of the BTR-70MB1.

By the end of 2019, 32 of the BTR-70MB1s will have been delivered to the Belarusian armed forces.

This will replace the current older BTR-60s and BTR-70s in the Belarusian army’s first-tier units.


BTR-70MB1 Manufactured by a Belarusian company

Photo source 42.TUT.BY


The BTR-70MB1 APC during an Independence Day parade in Minsk.

Photo credit –

The BTR-70MB1 weighs 13 tonnes and mounts a 14.5 KPVT and Kalashnikov 7.62 PKT. There is no change from the original BTR-70. The main improvement is the replacement of the two ZMZ-4905 petrol engines with a KAMAZ-7403 Russian-made diesel engine, which also powers the BTR-80. This gives it a top road speed of 90 km/h and a range of 700km.

In addition, it carries six 902V Tucha 81mm smoke dischargers on the rear turret.

The R-123M radio has also been changed to a Belarusian made radio.



The older BTR 60PA

Post copyrighted to Harvey Black

Cold War Kit, Part 2. BTR-60PA.


The first novel in my ‘Cold War’ trilogy, The Red Effect, published by SilverWood Books, is now available. Thoroughly enjoyed writing it, as i do with all my novels. There will be three books in total, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, by the Warsaw Pact in the mid 1980’s. Book 1, ‘The Red Effect’, encompasses part of the intelligence build up leading to the initial Warsaw Pact strike against the NATO forces lined up against them. The purpose of the next few posts is to cover some of the Iconic pieces of equipment that would have played a part, should the Cold War have turned Hot.

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‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Available now. The Cold War that became a Hot War.

The Cold War era started very soon after the end of the second world war, when the communist east, led by the Soviet Union, and the Western world, led by the United States and its NATO allies, faced each across what became known as the ‘Iron Curtain’.

The perception of a potential Third World War, was generally one of a nuclear war. It may have come to that. In reality we will never know. But, one scenario is that of a conventional war. The massed forces of the Warsaw Pact against the supposedly technically superior, but weaker, NATO armies, that may well have escalated into a nuclear exchange. But a pure conventional war was just as likely.


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BTR-60, a wheeled Amphibious Armoured Personnel Carrier 


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The BTR-60 is fully amphibious, propelled in the water by a jet centrally mounted in the rear of the hull. The covers move sideways exposing the water jet.


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It was a revolutionary design in its time. Crew compartment in the front, troop compartment in the middle and the engine compartment at the rear.


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The power pack is 2 x Gaz-40P 6-cylinder gasoline engine. 90 hp each.


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Weighing 10 tons, it had a crew of 2 and could carry ten Infantry.


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Three firing ports on each side of the upper hull.


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Vents are open for cooling the two engines.


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In the roofed BTR-60PA version, the troops had to dismount through the roof hatches. This would expose the soldiers to enemy fire. The three steps in-between the wheels on either side were there to help the infantry mount and dismount.


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Before entering the water, the trim vane at the front of the hull would have to be lowered. This prevented water from flooding over the bow.


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In the travelling position, it provided additional armour.


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It had a top speed of 50mph on the road and 6mph in the water.


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The welded steel hull would provide protection against small arms fire and shrapnel. But, a 7,62mm round could penetrate the sides if as close as 100m.


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The engine vents.


i hope this has given you a further insight into what the Warsaw Pact, in particular the Soviet Army, had in their armoury.

The equipment Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black.

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‘The Red Effect’ by Harvey Black – Kindle version out now! The Cold War that became a Hot War. Paperback edition imminent.