BTR-D

The BTR-D is a Soviet airborne multi-purpose tracked armoured personnel carrier which was introduced in 1974 and first seen by the West in 1979 during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. BTR-D stands for Bronetransportyor Desanta. It is based on BMD-1 airborne IFV. NATO gave it the designation BMD M1979.


BTR-D
Class Vehicle
Type Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Manufacturer Volgograd Tractor Plant (VTZ)
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1974
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Moldova View
Russia (USSR) 1974 View
Ukraine 2000 View
Uzbekistan 2000 View
Belarus 1995 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Volgograd Tractor Plant (VTZ) 1974 View

In 1969, the BMD-1 airborne IFV entered service with the Soviet Army. The vehicle had many flaws, but the biggest one was the fact the troop compartment was extremely cramped and could only transport up to four infantrymen; in fact, this number was often shortened to three because it was impractical for four infantrymen to operate inside the troop compartment and dismount the vehicle. Because of that, in the beginning of the 1970s, the Volgograd Tractor Factory design bureau, who designed the BMD-1, began designing a new airborne APC based on the BMD-1. The prototype was ready in 1974 and in the same year it entered production and service with the Soviet Army as the BTR-D.

The BTR-D entered service with the Soviet Army in 1974 and was used by Soviet airborne troops during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, where it was seen for the first time by the West in 1979.

As of now, the BTR-D and vehicles based on it are used by the following units of Russian Army or are stationed in following bases:

  • 76th airborne (CDO) division from Pskov, which is part of Leningrad Military District (90 BTR vehicles, 30 BTR-RD and 49 BTR-ZD as of 2000), the subunits of this division include
  • 104th airborne regiment from Pskov (34 BTR-D, 6 BTR-RD , 13 BTR-ZD and 6 BMD-1KSh)
  • 234th airborne regiment from Pskov (32 BTR-D, 6 BTR-RD , 12 BTR-ZD and 5 BMD-1KSh)
  • 1140th artillery regiment from Pskov (14 BTR-RD , 3 BTR-ZD , 1 BMD-1KSh and 18 2S9 Anona)
  • 165th independent air defense division from Pskov (4 BTR-ZD and 1 BMD-1KSh)
  • 656th independent engineer battalion from Pskov (8 BTR-D and 1 BMD-1KSh)
  • 728th independent commandos battalion from Pskov (2 BTR-D, 6 BMD-1KSh, 3 BMD-1R and 2 R-440-ODB )
  • 7th independent repair battalion from Pskov (2 BTR-D).
  • 98th airborne division from Ivanovo (92 BTR vehicles, 27 BTR-RD and 38 BTR-ZD as of 2000), the subunits of this division include
  • 217th airborne regiment from Ivanovo (32 BTR-D, 6 BTR-RD , 11 BTR-ZD , 7 BMD-1KSh and 1 BMD-1R)
  • 331st airborne regiment from Kostroma (33 BTR-D, 6 BTR-RD , 15 BTR-ZD , 5 BMD-1KSh and 1 BMD-1R)
  • 1065th artillery regiment from Kostroma (15 BTR-RD , 3 BTR-ZD and 2 BMD-1KSh)
  • 318th independent air defense division from Ivanovo (4 BTR-D, 8 BTR-ZD and 1 BMD-1KSh)
  • 661st independent engineer battalion from Ivanovo (7 BTR-D and 1 BMD-1KSh)
  • 674th independent commandos battalion from Pskov (2 BTR-D, 6 BMD-1KSh, 4 BMD-1R and 3 R-440-ODB )
  • 15th independent repair battalion from Pskov (7 BTR-D).
  • 106th airborne division from Tula which is a part of the Moscow Military District (132 BTR vehicles, 33 BTR-RD and 49 BTR-ZD as of 2000), the subunits of this division include
  • 51stairborne regiment from Tula (32 BTR-D, 6 BTR-RD , 13 BTR-ZD , 2 BMD-1KSh and 1 BMD-1R)
  • 137th airborne regiment from Ryazan (38 BTR-D, 6 BTR-RD , 13 BTR-ZD , 7 BMD-1KSh and 1 BMD-1R)
  • 1182nd artillery regiment from Yefremov (4 BTR-D, 3 BTR-ZD , 2 BMD-1KSh and 18 2S9 Anona)
  • 107th independent air defense division from Donskoy (18 BTR-D, 6 BTR-ZD and 1 BMD-1KSh)
  • 332nd independent engineer battalion from Tula (8 BTR-D and 1 BMD-1KSh)
  • 731st independent commandos battalion from Tula (2 BTR-D, 6 BMD-1KSh, 5 BMD-1R and 2 R-440-ODB )
  • 15th independent repair battalion from Tula (4 BTR-D and 1 BREM-D).
  • 7th CDO mountain division from Novorossyysk (121 BTR vehicles, 27 BTR-RD, 38 BTR-ZD and 55 2S9 Anona as of 2000), the subunits of this division include
  • 108th airborne regiment from Novorossyysk (35 BTR-D, 9 BTR-RD , 13 BTR-ZD , 7 BMD-1KSh and 19 2S9 Anona)
  • 247th CDO regiment from Stavropol' (26 BTR-D, 9 BTR-RD and 13 BTR-ZD )
  • 1141st artillery regiment from Anapa (5 BTR-D and 9 BTR-ZD )
  • 30th independent air defense division from Novorossyysk (4 BTR-D and 8 BTR-ZD )
  • 629th independent engineer battalion from Starotitarovskaya (8 BTR-D)
  • 743rd independent commandos battalion from Novorossyysk (2 BTR-D, 8 BMD-1KSh and 3 R-440-ODB )
  • 6th independent repair battalion from Novorossyysk (4 BTR-D and 1 BREM-D).
  • 31st independent airborne brigade from Ul'yanovsk which is a part of the Volga-Ural Military District (57 BTR-D, 24 BTR-RD, 19 BTR-ZD, 8 BMD-1KSh and 2 BMD-1R as of 2000).
  • 45th independent Spetznaz regiment from Kubinka, Moscow (1 BTR-D).
  • Ryazan airborne troops institute (6 BTR-D, 5 BTR-RD, 2 BTR-ZD and 2 BMD-1KSh).

Type Airborne Amphibious Multi-Purpose Tracked Armoured Personnel Carrier
Place of origin  Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1974 – present
Used by See Operators
Wars See Service history
Production history
Designer Volgograd Tractor Factory
Designed Early 1970–1974
Manufacturer Volgograd Tractor Factory
Produced 1974 – ? (out of production)
Variants See Variants
Specifications (BTR-D)
Weight 8 tonnes
8.5 tonnes (combat weight)
Length 6.74 m (22.1 ft)
Width 2.94 m
Height 1.67 m
Crew 3 (commander, driver and bow machine gunner) (+ 10 troops)
Armor 15 mm at 78° upper hull front
15 mm at 50° lower hull front
10 mm rest of the hull
Main
armament
pintle-mounted automatic grenade launchers (AGS-17, AGS-30 or AGS-57) and/or machine guns (PKM, 6P41, "Utyos" or "Kord").
Secondary
armament
2×7.62 mm PKB bow general purpose machine guns (2,000 rounds)
Engine 5D-20 6-cylinder 4-stroke V-shaped liquid cooled 15.9 litre diesel
241 hp (180 kW) at 2,600 rpm
Power/weight 30.1 hp/tonne (22.5 kW/tonne)
28.4 hp/tonne (21.3 kW/tonne) (loaded with equipment)
Suspension torsion-bar
Ground clearance Adjustable
100 mm to 450 mm
Fuel capacity 300 l
Operational
range
500 km (road)
116 km (water)
Speed 61 km/h (road)
35 km/h (cross country)
10 km/h (swimming)

End notes