Combat vehicles / Armored personnel carriers / BTR-40

BTR-40

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Armored personnel carrier

  • ORIGIN
    USSR

  • NICKNAMES
    Type 55 (Chinese production)
    Sorokovka (Soviet nickname)
    SPW-40 (East German service)
    BTR-141 (prototype designation)

  • DESIGNED
    1947 - 1950

  • DESIGNER
    V.A. Dedkov

  • PRODUCTION
    1950 - 1960

  • PRODUCERS
    China
    USSR - GAZ

  • QUANTITY
    About 8.500 produced in the USSR

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Good mobility on roads
    Limited production costs
    Limited armament
    Limited level of protection

Introduction

The BTR-40 is an early Cold War era armored personnel carrier of Soviet origin. It was developed shortly after World War 2 and is based on the GAZ-63 utility vehicle. The BTR-40 was one of the first mass produced armored personnel carriers. It was supplemented and replaced by the BTR-152 and BTR-60 since the 1960's. The BRDM-1 reconnaissance vehicle was derived from the BTR-40.

Layout

The BTR-40 is based on the GAZ-63 4x4 utility vehicle. If features a thin steel monocoque hull. The cabin and crew compartment are connected. Most versions have an open roof. Firing ports are located on either side and one, two or three pintle mounts are provided.

Firepower

Often the BTR-40 was fitted with only a single 7.62mm SGMB machine gun. Up to three weapons can be fitted. Occasionally a 12.7mm DShKM or 14.5mm KPVT heavy machine gun are fitted. The BTR-40A anti-aircraft version features a ZTPU-2 mount with two 14.5mm KPVT heavy machine guns.

Protection

The welded steel armor protects the crew from small arms fire and shell splinters. Most BTR-40 feature and open roof. The gunners are exposed when operating the pintle mounts. NBC protection and smoke grenade launchers are not provided.

Mobility

The 4x4 chassis with large wheels make the BTR-40 highly manueverable on road. Cross country mobility is good in all but the most diffcult terrain. The 80 hp petrol engine provides a maximum speed of 80 km/h. The BTR-40 is not amphibious, unlike the BRDM-1 reconnaissance vehicle that was derived from the BTR-40.

Users

The BTR-40 was used in large quantities with Soviet forces. It was eventually replaced by the larger BTR-152. Many have been exported to Soviet allies around the world. China used both Soviet and locally produced vehicles under the designation Type 55. A limited number of BTR-40's remain in service with third world nations today.

Variants

BTR-40

BTR-40: Original production version with open roof. Introduced in 1950. Known as SPW-40 in East German service and Type 55 in China.
BTR-40A: Self-propelled anti-aircraft gun based on the BTR-40, also introduced in 1950. Features the ZTPU-2 mount with two 14.5mm KPVT heavy machine guns. Known as SPW-40A in East German service.
BTR-40V: BTR-40 with central tire pressure regulation system. Introduced in 1956.
BTR-40B: BTR-40V with armored roof with four hatches, introduced in 1957. Carries only 6 infantrymen instead of 8. The only APC version with NBC protection system.
BTR-40Kh: NBC reconnaissance version based on the BTR-40B. Known as SPW-40Ch in East German service.

TypeArmored personnel carrier
Crew2 + 8 (commander, driver, 8 infantry)
Length5 m
Width1.9 m
Height1.75 m
Ground clearance0.275 m
Weight5.3 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 4x4, 2.7 m wheelbase, 1.6 m track, 9.75 x18 tires
Turn radius7 m
EngineGAZ-40 6-cylinder water-cooled petrol, 80 hp at 3.400 rpm
Power ratio15.1 hp/t
TransmissionManual, 4 forward, 1 reverse
Speed80 km/h on road
Fuel120 L
Range285 km on road
Wall0.5 m
Trench0.7 m
Gradient60% gradient, 30% slope
Fording0.8 m
ArmorSteel, 6 to 8 mm
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionNo
SmokeNo
Remarks-
Armament7.62mm SGMB machine gun
Weapon17.62mm SGMB machine gun on pintle mount
1.250 rounds in total, 250 ready to fire
-6 to +24° elevation, manual
-45 to +45° traverse, manual
non-stabilized
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-
TypeSelf-propelled anti-aircraft gun
Crew5 (commander, driver, 3 gunners)
Length5 m
Width2.75 m
Height1.75 m
Ground clearance0.275 m
Weight5.5 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 4x4, 2.7 m wheelbase, 1.6 m track, 9.75 x18 tires
Turn radius7 m
EngineGAZ-40 6-cylinder water-cooled petrol, 80 hp at 3.400 rpm
Power ratio14.5 hp/t
TransmissionManual, 4 forward, 1 reverse
Speed80 km/h on road
Fuel120 L
Range285 km on road
Wall0.5 m
Trench0.7 m
Gradient60% gradient, 30% slope
Fording0.8 m
ArmorSteel, 6 to 8 mm
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionNo
SmokeNo
Remarks0
Armament14.5mm KPVT heavy machine gun (2)
Weapon1Twin 14.5mm KPVT heavy machine gun in ZTPU-2 mount
2.400 rounds in total, 100 ready to fire
-5 to +80° elevation, manual
360° traverse, manual
non-stabilize
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

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