The tower from the BTR-80 was installed on Ratel from South Africa

Image source: rg.ru

The Rwandan Defense Forces operate a rare modification of the South African Ratel armored personnel carrier.

The combat vehicle, instead of a turret with a 20-mm GI-2 cannon, has a BPU-1 combat module from the BTR-80, armed with a Soviet large-caliber KPVT 14.5 mm and 7.62 mm PKT machine gun.

The South African gun with a rate of fire of up to 750 rounds per minute can use armor-piercing and high-explosive fragmentation ammunition, while the lethal range of the latter at an initial speed of 1000 meters per second is maintained at a distance of 2000 meters.

Shots for hitting light armored vehicles are capable of penetrating up to 20 mm of armor located at an angle of 60 degrees at a distance of 1000 meters.

However, some customers preferred that this artillery installation should be replaced with more familiar 23-mm guns or, as in Rwanda, large-caliber machine guns on the Ratel export versions.

KPVT, although somewhat inferior to the gun, is simpler and more reliable, it is cheaper to operate. At the same time, he is able to fight the enemy's equipment and manpower just as effectively.

Now three-axle armored personnel carriers from South Africa (they are also called infantry fighting vehicles) are in service with ten African countries and are actively used in various combat and peacekeeping operations.

They weigh, depending on the modification, from 18,500 kg to 19,000 kg. The maximum thickness of the armor is 20 mm. The bottom has a mine protection. Capacity: three fighters crew and nine people landing. The engine power is 282 hp. The maximum speed on the highway is 105 km / h. The capacity of the fuel tanks is 430 liters. The fuel reserve is 1000 km. The depth of the ford to be overcome is 1.2 m.

Towers from the Soviet BTR and BRDM-2 were installed in different countries on other models of equipment, for example, they can be seen on Japanese pickups, BTR-152 and American-made tracked M113.

Alexey Moiseev

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