SOVIET “SCOUT”

SOVIET As you know, during the Second world war armored vehicles in the USSR were made. In this respect the Red Army considerably inferior to the Wehrmacht. To some extent the problem could smooth out the supply of British and American armored vehicles under lend-lease, however, to fully equip at least mechanized infantry battalions of tank and mechanized brigades it was not enough. The main means of transportation of infantry in the red Army until the end of the war remained cars and tanks.
The program of building the Soviet Armed Forces in the post-war period included the creation of several types of armored vehicles, both tracked and wheeled. As a prototype for a light wheeled armored personnel carrier was taken the American model Scout Car M3A1. This all-wheel drive armored vehicle was supplied to the USSR under lend-lease, and was considered perhaps the most popular among the soldiers and commanders of the red Army. M3A1 widely used as staff vehicles for reconnaissance, communications and support. All the prerequisites to create a domestic version of such a machine was already — since 1944 he tested a new all-wheel drive truck GAZ-63. A characteristic feature of the latter was the wide tires of 9.75-18 and a single rear wheel that had the same track as the front. When driving on dirt, snow, sand all the wheels were “in the tracks” without the additional rolling resistance due to the difference of the track width. On state tests of four wheel drive vehicles GAZ-63 demonstrated, as noted in the Chief automotive Directorate of the red Army, “record of obstruction”.
 
In early 1947, the design Bureau of the Gorky automobile plant headed by V. A. Dedkov, began designing light biaxial armored “object 141”, designed to carry eight infantry, a sort of “scout” Soviet-style. The leading designer was appointed V. K. Rubtsov. This car used the chassis of the GAZ-63, reducing the base on 600 mm and increasing the engine power by 10 HP prototypes of armored vehicles, which participated designers Koshkin L. V., P. I. muzukin and others, was manufactured in late 1947. The prototype of the first variant had a bearing armored corps, skryvavsheysya top tent. The second option differed from the first dual installation of the CFW and SGM machine guns of 14.5 mm and 7.62 mm, respectively, mounted on a pedestal and allowed to fire both ground and air targets. The housing design of both versions was the same. The Board had large inclination angles, and at the bottom opposite corners, as the German armored vehicles. In the future this arrangement of the plates refused, using hulls with vertical sides, is more capacious and easy to manufacture, although less bullet-proof.
 
Smaller than a truck, the size of the engine compartment caused the designers a different positioning assemblies of the engine. With a nearly equal axle loads, front and rear spring has done the same, equip them the first four, and then eight hydraulic shock absorbers. All machines equipped with winches.
In 1949 the armored vehicle successfully passed state tests and under the designation BTR-40 was adopted by the Soviet Army. In late 1950, at the Gorky automobile plant named after Molotov began mass production of the machine, and its creators were awarded the Stalin prize. The tank’s hull is made of Murom locomotive plant.
 
The layout of the BTR-40 — classic car (cab over engine). This vehicle has three compartments — the motor, control and combat (airborne).
 
The engine compartment is located in front of the case. It includes: engine with cooling fan and electrical equipment, water and oil heaters, pad heater, oil and fuel filters, winch. Access to the engine room is carried out: the engine and the radiator through the upper hatch to the winch through the front angled plate. Both hatches are closed the armoured covers. The cover over the engine and side sloped sheets of the body is provided with louvers to release hot air from the engine compartment, in the lower front part of engine compartment — shutters, which allow the main flow of air for cooling the radiator.
 
The office is located behind the engine, in the open part of the housing. It is placed: the controls of the APC, observation devices, instrumentation, radio, driver’s seat (left), with battery under it and the commander (right), with gas tank in the alcove under the seat tank with spare oil for the engine, a fire extinguisher and an air cleaner. To the right of the commander and to the left of the driver in the lower zone of the housing are side opening doors hinged on the outside.
 
Combat (airborne) branch is located in the middle and aft parts of the hull. In the fighting compartment serial BTR-40 posted: SGMB gun, brackets for the installation of machine guns SGMB and PDM (installed with a special adapter), rocket launcher, clips to fasten the two AK-47 rifles and stacking of ammunition, seats eight people, spare parts, first aid kit and rear gas tank (the starboard side under the seat landing).
 
The hull of the personnel carrier is welded from rolled armor plates. The thickness of the front sheets is 10 to 15 mm, side 8 — 9 mm, feed — 7 mm. angled sheets front housing above the door openings are slits which are closed from inside the vehicle armor flaps. In the vertical side sheets have two lockable lids round hatch for observation and firing personal weapons from landing. In front of the compartment in front of the driver and commander have hatches with armoured covers attached to the sheet at two loops. In caps installed monitoring devices with glass triplex. In the stowed position hatches can be opened and secured to vertical posts. For observations outside of the combat situation with open covers on hatches windshields are mounted in a metal frame with rubber seals equipped with elektrosteklopodemniki. With closed lids windshields are placed in special pockets located inside the APC. For boarding and landing in the aft hull has double-leaf rear door.
 
7.62-mm machine gun is mounted SGMB with the standard machine, consisting of swivel, sector and bed. For mounting the machine gun on the APC has four swivel bracket: the frontal (main), placed on the frontal, lateral — right and left sides and the rear on the aft hull. Ammunition of the machine gun (1250 rounds) kitted out in strips and laid in a five cartridge boxes. Four boxes are placed in a special stowage in the fighting compartment from the starboard side of the hull, and one in the nest baskets on the swivel machine gun.
 
The armored vehicle has a 6-cylinder four-stroke carburetor engine liquid-cooled GAS-40 with a capacity of 78 — 80 HP at 3400 rpm.
 
Mechanical power transmission includes a single-disc clutch dry-friction, four-speed transmission, transfer case with dual, two main transfer with differential and fully floating axle shafts front and rear wheels. Front half shafts have constant velocity joints. Foot Shoe brake with a hydraulic drive acting on all four wheels. Manual disc or drum brake mounted on shaft of the transfer case and is mechanically driven. Steering gear — worm globally with double roller.
 
Single disc wheels with removable side rings fitted with pneumatic tyres with a size of 9.75-8”. Wheel formula 4×4. The suspension consists of four semi-elliptic leaf springs and four hydraulic piston acting shock absorbers.
 
In front of the armored personnel carrier mounted winch with a power takeoff from the transmission. Traction winch — 4500 kg, rope length 75 m.
 
External communication is supported by a radio 10-RT-12.
 
Combat vehicle weight is 5.3 tons Crew — 2 people, landing — 8 people. Maximum speed 80 km/h, cruising on highway 285 km.
 
BTR-40, 1950
 
BTR-40
BTR-40:
1—left side door; 2—hatches for firing personal weapons; 3 — wing; 4—spring; 5—isolator; 6—tow unit; 7 — cover of the hatch to access the winch; 8—hatch access to engine; 9— the cover of the inspection hatch of the commander; 10 — cover of the inspection hatch of the driver; 11—the seat of the driver; a 12—seat commander; 13 — seat landing; 14—fuel filler neck rear petrol tank; 15—a niche in the propeller shaft; 16—seat for three people; 17—antenna input; 18 light; 19 light; 20—spare wheel; 21—right side door; 22—engine; 23 — gear box; 24—speed transfer case with dual; 25 — propeller shaft; 26—main gear front axle; 27—main gear rear axle; 28—drive winch; 29—winch; 30—swivel frontal bracket; 31 —right side-swivel bracket; 32—feed the swivel bracket; 33—raceway boxes with machine-gun belts; 34—left side swivel bracket; 35—laying machine gun SGMB in the position of travelling.
The first demonstration of a new armored vehicle to the public took place during a military parade in Moscow on 7 November 1951. To participate in the parade of armored vehicles was devouroil, apparently, to give a more impressive look. On the front the swivel bracket was mounted 12.7 mm DShK machine gun and two side — machine guns SGMB.
 
Almost simultaneously with the BTR-40 was a development of the modification, which received the designation BTR-40A. In fact, it was a self-propelled anti-aircraft installation.
 
Anti-aircraft guns, ZTPU-2 with two machine guns KPV 14.5 mm mounted on a pedestal in the troop compartment. The maximum elevation of the guns +90°, the declination of -5°. For firing at ground targets there was a telescopic sight OP-1-14, air — dot sight VC-4. Ammunition — 1200 rounds. The installation was controlled by a single gunner with a mechanical manual actuator. Part of the calculation consisted of two loaders (one per machine gun). Effective fire was provided at air targets flying at speeds up to 600 km/h at an altitude of 500 — 1000 m. the Horizontal range of effective fire was 2000 m.
 
BTR-40A was adopted in 1951, and a year later launched into serial production. Based on the BTR-40 was produced the machine chemical reconnaissance BTR-40РХ. It differed from the basic installation of the relevant equipment. The BTR-40 has quickly gained popularity in the army. Simple in design, small but agile multi-purpose armored vehicle created on the developed industry of automobile aggregates, is widespread in the army. It was used to transport infantry, was used as a tractor anti-tank artillery, and as commander, coherent and reconnaissance vehicle. The BTR-40 was operated in border and internal troops.
 
Baptism of fire for the BTR-40 was the events in Hungary in 1956. After them came another modification of the BTR — 40B had a welded hull with an armored roof. For boarding and landing in the roof were two large hatch covers akrivastina. Body height increased by 130 mm. was removed side brackets for mounting a machine gun and put two more loopholes in an inclined roof sheets. The roof due to the increased survivability of the armored personnel carrier, especially in the conduct of street fighting. However, the number of seats for the landing had to be reduced to six.
Around the same time there are a modification of the BTR-40B, has a centralized system of regulating the air pressure in the tires. The pumping system consisted of a compressor mounted on the engine, receiver, control valve and some piping. To each wheel from the outside through the hub is supplied air. Using this same system produced a reduction of tire pressure to improve the patency of the APC. The introduction of regulation of air pressure in the tires increased maneuverability of the cars and bullet resistance of the wheels. However, outdoor air supply had a low reliability, especially when driving through wooded areas. The armament of the BTR-40B was not taken in series production was not.
 
It is necessary to mention one more modification of the BTR-40 rail. This machine was a kind of brunettino. It was equipped with steel rollers with an inner flange that is attached to leans arms with spring shock absorbers. Movement along the rails provided the main wheels, and lateral stability — rollers. The time required for the transition to movement on the rails was 3 — 5 minutes. In 1969 the railway option was converted a few BTR-40 and BTR-40A. A number of these machines back in 1997 continued to serve in the TRANS-Baikal military district.
 
Serial production of the BTR-40 was completed in 1960. In addition to the Soviet Army, the BTR-40 was in service with the armies of the countries — participants of the Warsaw Pact, as well as a number of States, it is not included, e.g. Albania, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Israel, Indonesia, Iran, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Laos, Mongolia, Ethiopia and many other countries of Asia and Africa. In the armies of these countries, the BTR-40 and BTR-40A were actively used in local conflicts in the middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa.
 
In some countries, changed the armament of the armored personnel carrier. In particular, it is sometimes mounted a heavy DShK machine guns or other systems of foreign production. In the National people’s army of the GDR on the part of the machine mounted launcher 9П110 with ATGM “baby”. In Indonesia, the BTR-40 has also been upgraded significantly. Case closed roof, increasing his height. Weapons were placed in a rotating turret, the landing provided an observation slits with glass blocks, installed smoke grenade launchers. In Egypt in the 1960-ies under the obvious influence of the BTR-40 was developed the armored “Walid”, looks very reminiscent of it. However, when his creation used the chassis of a German truck “Magirus”, slightly larger in size.
Upon receipt of the service with the Soviet Army more modern BTR-40 was transferred from the infantry in with other troops for use as combat support machines, as well as for training purposes. In the internal military districts of the last modification of these cars served until the early 1970-ies. Armored personnel carriers removed from service Russian Army in 1993.
 
BTR-40B from the Museum's collection of military vehicles. Ryazan, may 7, 2000
BTR-40B from the Museum’s collection of military vehicles. Ryazan, may 7, 2000.
 
BTR-40B during the celebration of the Day tank in Kubinka. 10 Sep 2005
BTR-40V during the celebration of the Day tank in Kubinka. September 10, 2005.
 
M. BARYATINSKY

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