Ukraine Upgrades Bulgarian Armored Personnel Carriers for Frontline Deployment

Ukraine | April 19, 2024, Friday // 08:29|  views


Ukraine's defense industry is embarking on a comprehensive overhaul of Bulgarian armored personnel carriers (APCs), which are slated to be deployed to the frontline in the near future, according to reports from the Ukrainian website "Militarnyi".

The upgrade initiative aims to enhance the mobility, protection, and firepower of the APCs. Among the notable enhancements are the replacement of old engines and gearboxes with new, more powerful German counterparts, doubling the previous capacity. Additionally, modifications to the hatches aim to improve soldier comfort, while interior changes include the installation of a Ukrainian night vision system, traffic cameras for adverse conditions, and a thermo-optical sight.

The APCs before they were overhauled

To bolster protection, additional Armox 500T armor is being fitted, along with improvements in suspension. The modernization process also includes the installation of modern navigation and communication systems. With the upgrade expected to be completed in the coming months, the APCs will soon be ready for deployment to the frontline.

Earlier this year, Ukraine began receiving the first batch of 100 BTR-60 APCs from Bulgaria, previously stored in warehouses of the Bulgarian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Key upgrades include replacing the old twin gasoline engines with new German Deutz BF4M2012 engines, significantly boosting power output. Notably, a decision to adopt a dual-engine system aims to streamline the modernization process and minimize design alterations.

The layout of the APCs has undergone significant revisions, including the installation of more comfortable exits for soldiers and repositioning of seats to enhance capacity. Retaining the original armament, including a 14.5 mm KPVT heavy machine gun and two 7.62 mm PKT machine guns, the effectiveness of these weapons is expected to increase with the installation of new day and thermal vision night sights.

Further enhancements to protection include the installation of additional Armox 500T steel panels, enabling the vehicles to withstand fire from small arms and heavy machine guns. Additionally, improvements to navigation and communication systems ensure operational readiness on the battlefield.

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Tags: Ukraine, Bulgarian, APCs, frontline


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