Serbia showcases upgraded BVP M-80AB1 IFV


The Military Technical Institute (MTI) of the Republic of Serbia has unveiled a prototype of its upgraded BVP M-80A tracked infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). The upgraded vehicle has been designated the BVP M-80AB1.

Upgraded BVP M-80AB1 IFV clearly showing the turret fitted with applique armour and armed with a 30 mm cannon, 7.62 mm MG, and two longer launcher rails for the latest Maljutka 2 ATGW. (Christopher F Foss)Upgraded BVP M-80AB1 IFV clearly showing the turret fitted with applique armour and armed with a 30 mm cannon, 7.62 mm MG, and two longer launcher rails for the latest Maljutka 2 ATGW. (Christopher F Foss)

A new passive applique armour package has been fitted to the hull and turret to provide an enhanced level of survivability. MTI claims that the armour package is effective against 30 mm armour-piercing (AP) projectiles over the frontal arc, 14.5 mm AP projectiles over the sides, and 7.62 mm AP projectiles to the rear.

The upgraded vehicle retains the same layout as the original production BVP M-80A IFV with the driver located on the front left and the vehicle commander to the immediate rear.

The turret is located in the middle of the hull with the troop compartment extending to the rear.

The one-person turret has been fitted with applique armour, a new 30 mm cannon, as well as a 7.62 mm machine gun (MG).

The turret is fitted with new gun control equipment and the new day/night optronics package can detect targets out to a range of 2,000 m under most weather conditions.

Two 82 mm electrically operated smoke grenade launchers are mounted on either side of the turret but at present these are not linked to any laser detectors to provide a baseline defensive aids system.

The vehicle on display was fitted with two of the latest indigenous Maljutka 2T5 anti-tank guided weapons (ATGWs).

The 2T5, which has already undergone initial firing trials, features a semi-automatic command-to-line of sight (SACLOS) guidance system and has a maximum range of up to 5,000 m at a maximum velocity of 200 m/s.

Rear view of the upgraded BVP M-80AB1 showing the applique armour package fitted to the hull and turret. The vehicle has likely lost its amphibious capability as a result of the additional weight of the new enhancements. (Christopher F Foss)Rear view of the upgraded BVP M-80AB1 showing the applique armour package fitted to the hull and turret. The vehicle has likely lost its amphibious capability as a result of the additional weight of the new enhancements. (Christopher F Foss)

It is fitted with a 140 mm diameter tandem high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead, which is claimed to be capable of penetrating 1,000 mm of rolled homogenous armour protected by explosive reactive armour (ERA).

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