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Russia possibly uses Ukrainian BMP-1U Shkval captured in Georgia

Photos were published on September 16th on the Telegram channel "Tanks. History and modernity.", showing the Russian army using Ukrainian-made BMP-1U "Shkval", captured during the war in Georgia. These images suggest that these vehicles may already be in active service, although this information cannot be verified.
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BMP-1U "Shkval" infantry fighting vehicles were modernized in Ukraine in the 2000s. During the modernization of the BMP-1, a new unified combat module KBA-105 "Shkval" was fitted (Picture source: Russian DoD)

These are BMP-1U "Shkval" infantry fighting vehicles modernized in Ukraine in the 2000s. One of these vehicles was seen in a propaganda video of the Russian Defense Ministry, showing combat training of the Russian army.

During the modernization of the BMP-1, a new unified combat module KBA-105 "Shkval" was installed. It is equipped with a 30 mm 2A72 automatic cannon (or Ukrainian ZTM-1) with an ammunition load of 360 rounds, a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun (or its Ukrainian equivalent KT-7.62) with a load ammunition of 2,500 rounds, and a 30 mm automatic grenade launcher AG-17 (or Ukrainian KB-117) with an ammunition load of 116 grenades. The module can also launch two Konkurs ATGM missiles.

Due to the large weight of the module, which weighs 1,300 kg with additional ammunition, and the space it occupies inside the vehicle, the troop carrying capacity of the BMP-1U was reduced from 8 to 6 persons.

The appearance of these vehicles in the Russian army could indicate a significant shortage of functional armored vehicles. This hypothesis is all the more plausible since, according to recent OSINT sources, Russia has lost more than 1,000 BMPs since the start of its invasion of Ukraine, which could push them to put into service even a small modification of modernized vehicles in Ukraine.

According to open sources, during the Russian-Georgian war in August 2008, the Russian army captured up to 14 Georgian BMP-1U "Shkval". Before the start of this war, Ukraine supplied Georgia with 15 of these infantry fighting vehicles.


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