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Russia deploys new Vystrel APC equipped with BM-30D turret to Ukrainian frontline

According to an article published by TopWar on July 8, 2023, Russian combat reconnaissance armored vehicles, KamAZ-43269 Vystrel (BPM-97 Shot), were spotted equipped with the Epoch BM-30D remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS), also known as the 32V01 unmanned turret module, during a recent observation on their way to the operational area in Ukraine. The turret is armed with a 30mm 2A42 automatic cannon and a coaxial 7.62mm PKTM machine gun. According to our information, this is the first deployment of this vehicle in Ukraine.
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A KamAZ-43269 Vystrel (BPM-97 Shot) with the Epoch BM-30D remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) (Picture source

Developed by the Russian Central Research Institute BUREVESTNIK, the Epoch BM-30D RCWS, unveiled in 2021, features optoelectronic components like day/night vision, infrared cameras, and a laser rangefinder. To prioritize crew safety and prevent gas pollution within the vehicle, the ammunition load and turret system are isolated from the troop compartment.

With the inclusion of the RCWS, the crew benefits from a new weapon station that provides day/night combat capabilities and a fire control system. The primary objective of the Epoch BM-30D RCWS is to enable the gunner to aim and control all firing operations from inside the vehicle's protected hull.

Interestingly, this sighting marks the second vehicle equipped with the BM-30D turret observed heading to the Ukrainian frontline, as the Typhoon-VDV K-4386 Mine-Protected Armored Vehicle is already in service with Russian airborne troops. These newly outfitted vehicles are anticipated to fulfill dual roles as reconnaissance and infantry fighting/support vehicles.

The BPM-97, also known as the KAMAZ-43269 Vystrel, is a 4×4 wheeled Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle manufactured by the Russian truck manufacturer KAMAZ. It can accommodate 12 personnel, including the driver and commander. There is also a 6x6 version named SBA-60-K2 Bulat, which was unveiled in 2012 and serves as a base for the Listva remote mine clearing vehicle.

Originally designed for the law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation, the KamAZ-43269/BPM-97 was initially intended as an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) but also serves as an armored reconnaissance vehicle. It gained attention as a potential replacement for the GAZ-66 off-road truck used by the Federal Border Guard Service (FSG) in hazardous border regions. The BPM-97 has been in service since 2009 with the Ministries of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, the Ground Forces and anti-terrorist units of the Russian Federation, and the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic.

The Vystrel is based on the KAMAZ-4326 truck chassis with a welded aluminum body, following the conventional design pattern of armored vehicles. It is powered by a front-mounted Kamaz 8-cylinder Diesel 740.10-20 engine, developing 240hp. The crew cab is located in the center, with the troops compartment at the rear. The design of the 4x4 Vystrel and the 6x6 Bulat drew inspiration from the BTR-40 armored transporter of the 1950s, resulting in certain visual similarities.

The vehicle features monolithic armor welded in a "V" shape to disperse the energy from anti-tank mine explosions. The upper part of the hull provides ballistic protection against small arms fire up to 12.7mm at a distance of 300m, while the lower part can withstand hits from 7.62mm caliber weapons at a distance of 30m.

The BPM-97 can be equipped with various weapons. It can have gunner positions housing machine guns or heavy machine guns such as the PKTM caliber 7.62mm or Kord 12.7mm. It can also be outfitted with turrets armed with a 14.5mm KPWT machine gun or unmanned turret systems featuring 30mm automatic cannons like the 32V01 or BPPU-1, which are also used in vehicles like the BTR-82A. Additionally, the vehicle has the capability to integrate a 30mm automatic grenade launcher AGS-17 or anti-tank guided missiles such as the 9K113 Konkurs.

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