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Ukrainian forces unveil new images of their MT-LBu Parus IFV

According to a tweet by Praise The Steph on September 4, 2023, Ukraine recently conducted a firing exercise using its modified MT-LBu, which is equipped with a BM-7 Parus remote-controlled weapon station. However, it remains unclear whether this firing event was part of a test or a combat mission.
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New image of the Ukrainian MT-LBu Parus IFV (Picture source: BronyaKraken/Telegram)

This MT-LBu, which has been adapted into an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) variant, is armed with a BM-7 turret. The standard configuration of this turret typically includes a 30mm ZTM-1 cannon, a 7.62mm KT-7.62 or PKT coaxial machine gun, a 30mm KBA-117 or AG-17 grenade launcher, and two 130mm Barrier anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), although the latter was not present in this particular instance. Additionally, the MT-LBu features a Trek-M fire control system, a Panorama-2P sight, and six 81mm Tucha smoke grenade launchers.

The MT-LBu, also known as MTLBu, is a multipurpose tracked armored personnel carrier originally designed in Ukraine during the early 1960s. It represents an enlarged version of the MT-LB, featuring enhancements like a more powerful engine, a 40 cm higher hull, and an extended chassis with 7 road wheels on each side. While the standard MT-LBu is not armed, it is adaptable to various specialized configurations.

The MT-LBu has the capacity to transport up to 6 soldiers and is capable of towing trailers or carrying equipment weighing up to 4,000 kg. In terms of mobility, this amphibious vehicle is powered by a V8 diesel engine producing 300 hp, allowing it to achieve a maximum road speed of 62 km/h and a maximum water speed of 6 km/h. It boasts off-road capabilities, capable of navigating slopes up to 60%, side slopes up to 30%, and natural or engineered trenches up to a depth of 2.41m.

The BM-7 Parus, also found on the BTR-4E, is a remote-controlled weapon station designed primarily for armored personnel carriers (APCs) and infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs). This weapon station includes a stabilized 30mm ZTM-1 automatic cannon, a 7.62mm KT-7.62 or PKT coaxial machine gun, a 30mm automatic grenade launcher, and two Barrier anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).

This remote-controlled and self-contained system is engineered to enhance crew protection and comfort, as it does not intrude into the fighting compartment and prevents gas pollution within crew stations. In combat conditions, the operator can reload the gun and cock the weapon while remaining shielded under the hull's protection.

The Ukrainian 30mm automatic gun ZTM-1, developed by STC "ZTM," shares functional similarities with the Soviet 2A72 automatic gun. Its primary purpose is to engage light-armored targets at distances of up to 2,000 meters, anti-tank missile systems, unarmored targets, and enemy personnel up to 4,000 meters away. Additionally, it can target low-flying, low-speed aerial threats within a range of 2,000 meters. The gun supports both single-shot and burst firing modes.

Firing control can be executed through mechanical and remote mechanisms, including electrical firing. The ZTM-1 gun employs a selective belt-feed system utilizing two ammunition boxes, accommodating armor-piercing and high-explosive fragmentation rounds. Ammunition capacity ranges from 250 to 500 rounds, and the gun can be integrated into combat modules.

Key technical specifications of the ZTM-1 encompass a caliber of 30mm, manual and electro-mechanical reloading, dual-belt ammunition feed, a direct firing range of 1,200 meters, a firing rate of no less than 330 rounds per minute, a weight of 84 kg, and a projectile weight of 0.9 kg.


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