Armored Fighting Vehicles - Cold War
In the course of the Great Patriotic War, the insufficient combat effectiveness of armored cars as combat vehicles was revealed, so their production ceased in the postwar years. At the same time, motorized infantry that was part of tank and mechanized formations, as a rule, was transported on vehicles. This did not provide the necessary maneuverability of motorized infantry on the battlefield under the influence of even weak enemy fire, as it forced it to dismount from the vehicles ahead of time. In addition, the vehicles hampered the maneuver when moving outside the impact of enemy fire, tying motorized infantry and artillery on wheels to roads. Therefore, for the transportation of motorized infantry and towing of its escort weapons, it was necessary to have armored personnel carriers.
After the war, domestic tracked and wheeled armored transports [bronetransportery] began to arrive in large numbers in the army. The first Soviet armored personnel carrier BTR-152 was developed in the period 1946-1950. The first domestic wheeled armored personnel carriers BTR-152 and BTR-40 were created on the basis of units and assemblies of mass-produced off-road vehicles, while using some technical solutions implemented in foreign armored personnel carriers of the time. Each of these domestic BTR had several modifications, but they were all non-floating. Since 1960, the armored personnel carriers BTR-40 and BTR-152 have been replaced by a floating wheeled armored personnel carrier BTR-60P, which had an original layout scheme. Starting with this car, the further development of wheeled armored personnel carriers in the USSR went its own way.
The BTR-50P floating tracked armored personnel carriers of various modifications were developed on the basis of the PT-76 light amphibious tank and its upgraded version PT-76B. The MT-LB multi-purpose light armored transporter-tractor, created on the original base and mass-produced at the Kharkov Tractor Plant, could also be used as a tracked armored personnel carrier.
Tracked and wheeled armored personnel carriers were vehicles intended primarily for delivering motorized infantry to the battlefield, so initially they did not have an armored hull roof that appeared after the events in Hungary in 1956, as well as in connection with the adoption of nuclear missiles.
With the adoption of numerous light anti-tank weapons for use in foreign armies, the importance of the interaction of tanks with infantry on the battlefield increased. There was a need to create armored vehicles that allowed motorized riflemen, while inside them, to fight at the same speed with tanks and destroy light anti-tank weapons using individual small arms and machine guns. For the first time a new type of armored vehicle of the Ground Forces, called the infantry fighting vehicle (BMP), was created in the Soviet Union.
In the early 1960s. Were made and tested samples of experienced infantry fighting vehicles with the same weapons and armor protection, but with different positions of the assault force and different transmission designs and types of running gear: tracked, tracked and wheeled, semi-tracked and wheeled. In 1966, after carrying out a competition for the arming of the Soviet Army, the tracked infantry fighting vehicle BMP-1 was adopted. Abroad, the first BMP appeared only two years later.
Almost simultaneously with the development of infantry fighting vehicles in the Soviet Union, the creation of an airborne combat vehicle began, which was subsequently put into service under the BMD-1 trademark and began to enter the Airborne Force in 1968.
Thus, for the first time in the world, infantry combat vehicles and airborne combat vehicles, which were a fundamentally new type of armored armament of Ground and Airborne Forces, were developed, tested and tested. In the same years, research and development on the creation of armored fighting vehicles on an air cushion and articulated armored vehicles was carried out in the USSR.
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