TechRussia improvises with captured Ukrainian vehicles amid losses

Russia improvises with captured Ukrainian vehicles amid losses

Russian improvised version of BMP‑1AM Basurmanin based on the vehicle captured from the Ukrainians.
Russian improvised version of BMP‑1AM Basurmanin based on the vehicle captured from the Ukrainians.
Images source: © X (formerly Twitter) | Aloha
9:50 PM EDT, March 24, 2024

Russians are facing challenges with their infantry fighting vehicles, sometimes resorting to repurposing vehicles captured from the Ukrainians. This article delves into the reasons behind such actions and evaluates the effectiveness of these makeshift efforts.

Despite making some advances, such as taking Avdiivka, the Russian forces have experienced significant losses in armored equipment, making replacements increasingly difficult to attain. The high-quality items from the post-Soviet stockpiles are long gone, leaving behind only those in poor condition which require extensive refurbishment.

Recovering equipment from the front lines presents its own set of problems for the Russians, who find it challenging to repair and cannot salvage it in large quantities. Often, there is simply nothing left to recover. Moreover, the Ukrainians make concerted efforts to destroy any abandoned vehicles in no man's land, including the use of drones to finish the job.

In this precarious situation, it is no wonder that the Russians have resorted to utilizing captured Ukrainian vehicles, attempting to modernize them for their own use. It's important to note that the Ukrainians have also engaged in similar practices, though their military capabilities have only recently been recognized as second in the world. An example of this improvisation is how the Russians have upgraded a Ukrainian BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle into the BMP‑1AM Basurmanin model.

BMP‑1AM Basurmanin — an outdated model reimagined with greater firepower

The Russians have attempted to create an improvised BMP‑1AM Basurmanin, a model first introduced into service in 2020, from a captured Ukrainian BMP-1. The core of this upgrade involves equipping the vehicle with an unmanned turret from the BTR-82A armored personnel carrier.

This modification represents a significant enhancement, as the 30mm automatic cannon 2A42 provides a far more versatile offensive capability than the original BMP-1's low-pressure 73mm 2A28 Grom cannon and the anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) launcher 9M14 Malutka. The 2A28 Grom cannon's most practical use is as a self-propelled artillery unit with a range of up to 2.8 miles.

For engaging armored targets, attacking light fortifications, or targeting infantry in open areas, the 2A42 automatic cannon is far superior, with a firing rate of 200 - 300 rounds/min or 550 - 800 rounds/min, depending on the settings. Additionally, its dual-feed mechanism allows for a rapid switch between ammunition types, such as from fragmentation-explosive to anti-tank rounds or vice versa.

However, the vehicle's inherent limitations remain, as its 1960s-era armor offers minimal protection to its crew, providing resistance only against standard rifle ammunition or artillery shrapnel.

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