The BTR-60 is the first vehicle in a series of Soviet eight-wheeled armoured personnel carriers
About this creation
The BTR-152 and BTR-40, the first two Soviet mass produced APCs, developed after the Second World War given the Soviet Army useful experience with wheeled armoured personnel carriers. However even as they were designed they weren't suited for the needs of the Soviet Army as they lacked a roof. The low combat value of BTR-152 and BTR-40 was exposed during the Suez Crisis when the Egyptian Army used them. This was one of the reasons for which the new APC was developed
Development proceeded along two paths, a more expensive vehicle, that would eventually become the BMP-1, for use in tank divisions and a cheaper vehicle for use in motor rifle divisions, that would eventually become the BTR-60. Both GAZ and ZiL were commissioned to develop a prototype. The requirements stated the vehicle should have all wheel drive, at least two turnable axles, independent suspension as well as mobility and fording capabilities allowing it to operate alongside tanks. The vehicle also had to be amphibious. The GAZ prototype ultimately won due to the fact that it was the simplest and cheapest one and introduced the lowest amount of technological advancements which made it easier to put into mass production
The BTR-60P, the first incarnation of the BTR-60, was adopted on 13 December, 1959. However it had an open roof and troop compartments which was deemed to be a serious disadvantage. Because of that a new version, designated BTR-60PA, entered production in 1963. The armour on the hull is made out of welded steel and it provides protection against small arms fire and shrapnel. Frontal armour can withstand 7.62 mm bullets from any range. The rest of armour protection can withstand 7.62 mm bullets from a range of 100 m.
The BTR-60 is fully amphibious, propelled in the water by a jet centrally mounted at the rear of the hull. It was however prone to breakdowns. When not in use it is protected by the sideways opening lids. Before entering the water the trim vane at the front of the hull should be erected to prevent water from flooding over the bow. While in its traveling position it serves as additional lower frontal armor.
BTR-60PB was used in large numbers during the initial part of the Soviet War in Afghanistan. This was because the units that were originally used for this operation weren't the top priority of the Soviet military which prioritized the units stationed in East Germany. The same flaws of the design were present during this conflict and the vehicle became even more vulnerable due to the kind of fighting that took place in Afghanistan. The GAZ-40P gasoline engines experienced frequent losses of power and overheating due to the tropical highland climate not well suited for them. BTR-60PB's turret also could not elevate its armament high enough to fire at the Mujahideen attacking from high ground. Like during the Sino-Soviet border conflict many BTR-60PBs fell victim to RPGs. Because of those drawbacks the BTR-60PBs were replaced by BTR-70s as soon as possible.
The BTR-60PB remained in production until 1976, when it was superseded by the BTR-70. According to the Western estimate around 25,000 BTR-60s were produced by GAZ.
Weight - 10.3 tons
Length - 7.5 m
Width -2.8 m
Height - 2.3 m
Crew - 3 + 8 passengers
Armor - 5 mm to 10 mm
Main armament - 1x 14.5mm KPVT heavy machine gun w/500 rounds
Secondary armament - 1x 7.62 mm PKT tank coaxial machine gun w/3,000 rounds
Engine - 2x GAZ-40P 6-cylinder gasoline engines
Operational range - 500 km
Speed - 80 km/h on road, 10 km/h in water