Ukraine’s Zhytomyr Armored Plant unveiled its new Strazh (Sentinel) fire support vehicle at the Arms and Security Exhibition 2017 in Kiev.
According to company representatives, the vehicle is due to enter trials with the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence this year and it is hoped that an order will follow in 2018, although this will depend on funding and procurement priorities.
Strazh is based on a T-64 main battle tank (MBT) and represents a move into heavier armoured vehicles for Zhytomyr, which until now have focused mainly on the BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle and variants of the BTR. Strazh is described as a tank fire support vehicle and outwardly resembles UralVagonZavod’s BMPT armoured fighting vehicle – the platform on display even had the acronym ‘BMPT’ printed on its side skirt.
The vehicle is designed to provide armoured forces with close-range support and overwhelming firepower against infantry units employing hand held anti-tank weapons. The design leverages experience gained by Ukrainian defence forces operating in the Donbass region, where significant numbers of T-64s have been lost in urban combat.
Strazh features the Doublet ROWS, which first entered the market in 2016. Its primary armament is a pair of 30 mm ZTM-2 automatic cannons mounted side-by-side, with two KT-7.62 machine guns (MG) in between them.
Mounted on the top of the turret is a 30 mm KBA-117 automatic grenade-launcher as well as two pods of Bar’er-212 anti-tank guided missiles. The ZTM-2 cannons are Ukrainian produced versions of the 2A42, which have a dual-feed configuration and are said to be capable of defeating lightly armoured targets (such as a BTR-70) at 1,500 m and personnel at 4,000 m.
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