The ground forces of the Slovak Armed Forces have taken delivery of 18 Bojove Prieskumne Vozidlo ISTAR (BPsVI) vehicles as of mid-2017, Jane’s learnt.
The BPsVI is a modernised variant of the ground forces’ BPsV ‘Svatava’ tracked reconnaissance platform, which is based on the venerable BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) license-built by former Czechoslovak state factories, and optimised for the tracked intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) role.
The new vehicle has been jointly developed by EVPU, Konstrukta Defence, DMD Group, and MSM Group and has an increased combat weight of 15.29 tonnes. It retains the original design’s 6.73 m length but has an increased width of 3.46 m to accommodate newly installed floatation devices, which preserve its amphibious capability in lieu of the additional weight.
The original UTD-20 water-cooled diesel engine has been retained, with this providing an output of 220 kW and maximum torque of 980 Nm to enable the vehicle to traverse obstacles that are up to 0.7 m high and 2.5 m wide. Operating range remains unchanged, with a claimed 550 km using fuel from its main supply.
The BPsVI is equipped with the indigenously developed Turra 30 remote weapons turret, which is armed with the 30 mm calibre 2A42 automatic cannon manufactured locally by ZTS Special, a 7.62 mm calibre PKTM machine gun, and two ready-for-launch 9M113 Konkurs anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). The turret is also fitted with the System Detekcie a Indikacie Oziarenia (SDIO) laser warning system, which features a sensor head produced by Elbit Systems’ subsidiary ELOP .
Other mission-specific equipment carried by the BPsIV includes the FLIR Ranger R20SS surveillance radar, Kestrel-5500 weather meter, Micro Falcon unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Schiebel’s Miniature Mine Detector (MIMID) system, and an unattended ground sensor suite. US firm Harris Corporation has also supplied a communications suite.
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