The Laotian military unveiled several upgraded BRDM-2M 4×4 reconnaissance vehicles and displayed a large number of Russian- and Chinese-made platforms during a parade held in the capital Vientiane on 20 January to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Lao People's Army (LPA).
The BRDM-2M, at least 10 units of which are believed to be in service with the LPA, were modernised prior to their delivery to the LPA in late 2018, an official Laotian source told Jane's on 21 January, adding that Russia handed over the platforms as part of large military-technical co-operation programme between Vientiane and Moscow that was agreed upon in January 2018.
Unlike the baseline version, the modernised BRDM-2M is powered by a diesel engine, features an electro-optical station mounted to the rear of the turret, and is equipped with appliqué armour plates over various vulnerable areas.
The Lao People's Armed Forces (LPAF) also paraded armoured vehicles, missile systems, towed guns, and aircraft acquired from either Russia or China.
Among the Russian-made equipment were T-72B1, T-54 (T-54-3), and T-55 main battle tanks, BTR-60PB armoured personnel carriers, open-top UAZ-469B 4×4 utility vehicles, 9K51 Grad 122 mm multiple rocket launchers (MRLs), D-74 122 mm towed guns, D-20 152 mm towed howitzers, a D-30 122 mm towed howitzer and another one mounted on the chassis of an Ural-4320-series truck, 9K35 Strela-10 surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, 9K38 Igla man-portable air defence systems (MANPADSs), and Yakovlev Yak-130 'Mitten' advanced jet trainer/light-attack aircraft.
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