Video Shows Destruction of BTR-80 Command Vehicle – A video shared on social media earlier this week captured the destruction of a Russian BTR-80 near Peremozhne in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
#Ukraine: A Russian BTR-80-based vehicle (possibly a command and staff or communications variant) was destroyed by a Ukrainian precision strike in Peremozhne, #Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
????: @externalPilot pic.twitter.com/lNCcNuACzw
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 22, 2023
The vehicle, possibly a command and staff or communication variant, was destroyed by a Ukrainian precision strike.
Ukrainian forces in the region have been targeting Russian positions and vehicles with “smart ordnance” fired from the British-made M777 155mm howitzer.
Based on the 26-second-long clip, which was posted by the Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) Twitter account, it appears that the vehicle may have taken a direct hit from an M982 Excalibur extended-ranged guided artillery shell.
Spotlight on The Excalibur
The ordnance, developed in a collaborative effort between the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and the United States Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), is a GPS and inertial-guided munition that is capable of being used in close support situations with 75 to 150 meters (250 to 490 feet) of friendly troops.
Ukrainian drones have been able to help provide laser guidance to high-value targets.
In the clip, a Russian BTR-80 took a direct hit and was seen burning.
No survivors appeared to have exited the vehicle.
The artillery strike was reportedly near the village of Peremozhne, which has been the scene of intense fighting in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
The region is home to multiple power stations and has been an important industrial center dating back to the Russian Empire.
Zaporizhzhia was also the site of fierce fighting during the Russian Civil War (1918-21) between the Red Army and the White armies of Denikin and Wrangel, Petliura’s Ukrainian People’s Army of the Ukrainian People’s Republic.
The region changed hands numerous times.
BTR-80 in the Crosshairs
The BTR-80 is an 8×8 wheeled amphibious armored personnel carrier (APC) that was developed during the Soviet era.
It was deployed in combat operations in the Soviet-Afghan War and has subsequently seen use in a number of conflicts in Asia and Africa.
The platform was adopted by a number of Warsaw Pact nations, while those in the Soviet arsenal were passed on to successor states – including both Russia and Ukraine.
Kyiv had approximately 350 in service at the start of Russia’s unprovoked invasion, and according to open-source data, Ukraine has captured at least sixty more BTR-80s.
However, Moscow had a significant number in its arsenals with approximately 1,500 still operational as recently as a year ago.
The basic platform has a crew of three including a driver, commander, and gunner – the latter operating the main turret-based armament that typically consists of either a 14.5mm KPVT machine gun or a 30mm 2A72 automatic cannon.
The main gun is not stabilized however, so accurate fire on the move is limited to low speeds, while the turret rotation mechanism is manually operated. The APC can carry seven passengers.
The version seen destroyed in the recent video was reported to be a “command version,” either the BTR-80K (kommandnyi), which is equipped with a telescopic antenna mast and a suite of navigation and radio equipment; or a BTR-80AK, which has two whip antennas.
It is just one of the thousands of Russian armored vehicle losses.
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Author Experience and Expertise:
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.
March 24, 2023 at 3:45 pm
The problem with US/NATO advanced weapon systems given to Ukraine is there are not enough of them to make much difference for NATO’s proxy war with Russia. Russia is slowly taking the entirety of the Donbass region using mostly obsolete Soviet era artillery and tanks, “cheap hardware”. Occasionally more high tech rocket and drone attacks augment the Russian assault. Russia is primarily weakening Ukraine forces using the old “slow screw” tactics.
Is Russia holding back their more sophisticated weapons for WWIII? With idiots steering the west’s war machine we will no doubt soon find out.