Land Weapons

Scout Car (1962)




Following from the success of the BRDM-1, the BRDM-2 was a considerably improved version of the USSR's innovative amphibious scout car. The BRDM-2 is constructed of all-welded steel, with the driver and commander seated at the front of the hull and the engine compartment at the rear which is separated from the crew by a bulkhead. This configuration resulted in a more restrained boat-shape hull compared to its predecessor, resembling more a conventional scout car. One of the main improvements over the BRDM-1 was the inclusion of a turret mounted in the center of the vehicle, this being the same distinctive type used on the BTR-60PB. This mounts a 14.5-mm KPVT machine gun in addition to a coaxial 7.62-mm PKT offering a considerably more firepower than its predecessor. A single firing port on each side of the hull was also provided. The BRDM-2 retained its predecessor's inclusion of two pairs of extendable belly wheels to improve cross-country and trench-crossing performance, and a central tire-pressure regulation system was included as well. Amphibious capability was provided through a single rear-mounted water jet and a trim vane to improve buoyancy. A further improvement in the BRDM-2 was the addition of NBC protection. A major drawback, however, was the lack of rear hatches or ramps to to exist the vehicle, which was only possible through two roof hatches which left the crew vulnerable in the event of needing to escape during combat. This was only addressed in later non-Soviet variants. Despite this, the BRDM-2 became even more successful than its predecessor, serving with every Warsaw Pact nation and dozens of Soviet client states worldwide where hundreds remain in service to this day including a large number still active and in storage with Russia.

The BRDM-2 was also designed by V. K. Rubtsov who was also responsible for the BRDM-1. Aside from incremental improvements throughout its production run, the first major modernization took place after the collapse of the USSR in the form of the BRDM-2M with a new diesel engine, a turret similar to the BTR-80, and more modern electronics. A further improved export version is known as the BRDM-2MS which is notable for its additional hinged armor. Other variants include the BRDM-2RKh and -2RKhB NBC reconnaissance vehicles, the BRDM-2U and BRDM-2K (turreted) command vehicle, and the loudspeaker-equipped BRDM-2ZS psychological warfare vehicle. Numerous anti-tank versions were also produced including the 9P122 and 9P133 with six AT-3B (9M14M) or AT-3C (9M14P) ATGMs, 2P124 with four AT-2Bs (9M17M), and 9P148 with five AT-5s (9M113). An anti-aircraft version is known as the 9K31 Strela-1 and is armed with four SA-9 (9K31) SAMs. Export customers frequently made local modifications which are too numerous to list, most of which involved the installation of different engines and equipment, as well as the addition of side doors or removal of the belly wheels.

Preceded by:

BRDM-1 (1957)

Succeeded by:



TypeScout Car
Length (w/Gun)5.75 m
Width2.350 m
Height2.310 m
Ground Clearance0.430 m
Track1.840 m
Track on Ground0 m
Combat7,000 kg
Ground Pressure0 kg/cm²
SuspensionSemi-elliptical springs (4 x 4)
Speed (Off-Road)100 km/h
Range (Off-Road)750 km
AmphibiousYes (10 km/h)
Vertical Obstacle0.40 m
Trench1.25 m
Engine1 x 140-hp
FuelGasonline: 290 L
Power/Weight20.00 hp/t
Main1 x 14.5-mm

Machine Gun
↑ 30° / ↓ -5° / ↔ 360°
Ammo7.62-mm: 2,000
Thickness3 - 14 mm
Max Effective10 - 14 mm RHAe
Hull Upper Front14 mm / 14°
Hull Lower Front7 mm / 45°
Hull Upper Sides7 mm / 18°
Hull Lower Sides7 mm
Hull Upper Rear7 mm
Hull Lower Rear7 mm
Hull Top7 mm
Hull Bottom3 mm
Turret Front7 mm / 43°
Turret Sides7 mm / 36°
Turret Rear7 mm / 36°
Turret Top7 mm