Infobox Weapon

caption=BTR-40 APC in Yad la-Shiryon Museum, Israel, 2005.
type=Wheeled armored personnel carrier
service=1948 - present
used_by=See Operators
designer=V. A. Dedkov
number=8,500 cite book|title=Jane's Armour and Artillery 2005-2006]
production_date=1948 - 1960 (BTR-40ZhD produced until 1969)
variants=See Variants
manufacturer=Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod
length=5 m [ "Pancerni 2"] ]
width=1.9 m
height=2.2 m (1.83 m without armament)
weight=5.3 tonnes
armour=6-8 mm
primary_armament=7.62 SGMB medium machine gun (1250 rounds (total)) (optional)
secondary_armament=2×7.62 SGMB medium machine gun (1250 rounds (total)) (optional)
suspension=4x4 wheel, leaf spring
speed=80 km/h
clearance=400 mm
fuel_capacity=122 l
vehicle_range=430 km (road)
385 km (cross country)
engine=6-cylinder GAZ-40
crew=2 + 8 passengers (BTR-40 and BTR-40V)
2 + 6 passengers (BTR-40B)
engine_power=80 hp (60 kW) at 3400 rpm
pw_ratio=15.1 hp/tonne (11.3 kW/tonne)

The BTR-40 (БТР, from Бронетранспортер, or "Bronetransporter", literally "armoured transporter". [ †] ) is a Soviet non-amphibious wheeled armored personnel carrier and reconnaissance vehicle [Foss, Christopher. "Jane's Tank Recognition Guide". (New York: HarperCollins, 2006), p.288.] It is often referred to as "Sorokovka" in Soviet service. ["ibid."]


It was developed by a team headed by V. A. Dedkov. It's design began in early 1947 at design bureau of Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod (Gorkovsky Automobile Factory) under leadership of V. A. Dedkov. The vehicle was planned to have two axises and four wheel drive. It was designed as a successor of BA-64B which in 1946 went out of production. The main designer of the team was V. K. Rubsov, the team also included L. W. Kostikin and P. I. Muziukin. Two prototypes, BTR-141, were completed in 1947. Because of the drawbacks of the vehicles including the poor cross country performance and a lot of problems with crossing water obstacles the design team started designing in late 1954 what was planned to be an amphibious BTR-40 and therefore received designation BTR-40P. However during the designing process the vehicle went away from the APC concept and became an amphibious armoured car therefore received a new designation, BRDM.


Its design was based on GAZ-63 four wheel drive truck which went into production in 1946. The design featured a self-bearing body which was a new feature in Soviet vehicles. The vehicle also had shorter chassis compared to GAZ-63, it also had a stronger engine. The only other thing that distinguished chassis of BTR-40 from the one of GAZ-63 were additional shock absorbers. The hull has two side doors for commander and driver and a back door. The vehicle can transport up to eight fully equipped soldiers or 1 tonne of cargo. The APC variant has no permanent armament but it has pintle mounts for three 7.62 mm SGMB medium machine guns, one on the front of the troop compartment and the other two on the sides. The vehicle also has two firing ports on both sides of the hull which allow up to four of transported soldiers to use their weapons while being protected by the APC's armour. BTR-40 armour is from 6 mm to 8 mm thick which gives it protection against small arms fire and shell splinters of its time but doesn't protect it against modern artillery fragments and a .50-calibre machine gun fire which can penetrate BTR-40 maximum armor. The BTR-40-series tires are not protected by armour. They are particularly vulnerable to puncture from fire of all kinds. The vehicle has no roof and is normally covered with a tarpaulin to protect the crew and transported cargo or troops from rain and snow however it makes it unable to mount any of the 7.62 mm SGMB medium machine guns. The vehicle has a 10RT-12 radio which has a range of 20-25 km and a winch in the front which has a maximum capacity of 4.5 tonnes, and is fitted with a 70 m cable. It has no NBC system or night vision equipment. The vehicle however had two big drawbacks, it had a bad cross country performance and had a lot of problems with crossing water obstacles. [ "Pancerni 1"] ]

ervice History

BTR-40 was produced at Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod (Gorkovsky Automobile Factory) from 1948 to 1960 (BTR-40ZhD, railroad version of BTR-40 was produced until 1969). It entered service with Red Army in 1948 and was used in the APC, reconnaissance and command post roles. After serval years of exploitation by the Red Army it became apparent that they don't fit to the modern battlefield with a big issue concerning the cross country performance and ability to cross water obstacles. They were replaced by BTR-152 which was a further development of BTR-40.

Since late 1949 the BTR-40 also started to enter service with two other Warsaw Pact members, East Germany and Poland where it was used a standard APC until more advanced vehicles like BTR-152 were available. Last BTR-40 were withdrawn from Warsaw Pact countries in early 1970s. Between late 1950s and early 1960s the vehicle was also sold to many Arab and African countries.

People's Republic of China also has developed a copy of BTR-40 called Type 55. It is unknown how many of these vehicles entered service with the PLA but the vehicle was also exported to North Korea. However it was probably part of a military assistance during Korean War where it saw combat for the first time. It was later used by the North Vietnamese Army during Vietnam War. [ "North Vietnamese Armor"] ]



* BTR-40A-AA - Cuban air defense vehicle. It uses the chassis and the armoured front of the BTR-40 but the troop compartment has been removed in favor to a square sided platform mount with drop down sides and rear on which the ZPTU-2 twin 14.5 mm KPV anti-aircraft heavy machine guns are placed. [ "JED The Military Equipment Directory"] ]
*BTR-40A-PB - Cuban BTR-40 armed with ATGM launcher. The launcher is located in a superstructure. While traveling the launcher is hidden in a superstructure so the vehicle can't be easily distinguished from a normal BTR-40 from a distance. The superstructure also provides the launcher with armour protection. when in position the roof of the superstructure is opened sidewards and the launcher is elevated.
*Jababli - Cuban BTR-40 fitted with 3M11 Falanga (AT-2 Swatter) ATGM launcher on a launch platform in a cut down superstructure. Only a limited number was build. One of those vehicle has been put into an ocean as a monument. NATO gave it the designation M1975/4.

Former East Germany

*SPW-40 - East German designation for BTR-40.
**SPW-40A - East German designation for BTR-40A.
**SPW-40Ch - East German designation for BTR-40Kh.
**SPW-40 fitted with 9M14 Malyutka (AT-3 Sagger) ATGM launcher.

Former USSR

*BTR-141 - Original prototype with faceted rear hull. It had two variants. One armed with ZPTU-2 twin 14.5 mm KPV anti-aircraft heavy machine guns placed in a rotary platform with armour protection in the front and sides. The second one had no permanent armament and it later became the BTR-40.
**BTR-40 (1948) - Original production model.
***BTR-40A (1950) - Air defense vehicle, armed with ZPTU-2 twin 14.5 mm KPV anti-aircraft heavy machine guns (2400 rounds) in a BTR-152A turret manually operated by a single soldier. The turret is placed inside the troop compartment. It can make a full turn and it's guns can elevate between -5 and +80 degrees. ["ibid."]
***BTR-40V (1956) - BTR-40 fitted with external central tire pressure regulation system.
****BTR-40B (1957) - BTR-40V with an armoured roof with four hatches. The vehicle has filtering/ventilating system and NBC protection system. It also had pintle mount for 12.7 mm or 14.5 mm heavy machine gun although the standard version of BTR-40B wasn't armed. It was designed for use as a reconnaissance vehicle. The crew went down from 2 + 8 passengers to 2 + 6 passengers.
***BTR-40Kh - NBC reconnaissance vehicle.
***BTR-40ZhD (1959) - BTR-40 equipped with small railroad wheels mounted to the front and rear of the vehicle on special supports.
***BRDM-1 - Armoured car which uses a number of BTR-40 components. Originally planned to be an amphibious variant of BTR-40 and received designation BTR-40P.


*BTR-40 armed with a medium machine gun in a cube-shaped turret on top of a superstructure inside the troop compartment. It also has four smoke grenade dischargers on both sides of the hull.
*BTR-40 armed with 40 mm gun in an angular turret on top of a superstructure inside the troop compartment. It also has four smoke grenade dischargers on both sides of the hull. It has a searchlight on the left hand side of the hull. It is intended to be used for fire support.


*BTR-40 captured from either Egyptians or Syrians and modified to meet Israeli Army needs.

People's Republic of China

*Type 55 - Chinese copy.


* -
* - 200
* -
* -
* -
* -
* - 130
* -
* -
* -
* -
* -
* - BTR-40 and Type 55. [ [ Equipment Holdings - Korean People's Army ] ]
* -
* -
* -
* -
* -
* - BTR-40 and BTR-40A.
* - 670

Former Operators

* - Replaced by BTR-152.
* - Replaced by Walid.
* North Vietnam - BTR-40 and BTR-40A. Passed on to the successor state.
* - Type 55. Withdrawn from service in 1995. [ [ People's Liberation Army ] ]
* - 60, replaced by BTR-152.
* - Replaced by BTR-152.
* - 40, replaced in 1980s.


External links

* []
* [ Description and photo gallery at]
* [ Description and photo gallery at]

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