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4x4 Wheeled Amphibious Light Armored Scout Car [ 1957 ]

The successful BRDM-1 amphibious scout car led to the equally successful BRDM-2 model appearing in the mid-1960s.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/13/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The BRDM-1 series of amphibious scout cars first appeared in the late 1950s and would serve as the principle armored car in service with the Red Army until eventually being replaced by the equally successful BRDM-2 series. The BRDM-1 developed into several successful anti-aircraft variants mounting a variety of missile systems and was completely amphibious with its built-in waterjet at rear. The BRDM series of scout cars would be the definitive scout car for the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War and be exported en mass to several Soviet-friendly nations.

Development of the Soviet BRDM-1 was spurned along by the need to replace their aging World War 2-era BA-64 series of armored cars. The BRDM-1 appeared as a 4x4 vehicle with a front mounted engine and roof-mounted hatches (earlier models were open-topped). Interestingly, the BRDM-1 featured an extra twin set of road wheels which could be lowered by the driver. Additionally, the driver could control tire pressure through an integrated regulation system for customized off-road or ditch crossing performance.

Standard armament for the BRDM-1 was initially a single 7.62mm arrangement though some models were fitted with an additional 12.7mm anti-aircraft heavy machine gun. In that arrangement, the heavy machine gun was mounted forward whilst the 7.62mm caliber type was to the rear of the crew compartment. Crew accommodations amounted to the driver and up to four passengers depending on the role and mission. Power was derived from a 6-cylinder gasoline engine generating some 90hp.

The BRDM-U became a Command Vehicle and was distinguished from other BRDM-1s by the integration of four antenna instead of the usual one. The BRDM-1RKhb served as a radiological and biological reconnaissance vehicle in the event of a nuclear war and was distinguished by two rectangle-shaped packs held at rear of the vehicle. Anti-tank launcher models consisted of AT-1, AT-2 and AT-3 launchers fitted on the roof and raised when ready to fire. Each progressive design featured an increased engagement range and an increase missile count.

The BRDM-1 was later replaced by the similar BRDM-2 series of amphibious scout cars.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Molotov GAZ Plant - Soviet Union
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Angola; Belarus; Benin; Bulgaria; Cape Verde; Central African Republic; Chad; Cuba; Czechoslovakia; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Djibouti; East Germany; Egypt; Equatorial New Guinea; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Guinea; Hungary; Indonesia; Iraq; Israel; Libya; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Mongolia; Morocco; Mozambique; Nicaragua; North Vietnam; Peru; Poland; Romania; Sao Tome and Principe; Serbia; Seychelles; Somalia; Soviet Union; Sudan; Syria; Tanzania; Ukraine; Uganda; Vietnam; Yemen; Yugoslavia; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Operators National flag of Afghanistan National flag of Albania National flag of Algeria National flag of Angola National flag of Belarus National flag of Bulgaria National flag of Chad National flag of Cuba National flag of Czechia National flag of Egypt National flag of Eritrea National flag of Ethiopia National flag of modern Germany National flag of East Germany National flag of Guinea National flag of Hungary National flag of Indonesia National flag of Iraq National flag of Israel National flag of Libya National flag of Morocco National flag of Mozambique National flag of Nicaragua National flag of Peru National flag of Poland National flag of Romania National flag of Serbia National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Sudan National flag of Somalia National flag of Syria National flag of Tanzania National flag of Uganda National flag of Ukraine National flag of Vietnam National flag of Yemen National flag of Yugoslavia National flag of Zambia National flag of Zimbabwe
Service Year
Soviet Union
National Origin

Traverse bodies of open water under own power with / without preparation.
Design, of typically lightweight nature, providing onroad/offroad capabilities for the scouting or general security roles.
Can conduct reconnaissance / scout missions to assess threat levels, enemy strength, et al - typically through lightweight design.

18.7 ft
(5.7 meters)
7.4 ft
(2.25 meters)
6.2 ft
(1.9 meters)
12,346 lb
(5,600 kg)
6.2 tons

1 x GAZ 6-cylinder gasoline-fueled engine developing 90 horsepower driving conventional wheeled arrangement.
Drive System
50 mph
(80 kph)
Road Speed
311 miles
(500 km)
Road Range

1 x 12.7mm DShKM MG anti-aircraft machine gun mounted at front
1 x 7.62mm SGMB MG at rear mounting
Not Available

BRDM-1 - Base Series Designation
BRDM-1 Model 1957 (BTR-40P) - Open-Topped Crew Compartment.
BRDM-1 Model 1958 (BTR-40P) - Closed-Top Crew Compartment; fitted with roof hatches.
BRDM-1 Model 1959 (BTR-40P) - 1 x 7.62mm machine gun at front roof
BRDM-1 Model 1960 (BTR-40P) - 3 x 7.62mm machine guns at front roof and sides of superstructure.
BRDM-1U (BTR-40PU / BRDM-U) - Command Vehicle; fitted with specialized communications equipment; distinguished by four antennas.
BRDM-1RKh (BTR-40P Rkh) - Radiological / Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle; distinguished by two rectangle-shaped components at rear.
2P27 - Tank Destroyer; fitting 2K16 launcher for 3 x 3M^ "Shmel" (AT-1 "Snapper") anti-tank guided missiles.
2P32 - Tank Destroyer; fitting 2K8 launcher for 4 x 9M11 "Falanga" (AT-2 "Swatter") anti-tank guided missiles.
9P110 - Tank Destroyer; fitting 9K14M launcher for 6 x 9M14 "Malyutka" (AT-3 "Sagger") anti-tank guided missiles.
SPW-40P - East German Designation for unarmed BRDM-1
SPW-40PA - East German Designation for armed BRDM-1
9P111 - East German Designation for 9P110 Tank Destroyer
FUG - Hungarian Designation

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1 / 5
Image of the BRDM-1
Top left side view of the BRDM-1 armroed car
2 / 5
Image of the BRDM-1
Rear right side view of the BRDM-1; note all crew hatches
3 / 5
Image of the BRDM-1
Left side view of the BRDM-1; note mid-set road wheels
4 / 5
Image of the BRDM-1
Front left side view of the BRDM-1 armored car
5 / 5
Image of the BRDM-1
Rear right side view of a modified BRDM-1 armored car

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