Czech Republic sends 56 PBV-501 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine

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The PBV-501 is an improved Swedish version of the BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle (an infantry fighting vehicle is defined by the 1990 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe as “an armored fighting vehicle which is designed and equipped primarily to transport a combat infantry squad, and which is armed with an integral or organic cannon of at least 20 millimeters caliber and sometimes a missile launcher anti-tank”. ”) As the headline of the newspaper notes, the Czech Republic will send 56 to Ukraine

The BMP-1 is a widely distributed Soviet-era weapon around the world, and as noted in the first sentence, the PBV-501 is an upgraded version of it. In general, here are the specifications:

Crew: 3

Passengers: 8

Power: 295 horsepower

Road speed: 65 km/h (40 mph)

Main armament: 1 x 73 mm smoothbore cannon

Main armament rate of fire: 8 to 10 rounds per minute

Maximum effective range, main armament: 800-1,000 meters

Main armament ammunition carried: 40 rounds

Auxiliary armament: 1 x 7.62mm machine gun

The vehicle is also amphibious and when the hatches are closed it is sealed and pressurized, providing NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) protection to the occupants.

There are four side ports for passengers to direct rifle fire, and a top hatch in the passenger compartment that allows any of the troops being carried to pop out to fire a weapon (rifle, anti-tank weapon, etc.).

You might be curious how the Swedes came to modify these Soviet-era combat vehicles. I don’t have all the details, but basically when Germany reunified East German BMP-1s were sold to Sweden who then modified them to NATO specifications (even if Sweden is not a member), and some of them were eventually sold to the Czech Republic.

It’s not as exciting as the Starstreak anti-aircraft system or other such weapon systems sent to Ukraine, but every little bit will help.

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