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BRDM-2-RKhb Radiological/Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle (E1992.125)


E1992.125 - BRDM-2-RKhb Radiological-Chemical Vehicle - Iraqi Army - 2 June 1992 - 4311-E4

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Tank Museum Reference Vehicle (per 32nd C.C. Meeting, 16.7.2010)

A Scout Car designed to detect polluted ground and mark it with flags
The ideal reconnaissance vehicle should be quiet, fast, and above all inconspicuous. However the Russians require many of their combat vehicles to be amphibious and this means that they have to be large. Thus, although the BRDM-2 is designed to fulfil a similar role to that of he British Ferret it is almost twice the size. This additional bulk means that the vehicle will float without any special preparation.

The BRDM-2 first appeared in 1966. In its basic form it is a four-wheel drive scout car with a small machine-gun turret on top. It is powered by a rear mounted GAZ V8 petrol engine which also provides power for the ducted water jet that it uses when swimming. Looking under the body, between the main wheels, one can see a pair of smaller wheels on each side. These are chain driven from the gearbox and can be lowered to help the vehicle to negotiate rough country.

Many versions of the BRDM-2 have been produced and our exhibit, which was captured from Iraqi forces during the Gulf War, is a chemical reconnaissance vehicle. It is equipped to locate areas of the battlefield contaminated with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons and to mark a safe path through such areas. This is done by firing the yellow flagged markers into the ground as it goes along.

Precise Name: BRDM-2-RKhb Radiological-Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle

Other name: Obiekt 41

The BRDM-2 was the standard Soviet wheeled reconnaissance vehicle for 20 years.
A range of specialised variants was produced, including a radiological and chemical warfare reconnaissance vehicle, an anti-aircraft missile launcher and several different tank destroyers.

The BRDM-2 is a four-wheel drive vehicle powered by a rear mounted V8 petrol engine. The vehicle is amphibious in calm water, propelled by a water jet. It is fitted with a fully enclosed manually traversed machine gun turret mounting a 14.5mm calibre heavy machine gun and a co-axial 7.62mm machine gun. The heavy machine gun fires Armour Piercing Incendiary (API) projectiles that will penetrate up to 32mm of steel armour at 500 metres. Standard equipment includes a tyre pressure regulation system and an NBC protection system.

There are several variants of the BRDM-2:

- The BRDM-2-RKh. A radiological and chemical reconnaissance vehicle. The RKh variant retains both the machine guns that are fitted to the standard BRDM-2
- The BRDM-2-RKhb. A second type of radiological and chemical reconnaissance vehicle; the turret is retained but is not fitted with any machine guns
- BRDM-1U. A command vehicle with extra radios. The heavy machine gun turret is retained
- BRDM-2U. A command vehicle fitted with extra communications gear. The turret is omitted
- ZRK-BD STRELA-1, (NATO name: SA-9 Gaskin, English: Strela = Arrow). A fair weather air defence system. A missile launcher with two pairs of container/launchers replaces the BRDM-2’s turret. The 9M31M missile has a minimum range of 560m and a maximum range of 8,000 metres. Its’ altitude range is 15 metres to 6,100 metres.

At least four types of missile armed tank destroyer were developed:

- BRDM-2, (GAZ 41-06, 9P122), armed with the 9M14M Malyutka-M missile (NATO name: AT-3b, SAGGER B). The shaped charge warhead penetrated up to 400mm of steel armour. The missiles were carried, under armour, on a six round launcher. Eight reloads were carried
- BRDM-2 (9P133) A later version of the system is armed with the 9M14P and 9M14P1 Malyutka-P missile (NATO name: AT3c, SAGGER C). Six missiles are carried on the launcher while 10 more reloads are stored in the vehicle’s body
- BRDM-2 (GAZ-41-08, 9P137), armed with the 9M113 Konkurs missile, (English: Contest, NATO name: AT5, SPANDREL). The missile is capable of penetrating about 600mm of steel armour and has a maximum range of 4,000 metres
- BRDM-2, sometimes called BRDM-3, (GAZ-41-08, 9P148), armed with the 9M113M Konkurs-M, (NATO name: AT5b, SPANDREL B). The launcher can also fire the smaller 9M111 Fagot missile (English: Bassoon, NATO name: AT-4, SPIGOT). Usually 10 reloads of each type are carried.

Designed by the GAZ Design Bureau and produced at several plants. One source gives total scout car exports of more than 4,000 vehicles and ZRK-BD exports of about 1,400 vehicles. A similar number of vehicles were supplied to the Soviet Army.

The scout car was an effective reconnaissance vehicle. The NBC protection system made the BRDM-2 better suited than the BRDM-1 to the conditions that might have prevailed in a general European war. The early tank destroyers armed with the Malyutka missile were less effective than expected because of their basic guidance system.

The scout cars served with the reconnaissance battalions of the Soviet Army and the Soviet Naval Infantry. The Tank Destroyers were issued to Soviet Motorised Rifle Divisions. Most are now relegated to reserve. BRDM-2s are still used by Eastern European and third world armies. The Tank Museum’s exhibit is a BRDM-2-RKhb nuclear and chemical reconnaissance vehicle captured from the Iraqi army in 1991.

Summary text by Mike Garth V1.0

Other Numbers

12592 Original Accession
AO 3072 Serial
1992.1087 Original Entry
4311-F2:F3 Photograph

Main utility type


Military unit

Iraqi Army

Country of Use

Iraq (1991)
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Object Production

Manufactured Molotov GAZ Plant USSR Soviet State Arsenals, Gorky


Post War


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Current Location

BOVTM - B18E - British Steel Hall (Moved here on 08/11/2011)
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Part NameDescriptionNotes
Tracks/WheelsWheeled - 4x4, Selectable 8x8
Additional FeaturesChemical Recconaissance
EngineGAZ-41, V8, water cooled
Transmission4 Forward, 1 Reverse
SuspensionSemi elliptical leaf springs
Armament - Main Weapon TypeGun - 14.5mm


Part NameDimensionValueUnitPrecisionNotes
Engine Output Power 140 bhp @ 3400 rpm
Main Gun Calibre 14.5 mm
Fuel Type Diesel
Fuel Volume 290 ltr
Range Radius 750 Km
Crew Number 4
Speed - Road Maximum 100 kph
Projectile Number 500
Armour Thickness - Hull Maximum 7 mm
Overall Length 5.75 m
Overall Width 2.35 m
Overall Height 2.31 m
Overall Weight 7000 kg
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