The BT𝖱-82 armored personnel carrier is the latest version of the BT𝖱-80 family. It is an improved version of the BT𝖱-80Α/Տ, which entered service back in 1994. It was developed largely as a complement (and a stop-gap) for the BT𝖱-90, whose development has been long, troubled, and expensive. The BT𝖱-82 is similar to the BT𝖱-80Α/Տ but has some minor improvements. It was publicly revealed in 2009. In 2010, it successfully passed trials and production commenced during the same year. The original BT𝖱-82 entered service with the Russian Army in 2011.
However, the original BT𝖱-82 was not produced in large numbers as production soon switched to the upgunned BT𝖱-82Α, which is used by the Russian military in large numbers. Since 2010, the Russian Army stopped purchasing the older BT𝖱-80 APCs. Currently, the BT𝖱-82 is being obtained as a temporary measure until a new-generation Bumerang armored personnel carrier is available. The BT𝖱-82 was never produced in large numbers; however, its upgunned variant, the BT𝖱-82Α, is widely used by the Russian Army. The BT𝖱-82 and its variants have been exported to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Syria, Turkmenistan, and possibly, some other countries.
Protection of the BT𝖱-82Α APC is slightly improved over its predecessors. Its predecessor offered all-round protection against 7.62 mm rounds. The front arc of the older BT𝖱-80 withstands 12.7 mm rounds. So, protection of the new BT𝖱-82 should be slightly better. The interior of this armored vehicle is lined with spall liner. This APC has a double hull floor for improved protection against landmines and improvised explosive devices. However, the design of this vehicle is old and it does not offer the same blast protection as modern Western armored personnel carriers.
The vehicle has improved automatic fire suppression system. It is also fitted with NBC protection system. The BT𝖱-82 is fitted with externally-mounted weapons. The baseline version is armed with a 14.5 mm heavy machine gun and coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. The BT𝖱-82Α version is armed with a fully-stabilized 30 mm cannon. The same cannon is used on a number of Soviet/Russian armored vehicles and some attack helicopters. This dual-fed cannon uses HE-FRAG and AP-T rounds.
The maximum range of fire with armor-piercing-tracer rounds is 2 km (day) and 800 m (night). High elevation angle allows to use these weapons against low-flying air targets. This APC has a crew of three and accommodates 7 fully equipped troops. Each infantryman is provided with a firing port and periscope for aiming. Troops can fire their weapons from inside the armored hull. A rear-mounted engine of the BT𝖱-82 is a significant drawback, as ambushed troops have to leave the vehicle via side doors, under direct enemy fire.
This armored personnel carrier is powered by a new KamAZ 740.14-300 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 300 hp. It is a commercially available truck engine. The engine is mated to a new manual transmission. The vehicle also has an auxiliary power unit, which powers all systems and charges the batteries when the main engine is turned off. The auxiliary power unit can also export power. This armored personnel carrier also has an improved suspension.
This armored personnel carrier is fitted with a central tire inflation system and a self-recovery winch as standard. The vehicle can be fitted with run-flat tires. Once fitted with these tires, this APC can travel several thousand kilometers with multiple tire shots and absence of pressure in the tires. Furthermore, this APC can travel with any two of its wheels missing. Mobility of this armored vehicle allows it to operate alongside tanks, though it loses in terms of off-road performance to tracked armored personnel carriers.
This armored vehicle is fully amphibious. On water, it is propelled by a single waterjet, located at the hull rear. With full tanks of fuel, this APC has endurance on water of 12 hours.