Indonesian Marine Corps seeks successor for aging BTR-50P APC
November 16, 2023
As reported by Antara on November 15, 2023, Chief of Naval Staff (Kasal) Admiral Muhammad Ali provided details on the Indonesian Marine Corps's consideration of a replacement for its aging amphibious vehicles, specifically focusing on finding a successor for the BTR-50P amphibious vehicle. The exploration spans countries in the Middle East, Europe, and America, reflecting an effort to diversify potential suppliers.
Addressing the media following the 78th anniversary of the Indonesian Marine Corps in Jakarta, Admiral Ali underscored the practical necessity of this initiative. Despite diligent maintenance, the current fleet of amphibious vehicles has exhibited signs of advanced age, prompting collaboration between the Indonesian Navy and the Ministry of Defense to explore options globally. Contracts with potential suppliers are pending, marking a critical phase in the process.
Looking forward, the Indonesian Navy envisions a comprehensive overhaul of the Marine Corps' defense equipment in its 2025-2029 defense plan. Admiral Ali emphasized the necessity of modernizing not only the sea component but also the landing troops' equipment. The Ministry of Defense is anticipated to play a central role in the selection process for the replacement of the BTR-50 APC.
Expressing concern about the current state of the amphibious vehicles fleet, Admiral Ali highlighted that its age, despite effective maintenance, poses a significant challenge. The existing fleet, as of 2022, comprises several decades-old amphibious vehicles, including 100 BTR-50P, 10 AMX-10PAC, 24 AMX-10P, 55 PT-76, and 10 LVTP-7A1.
The BTR-50P, with origins dating back to August 15, 1949, during the era of Joseph Stalin, was designed for troop and cargo transport, amphibious capabilities, and firepower. Officially adopted in April 1954 by the Soviet army, the BTR-50P could carry up to 12 soldiers, transport 20 soldiers across water obstacles, and haul cargo weighing up to 2 tons.
Powered by a V-6PVG diesel engine generating 240 horsepower, the BTR-50P could reach speeds of 45 km/h on the highway and 10 km/h on the water, with a cruising range of 250 km on the highway. The chassis and transmission components, including the engine, were adapted from the PT-76 light amphibious tank.
In 1959, the BTR-50P underwent an upgrade, becoming the BTR-50PK with the addition of a roof over the troop compartment, prompted by combat experiences during the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. This modification aimed to address the vulnerability of soldiers in the open troop compartment to attacks involving grenades or Molotov cocktails.
Over the years, several versions and modifications followed, including the BTR-50PU and BTR-50PN command and staff vehicles. Many BTR-50Ps from the 1970s were repurposed as technical assistance vehicles (MTVs). In total, approximately 6,500 vehicles of various modifications were manufactured during its production years from 1954 to 1970.