Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) took delivery of the first batch of KrAZ Spartan Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) from Ukraine.
In this batch 12 Spartan APCs were delivered to the BGB Headquarters in Peelkhana, Dhaka along with respective RK-3 Korsar (Corsar) short range anti-tank guided missile systems.
The acquisition is part of modernising the response capabilities of Bangladesh’s premier land border management force. It is in addition to purchase of all-terrain vehicles, watercraft and Mi-171E helicopters.
The KrAZ Spartan is an APC produced in Ukraine under licence from the Strait Group of Canada. It is a variant of the Spartan multipurpose armoured vehicle.
The KrAZ Spartan was pressed in to service in 2014 and was deployed during the military conflict in Ukraine with the Ukranian National Guard.
The KrAZ Spartan is based on the chassis of Ford F-550 pickup truck, therefore making it a cost effective platform that occupies a category between unarmoured tactical utility vehicles and BTR-series armoured personnel carriers.
Other manufacturers also use the Ford F-550 pickup chassis as a basis for their armoured vehicles due to its cost effectiveness, payload capacity, good cross-country mobility and powerful engine. Moreover spares are available commercially from the civilian market making such platforms a popular choice for paramilitary forces, who may be deployed in low intensity conflicts including counter terrorism, counter-insurgency and border security missions.
The Ford F-550 is powered by a Ford 6.7 litre V8 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 400 hp. It works with a 6-speed automatic transmission and has selectable all-wheel drive capability.
The armour of the Spartan affords it protection against artillery shell splinters and small arms fire. Its floor can withstand grenade blasts according to its manufacturer.
Ten troops, driver and gunner can be accommodated. These passengers enter and exit the vehicle via side doors and rear doors. Additionally there are firing ports and vision blocks allowing soldiers to fire their individual weapons.
The vehicle has a payload of 1,100 kg and can also be used to carry supplies in lieu of troops.
The Spartan can be armed with various weapons such as a shielded 12.7mm heavy machine gun. Additionally there are options to fit the APC with a Sarmat remotely controlled weapon station (RCWS), which is armed with a 12.7mm Kord HMG and 4 Korsar anti-tank guided missiles, which has a maximum range of 2,500 m when firing RK-3 missiles. The RK-3 anti-tank missiles themselves are laser guided and are available with tandem HEAT and HE-FRAG warheads. They are comparable to the Russian—made Metis-M1, which are in service with the Bangladesh Army. A total of 8 RK-3 ATGMs are carried in the Spartan including four ready to launch from the RCWS mount.
The Bangladesh Ministry of Home Affairs has long been a customer of the Streit Group’s products. It acquired Spartan and Typhoon model APCs for the Bangladesh Police also. Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) currently also operates Turkish-made Otokar APVs armed with MG3 machine guns.
Once inducted in to service the KrAZ Spartan will significantly upgrade the fighting capabilities of the BGB battalions deployed on the border with Myanmar and India.