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BRDM-2RKhb NBC recon vehicle
Tankista; Armor of modern Russia and the Former Soviet Union

This vehicle is a modified BRDM-2 known in the FSU as the BRDM-2RKhb and by the Czechs as the BRDM-2RChb.

The older variant, the BRDM-2RKha, had the original 14.5 mm cannon in the turret. The "b model" carries only the 7.62x54mm PKT in it's turret. I've also read there's a varient that has two PKT's instead of one, but I've never see one myself.

Other than armament changes, the main distinguishing feature is the rack at the rear of the vehicle. This rack holds a series of marking flags which are fired into the ground by an explosive squib once a chemical agent is detected.

There are minor external changes as well. There are 4 scoop shaped air intakes for use with the vehicle's onboard air sampling meters. There's a fifth of a different design on the turret, but I haven't figured out its role yet.

On the right side of the hull, in front of the muffler, is a rack for holding two jerry cans. These are used for the venturi based decontamination system used on the vehicle. A hose is connected to a special adapter fitted to one of the mufflers. This hose has a tee in it, which connects to a jerry can filled with decon solution. At the end of the hose is a spray nozzle used to decon the vehicle once it leaves the contaminated area.

Onboard systems include the TNA-2 inertial navigation system which allows "accurate" reporting of contaminated areas. Fixed systems include the DP-3B rad detector and the GSP series nerve agent detector. When needed, troops can dismount and use either the PPKhR auto sampler or the VPKhR manual sampler to test air, water and soil for contamination.

When contamination is found, an immediate alarm is sounded via "sound stars", a whistling flare device mounted in a rack next to the PKT on the turret mantlet. This alerts any nearby troops so they can suit up. The vehicle also carries radio equipment to alert their chain of command.

I've seen a lot of variations of this vehicle. There are versions with one rack or two racks for example. I can't find any reason for this, and it doesn't seem to matter which armament is carried either! There are also some modifications to the rear of this particular vehicle, which may or may not be an Iraqi modification.

The vehicle shown was photographed at the museum at Ft. Stewart, Georgia. At that time it was in beautiful condition. The Air Force offered to send them a brand new engine so they could restore it to full operation, but instead they took the vehicle for themselves! Today it sits with its hatches rusted open and the interior full of water. I closed as many as I could, but I almost broke a rib fighting with one of them! It's sad they let it end up this way.

In my personal collection I have actual examples of much of the equipment used on these vehicles, including the VPKhR, PPKhR and DP-5V detection kits. I also have some sound stars, the flags, and various other equipment. I intend to do some photo shoots of this equipment and post them as well, should someone decide to do a dio of the subject.

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Above- This shot shows details of the flag emplacement rack. The tube hanging down at a 45 degree angle has a rod inserted to use as a handle to flip the flag rack over from travel position to operational position.

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Above and below- These shots show the top of the flag emplacement rack. Missing is the plastic hinged box which protects the firing squibs from the elements. I've seen them made of both green and black plastic, but are painted the same color as the vehicle exterior.

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Above- This shot shows the bracket used to support the loaded flag rack for transport. The rack rides parallel to the fender for transport, and is usually fitted with a canvas cover while stowed.

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Above- Another Aberdeen photo, showing a more complete flag stowage bracket.

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Above- This photo shows the armament change from the stock BRDM-2 to the BRDMRKhb. The 14.7 mm machine gun has been replaced with a 7.62mm PKT.

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Above- This one shows a round air intake valve of some kind on the turret side. I don't have any idea what this is for, as there are no sensors in the turret!

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Above- Minor details here. The two brackets shown hold a red and white stripped pole which I believe is used for surveying purposes. This may be a standard BRDM-2 fixture, but it is certainly carried by the recon vehicle. Also note the intake scoops.

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The photo above shows 2 of the 4 scoop shaped air intakes used with the chemical detection system. I believe one of these two allows air to enter the sampler and the other dumps it back out. Plumbing inside the vehicle matches up to these intakes and carries the sample air to and from the GSP sampler.

Between the scoops is one of the many retention loops for stowing the tow cable.

I don't have a good photo showing the 4th scoop, which is located above the left exhaust pipe. I can see it in my originals but not once they were scanned. It's tough due to the muffler guards being on backwards!

My theory on this scoop is as follows; All BRDM-2s carry the DP-3 rad detector. The straight BRDM-2s on display at Camp Blanding and Ft. Benning show the scoop present. Dragon/DML missed these completely! I think this scoop is made for the rad detector.

On the recon vehicles, radiation detection takes on a whole new importance. I believe the DP-3B was moved from the engine compartment to the fighting compartment, and the roof mounted scoop was placed there to supply air to it.

Any facts on this would be greatly appreciated!

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Above- Note the third intake scoop behind the right hatch. I'm not certain what apparatus this sends air to as the GSP seems to already have all the intakes it needs. Perhaps it runs to the DP-3B rad detector?

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Above- The green cabinet seems to be for storage of the VPKhR and PPKhR kits as well as any other detection and decon gear they may need.

Speaking of the kits, if anyone can tell me where the electrical plug is located for the detection wand is located on the outside of the vehicle, I'd greatly appreciate it!

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Above- The switches control the lights in the vehicle interior, including a dome light in the turret!

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Above- A few details here. The switches in this case are used to fire the sound stars. I believe there may be an automatic system for firing these as well, but I could be mistaken.

Also show are the racks for holding additional flares. These are stored in the turret.

To the right is a downward facing, silver tube. This is what the commander's seat attaches to, allowing him to see through the periscopes in the turret and sight the PKT machine gun.

Also shown is the plumbing for the roof mounted air scoop, part of the NBC detection system.

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Note backwards exhaust system! This isn't correct for either the straight BRDM-2 or the recon vehicle. The engine is completely missing on this one. I don't know if it was captured this way or not.

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Above and below- These shots show the rear of the vehicle and its prominent recognition feature; the flag rack. Also note the modifications made to the top of the rear hull plate. I don't know if these are Soviet modifications or something the Iraqis added.

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Above- I've included this photo from Aberdeen to show two things;

First, the rear hull plate. The modifications made to the Stewart vehicle rear hull are absent.

Second, I wanted to show the connection for the decon system. Note the device on the end of the exhaust pipe. A hose fits to this which allows the crew to use vehicle exhaust to spray decontamination chemicals. This is an original Soviet muffler, unlike most I've seen on captured BRMDs.

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Above- Another shot of the Aberdeen vehicle, showing the decon system venturi connection.

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Above- Note the small "U bracket" mounted to the sponson. This holds the rod used to fold the flag rack into its stowed/deployed positions. I don't have any measurements or photos of how long it is.

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Shown above is the "Sound Star" rack. Inserted into each hole is a cardboard and metal flare tube called a Sound Star. These can be fired manually by hand but also come fitted with the wiring to be fired from these launcher racks. The flares burn red and emmit a sound to alert any soldiers in the area that a chemical has been detected and that they need to suit up.

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Above and below- The empty mount for the PKT machine gun. Note windshield wiper for optic!

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Above- The metal "stubs" shown are a part of the Jerry can holder. The four on the bottom support the two cans from the bottom. To either side is a threaded stud, to which a bent metal bracket is bolted with a wing-nut to keep the cans in place.

These cans are part of the vehicle's decontamination system.

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Above- The shovel bracket. Tool mounting on models is a pet peeve of mine! This is just a metal strip welded to the hull. The shovel blade slides in between it and the hull. The handle is clamped down by a pinch bracket.

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Above is a shot of the TNA-2 inertial navigation system. This gives the crew an "accurate" location for NBC contamination reporting back to command.

This device is typical for some if not all Soviet tanks and SP artillery pieces. The dial in the center of the device shows an overhead view of a tank, with the barrel pointing to the direction the vehicle is sitting!

The tag in the picture is one the U.S. Army added so they could identify everything in the vehicle.

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The above photo shows the DP-3B rad detector. This device is common to just about every tank, APC and SP artillery, as well as quite a few trucks and "jeeps" I've encountered. It's nothing unique to NBC recon.

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Above- Part of the vehicle's communication system. This is common to all Soviet AFVs.

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Above- This apears to be the rack for the GSP detector. I say this because I've never found one intact!

To the left of the rack, against the hull, you'll see the intake for the sample air. There are white knobs which are pulled to open the valves, allowing air to enter the device. All sample air is contained so that it cannot affect the crew.

The vehicle is sealed and over-pressurized so that no containation can enter the vehicle.

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Above- This is the inside of the turret roof. Shown is the mounting hardware for the roof periscope.

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