Saturday, 5 November 2022

Fading Into Oblivion: Belarus Fighting Vehicle List


By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The possible participation of Belarus in the 2022 Russo-Ukrainian War has been speculated about on more than one occasion. Yet others argue that Belarus is already a participant in the war simply by allowing Russia to stage a part of the invasion from its territory and by allowing Russian missile launchers stationed inside the country to fire at targets inside Ukraine. Nonetheless, with a direct Belarusian participation in the war all but certain to trigger a chain of events that would ultimately see the end of the Belarusian regime, President Lukashenko is likely to do everything in his power to prevent an increased Belarusian participation (i.e. providing troops) in the war in Ukraine.
 
For all the talk of war, fairly little information has been devulged about the status of the Belarusian Army. The Belarusian Armed Forces, much like Ukraine prior to the 2014 Russian takeover of Crimea and the War in Donbas, has seen a gradual decline of its combat capabilities due to numerous downsizings and the retirement of ageing equipment with no replacements. But while the Ukrainian Armed Forces managed to secure enough funding to at least undertake a number of upgrade projects of its slowly dilapidating inventory, Belarus has failed to allocate any substantive budget whatsoever to keep its extant armament from fading into oblivion.
 
Though Belarusian defence enterprises have come up with a number of modernisation programmes to address the widespread obsolescence of the Belarusian Army's equipment inventory, a lack of funding has meant that very little of these have ever been acquired by Belarus itself. Much of the scarcely available funding has been used for the purchase of combat aircraft and air defence systems, most often acquired at friendly prices from Russia. The Ground Forces have been the recipient of 25 T-72B3 Obr. 2016 MBTs and some 65 BTR-82A IFVs from Russia, while China has donated 22 EQ2058s and an unknown number of CS/VN3 IMVs since 2012. China is also the source of the technology behind the Belarusian Polonez guided MRL/SRBM system, which entered service with the Belarusian Army in 2015.
 
Products of the country's well-established defence industry have also found their way into the inventory of the Ground Forces in limited numbers. The Caiman reconnaissance vehicle (a modern derivate of the BRDM-2) and the Volat-1 IMV have both been accepted into service while the Russian Tigr-M IMV entered production in Belarus as the Lis-PM, with small numbers of them entering service with the Belarusian Army. A number of BTR-70 APCs have also been upgraded BTR-70MB1 standard. These BTRs subsequently entered service with Belarus' Airborne and Air Assault Brigades, replacing the BMD-1 IFVs and BTR-D APCs previously in use.
 
This list attempts to list all AFV types currently in service with the Belarusian Army. This list only includes AFVs visually confirmed to be in service with Belarus' Armed Forces. Products of the country's arms industry that haven't actually entered service with the Belarusian Armed Forces are not included in this list, neither are trucks and jeeps.
 
(Click on the equipment to get a picture of them in Belarusian service)
 

Tanks


Armoured Fighting Vehicles


Infantry Fighting Vehicles

 

Armoured Personnel Carriers


Infantry Mobility Vehicles


Command Posts And Communications Stations

 

Engineering Vehicles And Equipment


Artillery And Air Defence Support Vehicles


Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Missile Systems


Towed Artillery


Self-Propelled Artillery

 

Multiple Rocket Launchers


Guided Multiple Rocket Launchers

  • Polonez [Range: 200km] [CEP: 30m] (Chinese-designed A200 guided rocket produced in Belarus)
  • Polonez-M [Range: 290km] [CEP: 45m] (Chinese-designed A300 guided rocket produced in Belarus)

Short-Range Ballistic Missiles

  • OTR-21 Tochka-U [Range: 120km] [CEP: 95m] (Slated for replacement by the Chinese-designed M20 SRBM fired from the Polonez launcher)


Anti-Aircraft Guns


Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Guns

 

Static Surface-To-Air Missile (SAM) Systems


Self-Propelled Surface-To-Air Missile (SAM) Systems


Electronic Warfare Systems


Radars


Surveillance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles