Rolling Russian bird cages

Russian Slat Armor

Strategy Page notes that the Rooskies are now marketing slat armor for their BTR-80 armored personnel carriers:

While the United States abandoned wheeled armored vehicles after World War II, Russia kept theirs, and constantly improved their BTR series. While not as heavy, or as high tech, as the American Stryker, the BTR vehicles are popular with many nations, especially for use by police and paramilitary forces.

Here’s a pic I found online:

In July MO noted that the Rooskies were watching the Stryker with interest and working to incorporate US lessons learned into their own designs.

The page I found the photo of the slatted BTR-80 on also has a couple pics of an “urbanized” BMP-3. The new Iraqi army has a number of BMPs, and it would probably make sense to incorporate some of these close combat modifications (especially the slat armor for particularly vulnerable areas similar to the US’s M1 TUSK program).

UPDATE: Iraq has ordered 115 BTR-80s from Poland. Murdoc suggests at least a few sets of slat armor for units in the toughest neighborhoods.

UPDATE 2: And is it me, or does it appear that the BTR’s slat armor is closer to the hull than the Stryker’s? If so, this probably makes the transition to driving slat-equipped vehicles easier. And improves mobility, especially in cities and villages. But does it downgrade the protection?


  1. skrip00, that’s not the only problem with the slat armour. In fact, I was under the impression the Stryker was too heavy to fly in a regular C-130 even without the slat armour. It causes other problems, such as trouble keeping the tyres inflated (since they have to be at a higher PSI than designed to support the weight of the extra armour), maneuverability problems related to the bigger dimensions of the vehicle, problems opening some hatches (which may have been fixed by now), etc. I guess that’s part of the decision to make the BTR’s armour closer to the hull. At the front, the BTR seems to have more steeply sloped armour than the Stryker does (from memory), harder for a disruped jet to penetrate, so probably no less effective. The side armour is pretty much vertical, I think on the side the BTR’s slat armour would be less effective than the Stryker’s if it is indeed closer to the hull. How much less effective is hard to say.

  2. Slat armor is a decent stop gap measure. The Vietnam use of cyclone fence as slat armor, shows that the concept is not new. That said, slat armor is not the end all be all. Modern anti-tank missiles bypass slat armor. An interesting concept is using carbon composit shell over an energy absorbing foam.

  3. Comrades, Actually, the Germans also used a variant of slat armour on their tanks in WWII. Looked a LOT like expanded metal grate hung from stell shelf brackets, but helped much against shaped charges. They also used solid metal side skirts, and I suspect the slat-variant might have been a field expediant kind of thing. respects, Tim