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Post news RSS Media Update #3: The CIS BTR-120

Behold the third update for C&C Red Alert 3's New World Order: the versatile BTR-120 APC and AA vehicle for the Commonwealth of Independent States.

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Good day once again everyone; today we're bringing you the third unit revealed for the Commonwealth of Independent States, the BTR-120 APC/AA Vehicle. An extremely important unit for all CIS sides, this is not only vital field AA but also a useful method of troop movement, with moderate ground fire support capabilities.


The BTR-120, CIS anti-air

When evolved models of Russia’s famous and venerable BTR series of no-nonsense armoured personnel carriers first started appearing in the late 1990s and early 20th century, many questioned their usefulness, with their cost having risen to much the same levels as the infantry fighting vehicles that were intended to supplement them and their protection remaining unspectacular in a world of heavy anti-tank weapons and powerful aircraft armament. Though several batches appeared in service with Russian internal police units, devastating losses in a series of pitched battles following terrorist incursions in the early 2010s led to a public and military outcry, with the vehicles quickly being withdrawn from service. Heavy tracked vehicles in actual fact performed little better, driving the development of larger and better-protected tanks, but the abundance of the BTRs left the image of a burning APC seared into the minds of the Russian high command. Their order book devastated, their producer, GAZ, went back to the drawing board to carefully reassess how to get the BTR back in favour with customers. Though several up-armouring kits were trialled, with varying levels of success, they did little to regain the appeal of the BTR among customers as they removed much of the vehicles previous main advantages of speed and cost-effectiveness. It was only after a brainwave by a wing of the corporation involved in the production of site survey vehicles for the PVO’s mobile strategic SAM batteries that GAZ finally found a way to bring the BTR back to the core of the Russian Army.

Key among the deficiencies of the Russian Army was its lack of mobile anti-aircraft systems. Despite the fact that the PVO, or air defence troops, had inherited a set of equipment befitting the inventor of the mobile anti-aircraft doctrine, the vast majority of it was swiftly rendered obsolete by the proliferation of stealth aircraft during the 2010s. This sudden transformation of the anti-aircraft environment, combined with a boom in the number of attack helicopters fielded by all nations following their extreme success during a border conflict between Pakistan and India, was enough to convince GAZ that combining their classic provision of the Army’s mechanised infantry needs with a highly-mobile and modern anti-aircraft platform would be a safe bet.

The BTR-120 uses a classic BTR hull enhanced by the use of a powerful diesel engine taken from a new range of tractor designs produced by GAZ’s extensive civilian branch, lightweight armour panels acquired through less-than-honest inspections of an attack helicopter that happened to stop over at a GAZ plant, and a stock-standard anti-aircraft weapons module developed by the experienced scientists of the KBP Instrument Design Bureau in Tula to blend light anti-aircraft and mechanised infantry together in one versatile design. While it had to sacrifice some troop-carrying capacity to allow the installation of the weapons module, the BTR-120 makes up for it with heavy effectiveness against all low-altitude targets such as helicopters and UAVs and even fast jets thanks to its combination of guns and a set of four ready-to-fire two-stage surface-to-air missiles that possess astonishing manoeuvrability, guided by a dual-band radar system that coordinates with off-board targeting assets to maintain capability against stealth platforms. The guns have also been found to be extremely effective when turned downwards on ground targets, their high explosive-fragmentation heads devastating approaching infantry and the heavy shells tearing through the walls of any normal building at any elevation – the rapid ‘tapping’ of these weapons, powerful 35mm cannons supplied by Gryazev-Shipunov, has led to the vehicle’s in-service nickname of ‘djatel’ or woodpecker.

This firepower flexibility, combined with the added protection afforded by the infantry on-board and the speed advantage of the eight-wheeled design, finally gave GAZ the edge it needed to fend off a challenge from rival Uralvagonzavod with a much slower tracked design and convince the Russian army to re-adopt the BTR as the heart of their formations. Exported to over a dozen allies, the modular design of the weapons module and typically Spartan vehicle chassis has rendered the BTR-120 easily scaled to mass production that it has been cheaply supplied to over a dozen allies of the CIS in its thousands, transforming utterly the landscape for aerial foes and allowing CIS infantry to keep their eyes on the ground in the knowledge that their heads are well-protected from above.

Vehicle modelled by Azzkikr, rendered by Mbob61, and lore by CommanderJB.


We also have some interesting intelligence data to present:

Prelude to War

This image of an Iranian Zulfiqar-type MBT was taken by a United States spy drone in early 2021, and caused considerable consternation in intelligence circles following weeks of analysis of the insignia on its turret. Its veracity was called into question by some independent analysts, but the United States military insists it is real.


The mod is, of course, still very much in its nascent stages, but detailed plans for sides are being worked out and much of the framework is in place. We are slowly recruiting a team to implement these ideas, but if anyone is interested in applying in any position you would be most welcome indeed.

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