The Algerian People’s National Army (ANP) recently paraded Soviet-made T-62 tanks that it has converted into fire-support vehicles during the parade marking the 60th anniversary of the country’s independence on 5 July.
The new combat vehicle is based on a Soviet-made T-62 MBT (Main Battle Tank) fitted with a BMP-2 IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) Berezhok turret, which is called BMPT-62.
At least 12 of the conversions, were seen during the parade.
The conversion involves replacing the T-62’s original turrets with the Russian-made Berezhok turret that has been used to upgrade many of Algeria’s BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles. The Algerian army has hundreds of Soviet-made T-62 MBTs which are no longer in service.
The BMPT-62 were developed by Algerian engineers from the BCL (Base Centrale Logistique – Logistical Department of the Algerian army), and the process involves fitting an additional armoured collar around the T-62’s turret ring to accommodate the smaller diameter of the Berezhok. Algeria had intended to produce a fire support vehicle similar to the Russian BMPT-72 which is also in service with the Algerian army.
It is likely that the BMPT-62 was developed in collaboration with the Russian company KBP Tula which is the manufacturer of the Berezhok turret. In 2015, Algeria had placed a second order with KBP, Tula, for 360 Berezhoks for BMP-1s and the company’s general director said that more than 400 had been delivered under the first contract.
In May 2021, BCL successfully upgraded 360 BMP-2 Soviet-made tracked armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle to standard BMP-2M fitted with Berezhok turret and armed with four Kornet anti-tank guided missiles.
The turret Berezhok weighs up to 3,250 kg and carries a heavy armament suite integrating a Gryasev-Shipunov 2A42 30 mm automatic cannon, an AGS-30M 30 mm automatic grenade launcher, a Kalashnikov PKTM 7.62 mm coaxial general-purpose machinegun, and four ready-use Kornet-E-family (NATO reporting name: AT-14 Spriggan) ATGMs in two two-cell banks mounted on either side of the turret.
Compared to the baseline BMP-2, the Berezhok is equipped with a far better sensor suite. The turret has received an automatic target tracker and a ballistic computer. According to KBP, the module fires up to two missiles in salvo mode in order to score a higher hit probability.
In 2019, the Algerian Military laid the foundation for kickstarting its military defense industry in order to design, build and manufacture “complex weapons” systems.
This was was made possible following a Presidential decree authorizes the Algerian military to create “a Technical System Development Establishment” responsible “for the studies, the design, engineering, and manufacturing of weapons and specific ammunition.”