Russian paratroopers to get armored vehicle with unmanned combat module

Defense contractors are working on an armored vehicle for the Airborne Force that will be mounted on the chassis of the Sprut-SD self-propelled anti-tank gun and equipped with the Epokha unmanned combat module, a source in the defense industry told TASS on Thursday.

The module was initially designed for advanced infantry fighting vehicles mounted on the latest Bumerang, Kurganets-25 and Armata combat platforms. The module’s armament includes the 30mm 2A42 gun, the 7.62mm machine-gun and the Kornet anti-tank missile system.

“We tried to mount the combat module from the Kurganets platform on the chassis of the BMD-4M airborne infantry fighting vehicle but it turned out that although this module is lighter than the standard BMD-4M module, it is larger by its dimensions and spans over the crew hatches. That is why, an option has been worked out to place the new module on the Sprut chassis. This option poses no problems and this can be done on the Sprut chassis very quickly,” the source said.

TASS sources earlier reported about the plans to boost the might of Russia’s Airborne Force by mounting Kornet anti-tank missile systems on BMD-4M vehicles. The modernized BMD-2M airborne assault vehicles with the new Bereg module also armed with the Kornet anti-tank missile system are undergoing trials as well.

The Sprut-SD self-propelled anti-tank vehicle armed with the 125mm 2A75 gun went into service in 2006. According to the data of open sources, Russia’s top brass purchased over 30 such vehicles for the Airborne Force in 2005-2010. However, the deliveries of Spurt-SDs to the paratroops were later suspended.