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Defence News - Russia

 
 
Friday, December 14, 2012, 10:57 AM
 
New BMD-4M latest generation of airborne armoured vehicle adopted by Russian airborne troops.
The Russian Defense Ministry decided to adopt combat airborne armoured infantry fighting vehicles BMD-4M for the Airborne Forces. Commander of the 31st guard separate airborne assault brigade of the Airborne Forces, announced Colonel Gennady Anashkin.
     
The Russian Defense Ministry decided to adopt combat airborne armoured infantry fighting vehicles BMD-4M for the Airborne Forces. Commander of the 31st guard separate airborne assault brigade of the Airborne Forces, announced Colonel Gennady Anashkin.
The BMD-4M is the latest generation of airborne armoured infantry fighting vehicle armed with one 100mm gun, one 30mm cannon, one anti-tank launcher AT-5 Spandrel, one 40mm grenade launcher, two 7.62mm machine guns.
     

Initially, it was planned that BMD-4M would start coming to the troops in 2010. Airborne Forces Commander Vladimir Shamanov insisted on purchase of not less than 1,000 such armored vehicles. In August of 2012, Alexander Sukhorukov who was deputy Defense Minister then announced that BMD-4M turned out to be too heavy, expensive and practically did not differ from its predecessor BMD-2 created in the Soviet time. This started a conflict between the General Staff and the Airborne Forces Commander.

General Shamanov stated that although the vehicle was far from perfection in conditions when Russian defense industry could not offer anything better no choice was left. Moreover so that the Airborne Forces badly need renovation of the fleet of armored vehicles. At present, 95% of the fleet of the Airborne Forces consists of outmoded BMD-2 and BTR made in the Soviet time. In turn, the General Staff proposed a moratorium on purchase of domestic armored vehicles for five years to develop the models that complied with contemporary requirements fully.

     
The BMD-4M is the latest generation of airborne armoured infantry fighting vehicle armed with one 100mm gun, one 30mm cannon, one anti-tank launcher AT-5 Spandrel, one 40mm grenade launcher, two 7.62mm machine guns.
The BMD-4M was unveiled for the first time to the public during the defence exhibition in Moscow, July 2010
     
Then Shamanov turned to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin for support. President Vladimir Putin was proposed to make the final decision. He supported the Airborne Forces having expressed concern about delays in purchases of BMD-4M. Nonetheless, the Defense Ministry kept resisting. Sukhorukov found discrepancy with the modern requirements in the armored vehicles dealing with resistance to bullets and protection from mines. According to him, maneuverability of the vehicles left much to be desired. The Deputy Defense Minister stated, "Armor was attached from above, which resulted in increase of the weight of the vehicle by two tons." The armored vehicle also turned out to be expensive and cost about 1 million euros.

After change of the top-ranking officials of the Defense Ministry purchase of BMD-4M became possible. Bearing in mind that the matter is about purchase of 1,000 vehicles by 2020 expenses on them will be big and will amount up to $1 billion. Igor Korotchenko, director of the Center for Analysis of the World Arms Trade, said, "Decision on BMD-4M has become possible because the former program of armament purchase is actively revised by the new top-ranking officials of the Defense Ministry now. Whereas formerly it has been impossible to find a compromise of armor protection, maneuverability and price of the combat vehicle, now, due to the dismissals, the authorities have managed to solve the problem surprisingly quickly in the "manual mode."

Interestingly, Kurganmashzavod at which it is planned to produce BMD-4M en masse is in a bankruptcy condition now. Chief Military Prosecutor Sergei Fridinsky mentioned its example in May of 2011 complaining about looting of the money allocated by the state for defense. Fridinsky told the press, "Having received advance payment of 350 million rubles, instead of directing it to counterparties as they had to they put the money into their own turnover almost for two months. Naturally, work of the subcontractors was ruined."
 
 
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