Army 2018: 190 BMD-4M airborne IFVs and Rakushka BTR-MDM APCs for Russian airborne troops

The Russian Defense Ministry and the Shipunov Design Bureau have signed a contract for delivering 190 BMD-4M airborne infantry fighting vehicles and BTR-MDM Rakushka APCs to the Russian Airborne Troops in 2018-2020. A total of 132 airborne infantry fighting vehicles BMD-4M and 58 BTR-MDM Rakushka armored personnel carriers will be delivered before 2020. The Shipunov will also repair 67 BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles in 2019-2020.

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BMD-4M airborne IFV (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The BMD-4, or BMD-3M Bakhcha, is an airborne infantry combat vehicle entered service with Russian airborne units in 2005. The BMD-4 is designed and produced by the Russian Company Kurganmashzavod. This vehicle uses the BMD-3 chassis but carries a significantly more powerful armament. In some cases, the BMD-4 can replace main battle tanks and artillery units thanks to its firepower during landing operations. Some older BMD-3 are being upgraded to BMD-4, while a low-rate production of new vehicles continues. In 2008 Russian Air Borne Forces (VDV) commissioned about 30 new BMD-4. According to the Commander of VDV general-lieutenant Valery EvtuhovichC VDV already had one battalion equipped with BMD-4. Further modernization of the machine was underway. From 2009 it is planned to begin batch production of upgraded BMD-4 for airborne forces at the Kurganmashzavod. According to the governmental rearmament program to 2015, Kurganmashzavod. will produce and deliver not only BMD-4 and its modifications but also new perspective vehicles. In terms of firepower, the BMD-4 is the most heavily armed vehicle in the world in its class.

The BTR-MDM Rakushka is a further development of the BTR-MD airborne tracked multi-role armoured vehicle. The BTR-MDM was unveiled for the first time during the at the 9th International Exhibition of Arms, Military Equipment and Ammunition Russian Arms Expo which was held from 25 - 28 September 2013 in the city of Nizhny Tagil, Russia. The BTR-MDM is used as tracked armored personnel carrier for mechanized Airborne Forces (VDV) and he is based on the BMD-4M (Airborne Infantry Fighting Vehicle) chassis. The BTRD-MDM is designed and manufactured by the Russian defense company Tractor Plants. The BTR-MDM is fully amphibious and could be also proposed to the Russian Marine Corps. The purpose of this new vehicle is to be fully compatible with all the range of airborne armoured vehicles in service with the Russian armed forces as the BTR-MD and BMD-4M airborne armoured infantry fighting vehicle. The BTR-MDM was first shown officially during the Victory Day military parade in April 2015.

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BTR-MDM Rakushka airborne tracked multi-role armoured vehicle (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The BMP-3 is a tracked amphibious infantry fighting vehicle, successor to the BMP-1 and BMP-2, which entered service with the Soviet army in 1990 and made its first public appearance the same year. Kurganmashzavod of Kurgan manufactures the chassis and the Instrument Design Bureau (KBP) of Tula is responsible for the turret. It is a tracked, armoured, amphibious vehicle designed to engage armoured ground and air targets while stationary, on the move and afloat.

The BMP-3M is a modernized version of the standard BMP-3 tracked armoured infantry fighting vehicle designed and developed by the Russian company Kurganmashzavod. The BMP-3M with its new improvements offers more capabilities in terms of fire power, mobility, protection increasing combat efficiency of standard BMP-3 IFV. The BMP-3M was unveiled for the first time in 2011 during the defense exhibition Russian Expo Arms.