Russian airborne units to receive prototypes of Ptitselov air defense system in 2020

The Russian Airborne Troops (VDV) will receive prototypes of the Ptitselov air-defense system in the coming years. Speaking to journalists on August 2, 2018, Col. Gen. Andrey Seryukov stated that the VDV will receive an initial batch of Ptitselov air-defense systems in 2020, adding that the technical design of the system has been completed. According to him, the vehicle will be based on the modular BMD-4M vehicle chassis, which is set to be the standard combat vehicle for the VDV. He did not indicate how large the batch of systems would be.

Russian airborne units to receive prototypes of Ptitselov air defense system in 2020
BMD-4M displayed at Armya 2016, near Moscow (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Once delivered to the military, the systems will be used in various drills in order to determine their capabilities. Russia has previously planned to begin serial deliveries of the system by 2022. Russia plans to include the Ptitselov in the SAP 2018-2027, though a final decision on how many to order has not been made.

Very little information on the Ptitselov's specifications exists. Development was ongoing as of May 2016. The system will pair either a Pantsir-S2 or Sosna complex with the BMD-4M chassis, which is air-droppable, giving the VDV flexibility in deploying it. Depending on which configuration is picked, Ptitselov will likely have a range of up to 20 kilometers. 

The base model BMD-4M is reported to be able to reach speeds of up to 70 km/h on ideal road conditions, with a range of 500 kilometers. The BMD-4, or BMD-3M Bakhcha, is an airborne infantry combat armoured vehicle entered service with Russian paratroops 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 with its firepower during landing operations. Some older BMD-3s are being upgraded to the BMD-4 standard, while a low-rate production of new vehicles continues.