Russian Kurganets 25 IFV acceptance trials to end in 2022

The schedule of acceptance trials of prospective combat vehicles of the Kurganets-25 Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle family has been agreed. They will begin in a year and reach completion in the autumn of 2022. The armored vehicle will be tested in various weather and climate. Experts believe some components and mechanisms are already undergoing trials, the Izvestia daily writes.
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Kurganets 25 Mechnized Infantry Combat Vehicle (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Defense industry sources said the Russian Defense Ministry and enterprises have agreed the schedule of APC and IFV trials of the Kurganets-25 family. Preliminary trials will take place from May to October 2021, according to the schedule seen by the daily newspaper. Acceptance trials have to begin in November and will last 12 months. Some components and mechanisms of the vehicles are already being tested. The sources said additional time would be provided after acceptance trials to rectify exposed drawbacks.

The agreement on R&D of the medium tracked Kurganets platform of Kurganmashzavod was signed in December 2019. In February 2020, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said the deadline for Kurganets supplies will be determined by the Defense Ministry after acceptance trials. They are to be preliminary completed in 2022. “Acceptance trials take a long time, as you have to hold a whole set of events rather than simply drive and fire,” expert Viktor Murakhovsky said. “The trials include resource tests and the engine has to operate a fixed number of hours. The running gear has to drive an assigned number of kilometers on various soil without changing the tracks. The hardware has to be tested in highlands, heat and bitter cold. The possibility of field maintenance and overhaul is also tested. The time and resource consumption for technical maintenance will be determined,” he said.

The armaments are also to be tested. They have to confirm the operational resource and parameters. Trials will check everything, including optical and electronic systems and communications. Therefore, one year is not a long period for the full cycle of acceptance trials, the expert said.

The first Kurganets-25 were produced in 2013 and presented to the public in 2015 together with other prospective armored platforms: T-14 Armata tank, wheeled K-17 Boomerang IFV and Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled howitzer.

The R&D deadline has been several times postponed. In 2015, the designer announced plans to begin acceptance trials in 2017 and supply Kurganets in 2019. However, preliminary trials triggered remarks from the army and numerous changes had to be implemented into the construction.

Batch production of the new tracked vehicle has not begun yet. Several dozen vehicles are undergoing test operations. The first batches were delivered to the 2nd Tamanskaya motorized rifle division.

Kurganets-25 platform is to become the undercarriage for several armored vehicles. B-10 tracked armored personnel carrier, B-11 infantry fighting vehicle, and B-12 overhaul and evacuation vehicle will be tested. The designer said the line of vehicles can be expanded. An antitank option with a 125mm gun, a mobile reconnaissance post and a complex of radioactive and chemical reconnaissance were proposed.

The projected weight of Kurganets-25 is 25 tons. It considerably exceeds all available light armor by the size and weight. Despite increased protection, the designers succeeded to keep the vehicle afloat : it can cross ariver without preparation.

B-11 IFV differs from the tracked APC by more powerful weapons. The IFV displayed at Army-2020 defense forum carried the Epokha module. It comprises a 57mm artillery gun of low ballistics and Kornet antitank missile launcher. They are complemented by small Bulat guided missiles to destroy light armored vehicles and firing positions.