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Russian army testing K-16 and K-17 combat vehicles on Bumerang platform until end of 2023.

| 2023

Russia continues to develop and test a variety of advanced weapons, including ground combat equipment, website reports. As it became known, state tests of new armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles produced on the VPK-7829 Boomerang (Bumerang) platform are being carried out. The tests will take place until the end of this year and include checking shooting, running and other data, RIA Novosti reports.
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K-17 Bumerang in IFV version (Picture source: Army Recognition)

There are two variants of the Bumerang: the K-16 APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier) and the K-17 IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle). The K-16 APC is fitted with a small turret armed with a 12.7mm heavy machine gun. The K-17 IFV is fitted with a remotely controlled weapon station armed with a 2A42 30mm automatic cannon; two launchers of Kornet-EM anti-tank guided missiles are mounted on each side of the turret.

The VPK-7829 Bumerang is referred to as "a combat wheeled vehicle" because it will serve several different roles, similar to America's Strykers. Other vehicle platform variations will fulfill different roles in addition to armored transport, including as an armored ambulance, command post vehicle, reconnaissance vehicle, anti-tank missile carrier, air defense missile launcher, fire support vehicle, and mortar carrier. Further versions could include a light tank (plans to create a version with 57mm autocannon as well as a version with a 125mm gun for use as a self-propelled anti-tank gun were confirmed in March 2018) and a self-propelled gun.
* BTR-7829 K-16 Bumerang – APC version with a remote weapon station armed with a 12.7mm heavy machine gun.
* VPK-7829 K-17 Bumerang – IFV version with a 30 mm or 57 mm autocannon.
* Self-propelled anti-tank gun version, similar to the Italian Centauro, one of which had been previously leased to Russia.

The Bumerang platform is amphibious, using two waterjets. At the opposite of the previous BTR (like BTR-70) series of vehicles, the engine is located at the front instead of the rear. Engine location was a significant drawback of BTR vehicles, where soldiers had to exit the vehicles through cramped side doors. The Bumerang has rear doors and roof hatches for troop entry and exit. Protection is provided by ceramic armor and technologies to prevent shell splinters. The Bumerang is fitted with a 750 hp turbocharged diesel engine.

In mid-2011, the Russian Ministry of Defense issued a requirement for a new modular wheeled family of armored vehicles instead of buying the BTR-90. Development of a new wheeled APC became alongside the new and similarly armed and armored but tracked Kurganets-25 infantry fighting vehicle and heavy T-15 Armata IFV. In November 2011, media reports said the new project had been approved. On 21 February 2012, Colonel General Alexander Postnikov said that the Russian Army would be taking the first deliveries of the Bumerang prototype in 2013. Large-scale deliveries were to begin in 2015, a milestone that was - and remains - far from respected. The Bumerang was first seen in public (initially with its turret and cannon shrouded) during rehearsals for the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade.

The vehicle faced several delays, and in 2020 it was stated that tests of the platform would be finished in 2021, with production starting afterwards. The reason for the delay was that after preliminary trials in 2019, it was decided to make changes to the main body, as a result of which the conditions for soldiers in the troop compartment would be improved, as well as the vehicle's buoyancy.

The Boomerang was shown for the first time to the public during the rehearsal of the Victory Day military parade in Alabino testing range, near Moscow, in April 2005. The Bumerang is a development of an 8x8 armored personnel carrier launched by the Russian defense industry to replace the old BTR family used by the Russian armed forces.

In this April 2023 month, K-16 armored personnel carriers and K-17 infantry fighting vehicles are still being tested at an undisclosed military training ground. After completion of the tests at the end of the year, a decision should – at last – be made to move on to mass production of these new 8x8 combat vehicles.

Technical specifications of the K-17 IFV Bumerang

* Dimensions:
Length: 8.7 meters
Width: 2.9 meters
Height: 2.7 meters
Wheelbase: 4.8 meters
Weight: approximately 22 tons
* Armor: advanced modular armor provides protection against small arms fire, artillery shell fragments, and anti-tank missiles.
* Engine: diesel engine capable of producing 450 horsepower. The Boomerang vehicles can accelerate to 100 km/h with a mass of 28 tons.
* Maximum speed of 100 km/h on the road and 10 km/h on water
* Crew and passenger capacity: up to 9 soldiers, including driver, commander, and gunner.
* Armament: remote-controlled turret with various weapon options, including a 30mm cannon, a 7.62mm machine gun, and a Kornet anti-tank missile system.
* Communication systems: modern communication system allows the crew to communicate with each other and their commanders.
* Suspension: the hydropneumatic suspension system provides better maneuverability on rough terrain and improved stability when firing from the move.

Defense News April 2023

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