2S25 Sprut-SD Self-Propelled Anti-tank Gun
By 2016 the 2S25 Sprut-SD airdroppable "tank" seemed to have been substantially abandoned. A total of 24 were procured, but it was found to have significant flaws. Paratroopers would still have a 125mm vehicle which can be parachuted into action, as a contract was signed to design a successor to the Sprut, based on the BMD-4M instead of on BMD-3. But in January 2019 it was reported that State Corporation Rostec has prepared several prototypes of the Sprut-SDM1 tank destroyers for state tests, which the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation will conduct in 2019.
In addition to the USSR, developments in creating a light airborne tank for airborne forces were also carried out in the USA. In 1985, the first prototype tank was created under the designation XM8. By October 1995, the tank had passed the full test cycle, received the M8 designation and was ready to start mass production, however, in 1996, the U.S. Department of Defense decided to abandon the purchase of the M8 tank, due to budget cuts. The tank was offered on the foreign market, however, did not receive orders, since its capabilities for airborne landing were not required by foreign buyers, and as only a light tank, it was inferior to its counterparts, such as the “Stingray”. The light tank M8 was armed with a 105 mm M35 tank gun, unified by ballistic solution with the M68 gun. The hull of the tank, welded from armored aluminum plates, had several booking levels depending on the destination. In the airborne variant, the tank had the first reservation level with protection against bullets and fragments and a combat weight of 17.32 tons, while landing, the tank weight was 16.74 tons due to unloading of the ammunition and incomplete fueling. Compared to the 2C25, the M8 tank had weaker main armament, smaller transportable ammunition, was not able to land fully loaded, and was not able to overcome water obstacles by swimming.
In the beginning of 1990s joint-stock company « Volgograd Tractor Factory » (VgTZ) created a new anti-tank self-propelled gun 2S25 on the lengthened base of the BMD-3 fighting machine. The car received the undercarriage, transmission and engine unified with the BMD-4M, a modern digital fire control system and a 2A75M gun with enhanced firing accuracy. The 125-mm 2A75 cannon was accepted to the Army in 2005, and the chassis of the 2S25 "Octopus- SD" in 2006. The basic version of the self-propelled gun - "Sprut-SD" - with a weapon 2A75 was adopted in 2006. The 125 mm 2S25 Sprut-SD self-propelled anti-tank gun (tracked) had been series produced since 2007. According to open sources, more than 30 such vehicles were purchased for the Airborne Forces from 2005 to 2010, but later the delivery of the Sprut-SD to the troops was suspended.
The contract for the development of the modernized antitank cannon Sprut-SDM1 was concluded in 2013. In 2014, the first prototype of a floating airborne assault vehicle was manufactured, which was demonstrated at the Army 2015 exhibition. In accordance with the state program of purchases until 2015 it was planned to acquire for the armed forces 57 2S25 "Octopus- SD".
The 2S25 is a light tank designed for use by the VDV (Airborne Forces) and Naval Infantry, although the Russians call it a self-propelled antitank gun. Initially this self-propelled gun was intended for Russian Airborne Troops [VDV], and it was designed for the parachute landing with the crew aboard from the military transport aircraft Il-76. Subsequently, it was proposed also to the Naval Infantry for the purpose of the rendering of anti-tank and fire support during conducting of landing operations. The 2S25 self-propelled antitank gun is intended for use by subunits of ground forces, airborne troops and amphibious landing parties to fight hard-skinned materiel and manpower of the enemy. This gun can be used by Ground Forces units and naval infantry as a light amphibious tank.
The 2S25 is an armored tracked amphibious vehicle as powerful as T-72 and T-80 tanks and as maneuverable and swim-capable as airborne infantry combat vehicles. It is armed with a 125mm antitank gun and fitted with the equipment to control guided missiles and the day/night sight with a sighting and a ranging channel. The main armament comprises the 125mm two-axis stabilized smoothbore tank gun with automatic loader and the coaxial 7.62mm machine gun.
The new gun can independently march over a distance of 500 km and be carried by military transport aircraft and amphibious ships, paradropped with the crew seated in the vehicle, negotiate water obstacles at sea state up to 3 with the delivery of gun fire when afloat within a sector of ±35° and climb on amphibious ships from water under its own power during the accomplishment of a combat mission. Possessing a high power-to-weight ratio, it can operate in high mountains and various climates, while the installed rubber-clad shoes or snow-riding tracks expand the vehicle capabilities. The 2S25 is fully amphibious at one-quarter its cross-country speed. To ensure concealment, the ground clearance can be changed within 400 mm during 6-7 s.
The driver has a hatch on the front deck, the commander and gunner have hatches on the turret deck. In the forward section of the housing of self-propelled gun the department of control is located, the fighting compartment with the turret occupies the middle part of the machine, where its motor-transmission department is located. In the march position the commander of the machine sits to the right of driver, and spotter to the left. Each member of crew has available the built-in the roof observant instruments with the day and night channels. The combined sight of the commander is stabilized in two planes and is combined with the laser sight for guiding 125-mm projectiles along the laser beam. The sight of spotter is stabilized in the vertical plane and includes the laser range-finder, which provides ballistic calculator with the constantly changing data about the purpose.
The 125mm gun is a low-pressure version of the standard Russian 125mm gun (which uses standard 125mm rounds) and has an autoloader. A pintle mount is supplied by the commander's hatch. The "object 952" artillery unit for this machine was developed in Ekaterinburg by the specialists of the ordnance plant of #9, which produces both the tank guns, and artillery pieces of caliber up to 152 mm. The basic armament of 2C25 consists of 125- mm of the smooth-bore tank gun of 2A75, created on the basis of the 125-mm of the tank gun of 2A46 (2A46M), which was established on the basic T-72, T-80 and T-90 combat tanks. Taking into account the need for the installation of gun to the lighter chassis, the specialists of the ordnance plant #9 equipped the gun with new type of recoil device.
The gun of 2A75 (length of barrel - 6000 mm, mass - 2350 kgf) is equipped with ejector and thermo-insulating jacket, but it does not have a muzzle brake. It is completely stabilized in the vertical and horizontal planes and conducts fire with the same 125-mm separate-case ammunition loading, which are used for the shooting from the smooth-bore tank gun of 2A46. Furthermore, into the composition of the fire unit of the gun of 2A75 enters the projectile with laser guidance, which ensures destruction of target, that is found on the distance to 4000 m. The maximum rate of fire composes 7 shots per minute. The loading of gun is achieved with the aid of the horizontal automatic weapon of loading, installed after the tower of self-propelled gun. In it are placed 22 shots, equipped and ready to immediate use. With the loading into the breech of the instrument first will be given the projectile, then the propellant charge. In the case of failure of the automatic weapon of loading, is possible the loading of gun by hand. As the auxiliary armament is established the coupled with the gun 7.62-mm machine gun [PKT] with the fire unit of 2000 cartridges, equipped into one belt.
Since the 2S25 was developed on the base BMD-3, in its construction many units and aggregates of undercarriage and power plant of base machine are used. In the motor-transmission section of 2S25 is established the multifuel Diesel engine of 2[V]-06-2, which develops maximum by the power of 331 kW. The hydromechanical transmission, which has the water volume mechanism of turning, is interlocked with it. Automatic switch box of transfers has five transfers of forward stroke and so many reverse gear. The suspension is individual, is hydropneumatic, which ensures a change in the value of clearance in the range from 190 to 590 mm from the place of driver, furthermore, hydropneumatic suspension ensures high passability and smoothness of motion. Into the composition of undercarriage, in connection with to one board, enter seven single road wheels, four supporting rolls, the leading wheel the front and guide wheel of rear arrangement. There is a hydraulic track adjusting mechanism. The caterpillar is steel, is two-ridge, mangle gearing. During the motion along the highway the machine develops maximum speed 65. 68 km/h, and the average speed of 45 km/h shows on the dry dirt roads.
The standard equipment of machine includes computerized [SUO], system for protection from WMD (weapons of mass destruction), set of night vision devices and starting system of smoke grenades. The 2S25 can float and is moved in the water with the aid of two water jets, which make possible for it to develop speed 8-10 km/h. The road wheels with the locked air chambers and the powerful water pumps, which pump out water from the housing, are used for increasing the buoyancy in the machine. Machine possesses good seaworthiness and, being located on to float, it can effectively act during the agitation into 3 marks to, including conduct the aimed fire in the front target sector, equal of 70°.
The basic version of the self-propelled gun - "Octopus-SD" - with a gun 2A75 was adopted for service in 2006. According to open sources, for the Airborne Forces from 2005 to 2010, more than 30 such machines were purchased, but later the supply of "Sprut-SD" to the troops was suspended.
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