Modernized BMD-4M (Boyevaya Mashina Desanta) - Production
In late 2012 it was reported that purchase an upgraded airborne combat vehicle BMD-4M had been discontinued in the state defense order. Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Nikolai Makarov said that the price of the vehicle was three times the terrestrial analogs, and the BMD-4M had weak armor and protection against mines. Russian Airborne Troops Commander Colonel General Vladimir Shamanov said he would achieve a resumption of the supply of BMD-4M. Colonel-General Shaman said, "If I am offered more advanced weaponry that will finally begin the process of upgrading, then I give up on the BMD-4M. But knowing the capabilities of our defense and that vehicle, I would say: there are no alternatives to the BMD-4M."
The Airborne Forces would receive the first five BMD-4Ms for final testing before the end of 2013, followed by another five BMD-4Ms and 10 Rakushka armored personnel carriers in the first half of 2014. A decision to adopt the long-awaited BMD-4Ms was made at the beginning of December 2012 despite an earlier statement by former deputy defense minister Alexander Sukhorukov that the vehicle had not met requirements and would not be bought by the military.
Col. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, commander of the Airborne Forces, told journalists on 11 May 2013 “The main aim of Air Force command… is the general rearmament of troops in the shortest time possible, in the next three to five years. … Three airborne combat vehicles should be able to be transported in and air dropped from one plane. At the same time, the armored protection and weaponry of the airborne combat vehicles must conform to the most cutting-edge requirements,” Shamanov said. The commander said that the new BMD-4M corresponds to these requirements. “It is not perfect, of course, but it has enormous potential to be polished and modernized in the future – both its chassis and its weaponry,” he said.
By 2013 a total of 123 BMD-3 and 60 BMD-4 airborne combat vehicles were in service with the Russian Airborne Troops, with the rest being outdated BMD-2 models. The Russian military expected to acquire at least 1,000 BMD-4Ms under the current rearmament program until 2020.
The Russian Defense Ministry is to receive more than 250 airborne troops’ combat vehicles BMD-4M and armored personnel carriers BTR-MDM Rakushka over three years to come under a contract with the Tractor Plants concern, its first vice-president and co-owner, Albert Bakov told TASS 13 May 2015. "We have a three-year contract with the Defense Ministry for providing BMD-4M and BTR-MDM. More than 250 vehicles are to be delivered to the airborne troops," Bakov said.
According to earlier reports, the first batch of the new vehicles was provided in early March 2015. Then it was expected that Russia’s paratroop units would receive a total of 62 BMD-4M and 22 BTR Rakushka by the end of the year.
Concern "Tractor plants" is developing a family of combat vehicles for the Airborne Troops (VDV) chassis BMD-4M and BTR-MDM "Shell." Deputy head of the department of military vehicles Concern "Tractor plants" Michael Chemezov said this 18 June 2015 at the international forum "Army 2015".
"On the basis of BMD-4M developed a self-propelled anti-tank missile system (SPTRK)" Cornet-D1 ", - informed Chemezov. On the basis of "Octopus-SDM1" will be created a 120-mm self-propelled guns (SAO) "Zauralets-D," said Chemezov. "Then it supposed to develop 152 mm gun on the same chassis," - he added.
According to Chemezov, on the basis of a new military equipment for airborne troops developed a new generation of weapons. "Currently being development work to create a robotic combat complex" Kungas "on the basis of BMD-4M," - he said.
The first 17 serial BMD-4M and 12 BTR-MDM were delivered to the Ministry of Defense in the first half of 2015. According to well-known data, they received the Ryazan Higher Airborne Command Order of the Suvorov twice Red Banner School named after Army General V.F. Margelova. The delivery of the first BMD-4M battalion set was also originally planned for 2015, but was eventually postponed for a year due to the “need to finalize production documentation,” and this first battalion set was handed over to the 137th Guards Parachute Regiment in Ryazan only in September 2016 year.
BMD-4M and BTR-MDM were officially adopted by the Armed Forces of Russia in April 2016. The supply of battalion sets of new BMD-4M airborne combat vehicles (including BTR-MDM Rakushka armored personnel carriers) to the Russian Airborne Troops has been carried out since 2016. In September and December 2016, the first two battalion sets of serial BMD-4M (including one produced in 2015) received 137th Guards Parachute Regiment of the 106th Guards Airborne Division, stationed in Ryazan. In April and August 2017, the 31st Guards Separate Air Assault Brigade in Ulyanovsk received two BMD-4M battalion sets. In addition, at the beginning of 2017, the BMD-4M company kit (ten vehicles) received the 242nd Airborne Training Center in Omsk. Each battalion set includes 31 BMD-4M, and, presumably, 16 BTR-MDM. Series production of BMD-4M ("Object 960M") is carried out by Volgograd Tractor Plant JSC, and BTR-MDM ("Object 955") is carried out by Kurgan Machine-Building Plant JSC (KMZ). The supply of serial BMD-4M and BTR-MDM is carried out under a long-term contract.
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