The Russian UralVagonZavod company has published a test firing video of a BMP-3 IFV equipped with an AU-220M Baikal turret that hosts a 57mm autocannon capable of engaging targets located at up to 14.5 kilometer distance. The remote-controlled turret is made by a company called Burevestnik which is a subsidiary of UralVagonZavod.
By 2018 the Russian army was experimenting with different calibers for the module’s cannon. In the past, all armored IFVs and APCs were equipped with either 30mm or 100mm guns – the former doesn’t possess enough firepower to penetrate some modern armor, while the latter is generally too excessive and impairs the rate of fire and accuracy of the cannon.
The new version of the Russian BRM-3K combat reconnaissance vehicle is equipped with a new turret armed with a 57mm automatic cannon AU-220M combat module (Derivation project). . This new version is based on the chassis of BRM-3K Rys fitted with a new turret armed with a 57mm automatic cannon using gun mount module AU-220M “Baikal”. AU-220M Remote Controlled Weapon Station armed with BM-57 57mm automatic cannon, developed by CRI BUREVESTNIK and proposed by Uralvagonzavod.
For the first time, a 57-mm fast-firing gun with a range of 12 kilometers and a rate of fire of 120 rounds per minute was installed on it. can use various types of shells: high-explosive fragmentation, armor-piercing and others, which means that it can fight both infantry and armored vehicles. Work was underway to create a promising ammunition for air blasting. Such a projectile is detonated at a given point of the trajectory by hitting manpower or equipment of the enemy maximum possible number of fragments.
It has the capacity to be used against ground and aerial targets as helicopter and drones. The 57mm gun with the AP round has a penetration capability of 130mm of Steel at a range of 1.000m. A 7,62mm coaxial machine gun is mounted to right side of the main armament. A bank of four smoke grenade dischargers is mounted on each side of the turret. The BRM-3K Rys (lynx) was developed in the early 1990s. It was intended to supplement and replace the BRM-1K reconnaissance vehicle.
Another important feature is that the combat module is uninhabited and is remotely controlled from the fighting compartment, which is below the level of the tower’s shoulder strap. This design solution significantly increases the survival of the crew. Uninhabited combat module - the last peep of military fashion. Promising Russian T-14 tanks on the Armata platform, as well as the Kurganets-25 project family of armored vehicles, were built according to a similar scheme.
It is based on the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle chassis. The hull and turret of the BRM-3K are of all-welded aluminium armour construction providing the crew with protection from small arms fire and shell splinters. The turret is in the centre of the vehicle with the commander seated on the right and the gunner on the left. The vehicle can carry a total of 12 military personnel including driver, gunner and commander. The troop compartment is at the rear of the hull with entry via two doors in the hull rear opening left and right, with the left door having a firing port.
The conventional BMP-3 main armament consists of a 100mm 2A70 cannon with a coaxial 30mm 2A72 autocannon. In this case, the original turret was removed and replaced by the AU-220M Baikal turret which hosts the 57mm autocannon chambered in 57x348mm SR and a PKTM machine gun chambered in 7.62x54mmR. The turret also contains 80 rounds of 57mm ammunition and 500 7.62x54mmR cartridges. With the AU-220M combat module the vehicle will be able to fire 80 rounds of artillery shells a minute, with a striking range of up to 12 km.
AU-220M is designed for installation on future armored combat vehicles and modernization of currently deployed vehicles in order to increase fire power of motorized rifled and infantry units. AU-220M main armament can also be used to accomplish air defense missions thus expanding combat flexibility of armored combat vehicles. It is designed as a remote-controlled unmanned artillery module.
The FCS controls the operations of target detection and identification, gun laying and firing of the 57mm automatic gun and 7.62mm machine-gun when firing from a halt, on the move and on the float in any combat enviroment. The FCS is equipped with a sight unit, comprising a combined sight with thermal-imaging and TV channels, a laser-finder and independent dual-axis field of view stabilization.
The vehicle will be able to fire 10 projectiles fitted with remote fuzes at a target and, on command, detonate all the charges simultaneously. It will also be able to fire guided munitions – their flight trajectory to the target can be controlled. What’s more, the upgraded BMP-3 combat module will be automatic and unmanned. During combat the crew will be inside the most heavily armored part of the vehicle, firing at targets using onboard computers. The operators will select different types of ammunition via a control panel in response to what’s happening on the battlefield.
The AU-220M’s 57 mm projectile is unlikely to cut through the front armor of an Abrams or a Leopard MBT, but even against the heaviest of armor, engineers bet on the hail of high-explosive projectiles knocking out optics, destroying aerials, smashing caterpillar tracks and jamming turrets.
Potentially, every Soviet-era BMP-3 model could be upgraded, amounting to thousands of vehicles both in Russia and those used by militaries abroad. As a result, the new BMP-3 will be able to fire from stationary positions, on the move, and even while floating on water. Weather conditions and time of day will make absolutely no difference to the vehicle – rain, snow, slush, or scorching heat are no problem.
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