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Sprut-SDM1

Amphibious light tank

Sprut-SDM1

The first batch of Sprut-SDM1 tanks is planned to be delivered to the Russian airborne forces in 2017

 
 
Country of origin Russia
Entered service Expected in 2017
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 18 t
Length (gun forward) 7.08 m
Hull length ~ 5.8 m
Width 3.15 m
Height 3.05 m
Armament
Main gun 125 mm smoothbore
ATGW ?
Machine guns 2 x 7.62 mm
Elevation range - 5 to + 17 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 40 rounds
Machine guns at least 2 000 rounds
Mobility
Engine UTD-29 diesel
Engine power 500 hp
Maximum road speed 70 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 7 km/h
Range 500 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.8 m
Trench 2.8 m
Fording Amphibious

 

   The 2S25M Sprut-SDM1 is a new airborne light tank. It is a modernized version of the previous Sprut-SD. The new Sprut-SDM1 light tank is unified with the chassis of the new BMD-4M airborne combat vehicle and uses some fire control elements of the T-90MS main battle tank. The Sprud-SDM1 was first publicly revealed in 2016. It was announced that a first batch of 6 vehicles will be delivered to the Russian airborne forces in 2017. It is worth noting that only a relatively small number of the original Sprut-SDs are currently in service with the Russian airborne forces.

   The Sprut-SDM1 is officially referred in Russia as a self-propelled anti-tank gun, or tank destroyer. Though it is a light tank by its function. This combat vehicle was specially designed for the Russian airborne forces. This tank is airportable and can be paradropped. Furthermore it is fully amphibious. Its main role is to support airborne landing operations. It is intended to engage hostile armor, as well as to support infantry. Even though it was originally designed for the airborne units tank can be also used by naval infantry units. Though currently Russian naval infantry has got no amphibious tanks in its inventory. Their surviving PT-76s were retired in 2015.

   Currently Russia is the only country in the world to operate airborne tanks. Other airborne tanks are the US M8 Buford, which did not entered service and the Chinese unidentified light tank, which was recently developed, but its current status is unclear. So development of the Sprut-SDM1 light tank shows the high level of resources Russia is devoting towards its airborne forces and offensive capabilities.

   The Sprut-SDM1 weights just 18 t. Mobility, rapid redeployment and air transportability are the key factors of this new light tank. Though this comes at a cost of limited armor protection. Its front arc withstands only 12.7 mm round hits. All-round protection is limited to 7.62 mm fire and artillery shell splinters. So protection of this light tank is very weak. Armor protection can be increased with add-on armor. Add-on skirts can be fitted for a higher level of protection. This combat vehicle is equipped with an NBC protection and automatic fire extinguishing systems.

   Despite weak armor the Sprut-SDM1 has firepower of a modern main battle tank. It is claimed that in terms of firepower it is comparable to that of Russian T-72 and T-90 series tank. It is armed with a fully-stabilized 2A75M 125 mm smoothbore gun. It can fire all standard 125 mm ammunition used by T-72 and T-90 series tanks. Maximum range of fire is 2-2.5 km. There is an automatic ammunition loading system. It allows to have a crew of just 3 men, as there is no need for the loader.

   The Sprut-SDM1 can launch anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary projectiles. This feature is common to all modern Russian tanks. The laser-guided anti-tank missiles are derived from 9M119M1 (Invar-M) missile. These have a range of up to 5 km and can also target low-flying helicopters.

   A total of 40 rounds including missiles are carried for the main gun. The autoloader holds 22 of them. Remaining 18 rounds are stored inside the hull. Typical ammunition load consists of 20 HE-FRAG rounds, 14 APFSDS anti-tank rounds and 6 anti-tank guided missiles. This tank has a rate of fire of 7 rounds per minute. Spent cases are automatically ejected behind the turret.

   There is a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. The Sprut-SDM1 is fitted with additional remotely controlled weapon station, armed with a 7.62 mm machine gun.

   The Sprut-SDM1 is fitted with new fire control system. It has new sights from the T-90MS main battle tank. One of the most important improvements is an independent commanders sight with thermal vision. It allows to acquire and engage targets faster. Once the tank commander spots a target, it is selected and the gun is laid on the target automatically. The gunner completes al the aiming and firing process. During that time commander looks for the next target. Such engagement method is called "hunter-killer" and is present on all modern main battle tanks.

   This light tank is operated by a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver. Commander and gunner are seated in the two-man turret.

   The Sprut-SDM1 comes with new engine. It is powered by a UTD-29 multi-fuel diesel engine, developing 500 hp. The same naturally-aspirated engine is used on the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle and recent BMD-4M airborne combat vehicle. It is more modern comparing with the original 2V-06-2S engine of the previous Sprut-SD light tank. Some modifications were made to suspension. It uses unified components of the BMD-4M. This light tank has a hydropneumatic suspension with variable height control. Such suspension also the tank to be paradropped on platforms. It also allows the vehicle to lean in any direction.

   The Sprut-SDM1 is fully amphibious. On water it is propelled by two waterjets. Maximum amphibious speed on water is 7 km/h. Vehicle is sea worthy up to Sea State 3. Even when afloat it can fire its main gun in limited traverse range. This light tank can embark and disembark from amphibious assault ships on its own.

   The Il-76 cargo aircraft can carry two of these light tanks. The Sprut-SDM1 can be paradropped with the crew on board.

 

 
Sprut-SDM1

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Personal appeal from Andrius Genys

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