The Army 2016 international forum is a key show for the Military Industrial Company (VPK LLC). Therefore, VPK will exhibit six full-scale products at open-access expositions, i.e. in the exhibition pavilion (Stand 2B5), at outdoor Area O221 and at the driving range during the show.

The displays include a new pre-production example of the SPM-3 Medved special police vehicle that has passed its official trials and entered service with the Russian Interior Ministry.

The SPM-3 is Russia’s first mine-protected wheeled vehicle (MRAP in accordance with the Western classification). From the outset, it was developed for use by the Interior Ministry and now newly-established National Guard. With the completion of its test programme, the Russian Defence Ministry decided that the Medved might come in handy as a protected means of transport, a platform to mount an array of weapons, a protected command vehicle, a flamethrower carrier or, say, a combat engineer reconnaissance vehicle. At present, a combat engineer recce squad rides an MT-LB lightly armoured tracked carrier that turns into a pile of twisted metal if it hits a landmine.

The Medved can save lives of its occupants in case of the explosive of an equivalent of 7kg of high explosives under a wheel or the bottom. The high degree of mine protection is owing to the bonneted monocoque hull with the manned compartment placed high above the ground, the V-shaped bottom of the hull, special shock-absorbing seats, blast protection flooring and mats. The vehicle has a ground clearance of 450mm and an original spaced differentiated armour protection for the hull. The ballistic protection of one of the versions meets the GOST Class 6a governmental standard.

The SPM-3 accommodates eight combat engineer scouts with their gear, including a recce robot.

To cap it all, the Medved is certificated means of transport and a full-fledged road user requiring no traffic police escort. In other words, it can be quickly redeployed from one area to another if need be.

The vehicle’s transmission uses production units and assemblies of the Ural lorry, which ensures the high-reliability and long service-life of its assemblies (up to 250,000km, service-life of the engine: 800,000km) and the ease and reduced cost of operation, maintenance and repair. The Medved enjoys high off-road speed, high cross-country capability and smooth ride owing to its powerful 312hp YaMZ-536 production-standard in-line multifuel engine (a 400hp engine is a possibility in the future) and independent torsion bar-type suspension commonised with that of the BTR-90 armoured personnel carrier (APC) and featuring a wheel travel of 300mm.

The maintainability of the vehicle is very high owing to a special device designed to extend the powerpack outside of the hull for maintenance, repair or replacement.

VPK LLC’s exposition also will feature a full-scale example of the SBM VPK-233136 Tigr special armoured car. The Tigr is in the inventories of the Russian Interior Ministry, National Guard and other law enforcement and armed services and enjoys good export prospects. Another Tigr will take part in the demonstration rides at the test and training range in Alabino, Moscow Region.

Owing to the protection standards growing ever more stringent, the vehicle has been offered to the Russian Defence Ministry as a carrier of weapon systems and specialised kit. The SBM Tigr has GOST Class 5 protection while that of the Army version of the Tigr is Class 3.

The lessons learn from the SBM Tigr’s operation, including that in battle, have proven its high effectiveness and unrivalled mobility, especially on the move across rugged terrain.

Another of VPK’s displays at Army 2016 will be an upgraded variant of the BTR-82A APC. The upgrade programme was devised to further increase the tactical performance of the BTR-82A based on the experience in using the APC both in time of war and in peacetime.

In particular, the APC will have improved transmission elements to increase their reliability. For the same purpose and to prevent the premature failure of the BTR-82A’s systems and units, it is to be outfitted with an automatic technical diagnostics system to gather, process, store and transmit information on the technical state of the vehicle.

To beef-up the BTR-82A’s firepower, the APC will be equipped with a modernised independent vertical line-of-sight (LOS) gun stabiliser and the TKN-4GA-03 day/night gunner’s sight featuring independent vertical LOS stabilisation and optical, thermal-imaging and laser range-finder capabilities.

This will extend the range of acquisition of APC-sized targets out to 3,000m in day and night despite such battlefield obscurant as smoke, snow, fog, dust, etc. Hence, the upgrades will also increase the effectiveness of fire by extending the target acquisition and identification range, reducing the reaction time and raising the accuracy of fire owing to the stabilisation of the line of sight.

There will be another novelty unveiled at VPK LLC’s exposition, the ASN 233115 Tigr-M SpN special wheeled vehicle mounting a fighting module with an automatic gun.

The vehicle was developed by the VPK and 766th UPTK companies at their own expense. The Defence Ministry had approved the concept and issued a permit. The two companies developed a mock-up version of the Tigr-M armoured car with an automatic gun fighting module commonised with the Uran-9‘s automatic remote-controlled fighting module with the 30mm 2A72 automatic gun as far as the design and fire control system are concerned. The mock-up has passed its first running and firing tests, having exceeded the expectations.

The fighting module-equipped Tigr-M is designed for the recce, assault and fire support roles on counterterrorist operations, territorial defence, convoy escorting, area patrolling and protection of its crew against small-arms fire and explosive devices. Also, the vehicle’s self-contained power supply and artificial intelligence systems enable it to operate as an automatic unmanned weapons system.

In other words, the armoured car is driven to a pre-set point, a software program is activated and the vehicle reconnoitres targets, starts autotracking them after their acquisition and destroys them after its operator hunkering down in a shelter somewhere clears it to do so.

Another feature of the Tigr-M is that it is the world’s first two-axle armoured car weighing less than 9t in total to mount a remotely controlled fighting module packing an automatic gun, which calibre exceeds 20mm. The vehicle is fit for unrestricted operation on general-purpose roads to boot.