Kurganmashzavod has handed over a batch of the upgraded BMD-4M infantry fighting vehicle prototypes to the Russian Army, as part of its rearmament programme.
Comprising eight BMD-4M vehicles, the batch was delivered to the Russian Army's 106th Guards Airborne Assault Division, and will continue to undergo testing, the Russia and India Report reported .
Designed to replace the ageing BMD-3 vehicle, BMD-4M IFV is an upgraded variant of the BMD-4 airborne combat vehicle, and is expected to provide improved protection and support for airborne troops.
The vehicle features more powerful weaponry and increased ammunition reserves, unlike its predecessors, and can be launched from an aircraft and rapidly transit to its allotted targets at a speed of up to 70km/h.
The fourth-generation vehicle can traverse water obstacles without any special preparation and travel at a speed of 10km/h while ashore.
BMD-4M chief designer Sergey Salnikov said the strike radius has increased to 7km with the addition of a new 100mm artillery gun that can strike both military equipment and fortified structures.
Russian Airborne Assault Forces commander colonel-general Vladimir Shamanov said: "The BMD-1s and BMD-2s would always begin to vibrate, and it was difficult to understand the vibration amplitude, but this vehicle does not vibrate.
"It is also very stable in the turn and the control system is simple and reliable."
With automatic gearbox and more balanced hydro-pneumatic suspension, the vehicle can easily navigate through difficult terrain and can negotiate gradients of up to 35°. It can also maintain fire while moving, keeping the target in its sights.
The BMD-4M is capable of covering a distance of 500km without refuelling, while it can be easily loaded onto an aircraft ahead of a deployment.
The vehicle is, however, heavier than the BMD-2, weighing 13.5t, and only two are currently accommodated by the Il-76 aircraft.
Image: The BMD-4M assault vehicle is an upgraded variant of the BMD-4 airborne combat vehicle. Photo: courtesy of ????????????.