Sprut-SDM1 light amphibious tank is developed by Russian firm Tractor Plants Concern. Image courtesy of Rosoboronexport.
The Sprut-SDM1 tank was launched at the ARMY 2018 international military and technical forum. Image courtesy of Rosoboronexport.
The maximum range of the Sprut-SDM1 vehicle is 500km. Image courtesy of Rosoboronexport.

Sprut-SDM1 light amphibious tank is an upgraded version of the Sprut-SD tank operated by the Russian Airborne Troops. It is designed and developed by Russian machine building company, Tractor Plants Concern.

The tank was first unveiled in 2016 and was launched by JSC Rosoboronexport, a unit of the Rostec State Corporation, into the world arms market during the international military technical forum ARMY 2018 held in Moscow, Russia, in August 2018.

The armoured vehicle’s primary mission is to deliver attack capability to the infantry troops against armoured targets and enemy fortifications. It is also suited for reconnaissance and security missions.

It offers a high level of protection for the ground forces from enemy threats.

Sprut-SDM1 amphibious tank design and development

The Sprut-SDM1 tracked light combat vehicle has a hull length of 5.8m and an overall length of 7.08m with gun forward. It measures 3.15m wide and 3.05m high and weighs approximately 18t.

The crew compartment is stationed in the front, followed by a turret and fighting compartment in the middle. The engine compartment is located at the rear portion of the vehicle.

The vehicle is manned by a three-member crew, which includes driver, commander and gunner. The driver’s seat is located in the front end of the hull, while the gunner and commanders are seated in the turret.

The vehicle incorporates amphibious capabilities, which enable it to cross inland water obstacles.

It is transportable by military cargo aircraft or large vessels and is air-droppable from plane mid-air using a parachute.

Armament and protection features of Sprut-SDM1

The primary armament of the tank is a 125mm gun fitted to the remote controlled weapon station. The secondary armament consists of a 7.62mm machine gun and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun.

The vehicle is also armed with a guided missile weapon system to defeat explosive reactive armour (ERA)-equipped targets and armoured fighting vehicles at ranges up to 5km.

“The armoured vehicle’s primary mission is to deliver attack capability to the infantry troops against armoured targets and enemy fortifications.”

The vehicle offers protection to the onboard crew from nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) threats, as well as from small shells and splinters.

Up to six smoke grenade dischargers are mounted on the turret to offer self-protection for the crew.

Fire control system

A next-generation digital fire control system (FCS) is integrated in the amphibious vehicle to detect, recognise and destroy the stationary or moving targets in both day and night conditions through gunner’s and commander’s sights.

The vehicle is also equipped with night-vision equipment to support night-time missions.

Engine and mobility of Sprut-SDM1 amphibious tank

The Sprut-SDM1 armoured vehicle is powered by a UTD-29 diesel engine, rated at 500hp.

In amphibious mode operation, the vehicle uses a pair of waterjets located on either side of the hull for propulsion and bilge pumps to remove waste water.

The hydro-pneumatic type suspension system installed in the vehicle offers improved driving comfort over all types of terrain. It allows the driver to adjust the ground clearance up to 500mm within a few seconds.

The power plant provides a maximum road speed of 70km/h and a maximum amphibious speed of 7km/h. The vehicle can travel up to a maximum range of 500km.

It can negotiate grades and slopes of 60% and 30% respectively and can overcome excavation trenches that are 2.8m deep. Its lightweight design, coupled with amphibious capability, enables it to ford water obstacles of greater depths.

The tank is capable of operating in high-altitude terrains during difficult weather conditions.