Serial production of Russia’s new airborne combat vehicles BMD-4M and Rakushka armored personnel carriers will be launched on June 1, Russian Airborne Forces Commander Vladimir Shamanov told TASS on Wednesday.
“Ten BMD-4M vehicles and 10 armoured personnel carriers (Rakushka) have passed the state tests, and now the documentation for launching the serial production from June 1 is nearing completion,” Shamanov said at the Seltsy training centre.
Asked where the new combat vehicles will be delivered first, he named the training base of the Ryazan Airborne School, and then the school’s 137th base regiment. This year, the military plan to “get from the industry a battalion set comprising more than 30 BMD-4M airborne combat vehicles,” said the commander.
According to previously reports, under the 2014 contract, the Russian Defense Ministry will receive more than 250 BMD-4M vehicles and Rakushka APCs within three years. This year, in particular, the Airborne Forces are expected to receive a total of 62 combat vehicles and 22 armored personnel carriers.
The tracked BMD-4M Sadovnitsa vehicle is a modernized version of the BMD-4 with a new body, engine, chassis and other units. It is equipped with the Bakhcha-U combat unit, comprising 100-mm and 30-mm calibre guns and a 7.62-mm machine gun.
The Rakushka vehicle was also created on the basis of BMD-4 and is intended to replace the BTR-D vehicle that had been put into service back in the 1970s. The main armament of the armored personnel carrier is a machine gun.