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"The possibility of mounting combat modules from existing short-range air defense missile systems on the BMD-4M combat vehicle chassis is currently being considered within the framework of the Ptitselov experimental design work," the source said.
According to him, the Airborne Forces now use various modifications of the Strela-10 system. "Ptitselov may be equipped, along with the Strela, with the Sosna air defense missile system combat module," the source said.
Editor-in-Chief of the Arsenal Otechestva (Fatherland’s Arsenal) magazine Viktor Murakhovsky said that in his view, the Ptitselov system will most likely receive the Sosna combat module. "Sosna is a new-generation system with a new missile that outperforms the Strela-10MN system currently used by the Airborne Forces," the expert told TASS.
Murakhovsky also excluded the possibility of equipping Ptitselov with the combat module from the Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile and gun system. Pantsir cannot be air-dropped because of its large mass and dimensions parameters. The Pantsir system is mounted on the KamAZ chassis, its total mass exceeds 20 tons, while the weight limit for the air-dropped equipment is 18 tons," the expert said.
The Defense Ministry source told TASS previously that the work was underway on the on the creation for the Russian Airborne Forces of the world’s first air-droppable anti-aircraft missile defense system based on the BMD-4M airborne combat vehicle. The Russian Airborne Forces currently have in service various modifications of the Strela-10 air defense missile system the basic model of which had been made operational in 1976.
The Sosna-10 new air defense missile system that is to replace Strela, is capable of hitting aerial targets the range of up to 10 kilometers and altitude up to 5 kilometers. One Sosna combat vehicle is equipped with 12 Sosna-R guided missiles. Also, it has been reported that an upgraded version of the missile - Sosna-M, is being developed for the system.
The track-mounted Sadovnitsa BMD-4M combat vehicle is a version of the BMD-4 vehicle with a new body, engine, chassis and other units. It is equipped with the Bakhcha-U combat unit, which comprises two guns - one of 100-mm caliber and another - of 30-mm caliber, and a machine gun. Previously, a Russian Defense Ministry source told TASS that the BMD-4M vehicle, along with the BTR-MDM (Rakushka) armored personnel carrier entered service. According to other previous reports, under the existing contract the Russian Defense Ministry should receive within three years up to 250 of these airborne combat vehicles and armored personnel carriers.