KUBINKA /Moscow Region/, June 27. /TASS/. Russian specialists are developing a new lightweight floating tank based on the Sprut-SDM-1 airborne self-propelled anti-tank gun, Chief Designer of the Special Machine-Building Design Bureau (part of Precision Systems Company) Sergei Abdulov told TASS at the Army-2019 international military and technical forum on Thursday.
"Work is underway to develop a lightweight non-airborne but floating tank based on the Sprut-SDM1 platform. As compared to the Sprut, the new vehicle will get enhanced protection and different running gear: it will use a torsion bar suspension from the BMP-3 IFV [infantry fighting vehicle] that is more reliable and easier to operate than the Sprut’s hydro-pneumatic gear, the chief designer said, adding that "the weapons on the vehicle will remain the same."
The chief designer did not specify the project’s name.
The Sprut-SDM1 self-propelled anti-tank system that will be used to develop the new tank is armed with a 125mm 2A75M smoothbore gun and can fire the entire range of domestic tank shells.
The self-propelled gun is referred to the category of lightweight tanks. However, initially, the Sprut was developed in the interests of the Airborne Force as a self-propelled gun designated to fight a potential enemy’s modern tanks. Besides, the vehicle’s weight is restricted to 18 tonnes so that it can be transported by Il-76 military transport planes and airdropped by parachutes. Due to the weight restrictions, the Sprut’s armor shields the vehicle only against bullets.