MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. Paratroopers based in Pskov in Russia’s northwest will get a battalion set of next-generation combat hardware that includes over 35 BMD-4M airborne infantry fighting vehicles and BTR-MDM ‘Rakushka’ armored personnel carriers, the Defense Ministry reported on Thursday.
"Under the state armament program, the Pskov Guards Airborne Force formation will get a battalion set of next-generation BMD-4M combat hardware in January 2020 that includes over 35 BMD-4M and BTR-MDM ‘Rakushka’ vehicles," the ministry said in a statement.
The Defense Ministry will hold a ceremony on January 17 to transfer the new combat hardware to an air assault battalion of the Guards air assault regiment in Pskov. Earlier, the combat vehicles’ crews underwent re-training during two months at the Airborne Force’s training center in Omsk for junior specialists to learn to operate the new equipment.
This "is the seventh battalion set" of BMD-4M and BTR-MDM combat vehicles arriving for the Airborne Force, the ministry said.
As was reported earlier, Russia’s Airborne Force is due to receive 132 BMD-4M and 58 BTR-MDM combat vehicles in 2018-2020.
The 14-tonne BMD-4M airborne infantry fighting vehicle is armed with a 100mm gun that also serves as a launcher for Arkan anti-tank missiles with an ammunition load of 34 rounds and four missiles, a 30mm automatic cannon with an ammunition load of 500 rounds and a 7.62mm machine-gun.
The BMD-4M is capable of developing a maximum speed of 70 km/h and moving in the water at a maximum speed of 10 km/h. The combat vehicle has a crew of three and can also transport up to five assault force personnel.
The BTR-MDM ‘Rakushka’ is a Russian armored personnel carrier developed at the Volgograd Tractor Factory. The 13.2-tonne combat vehicle is armed with two machine-guns. It has a crew of two and carry up to 13 assault force personnel. The Rakushka is designated to carry personnel (the assault force), ammunition, spare parts, fuels and lubricants to Airborne Force and marine infantry units.