MOSCOW, January 17. /TASS/. Paratroopers based in Pskov in Russia’s northwest have received 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 Friday.
"The seventh battalion set of military hardware for the Pskov paratroopers includes 39 items of the next-generation combat equipment: 31 BMD-4M and eight BTR-MDM ‘Rakushka’ vehicles," the ministry said in a statement.
Airborne Force Deputy Commander Major-General Anatoly Kontsevoi was quoted as saying in the statement that this year two more battalion sets of combat vehicles were due to be delivered to the Russian paratroopers.
"All the servicemen of the air assault regiment that has received the military hardware have undergone training and re-training courses at the 242nd training center in Omsk for Airborne Force junior specialists to learn to operate the new types of armament," the statement reads.
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 can 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.