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Russian Airborne Force to receive three battalions of BMD-4M fighting vehicles in 2017

Airborne Force units and formations will also be provided with more than 60 BTR-MDM Rakushka armored personnel carriers

MOSCOW, March 14. /TASS/. Russia’s Airborne Force will receive three battalion sets of BMD-4M airborne assault vehicles and more than 60 BTR-MDM Rakushka armored personnel carriers, Airborne Force Deputy Commander for Logistics Major-General Nariman Timergazin said on Tuesday.

"Beginning with 2014, Airborne Force units and formations have been provided one by one with modern BMD-4M and multipurpose BTR-MDM armored vehicles. By now, two battalion sets of BMD-4M vehicles and about 40 BTR-MDM Rakushka APCs have been operational in the troops. In 2017, our units and formations will receive another three battalion sets of BMD-4Ms and over 60 BTR-MDMs," the general said, without specifying the number of armored vehicles per battalion set.

As compared to the armies of foreign countries, except for China, the Russian Airborne Force’s fighting vehicles are air mobile machines dropped by parachutes, including with crews inside them, from Ilyushin Il-76, Antonov An-12 and, in the future, from An-148 planes, he noted.

Also, only the Russian Airborne Force’s airborne assault vehicles and armored personnel carriers can negotiate water obstacles on the move, without preliminary preparations while same-type vehicles from NATO member states need four hours of preparations on average before crossing a river, Timergazin said.

Moreover, NATO armored vehicles need another 1.5-2 hours after negotiating a water obstacle to start moving on the opposite shore to dismantle special floating equipment, he added.

The Airborne Force deputy commander citied some operational characteristics of the BMD-4M airborne assault vehicle. Specifically, the vehicle is armed with a 100mm gun - an antitank guided missile launcher and a coaxial gun that are capable of delivering fire at the enemy’s manpower and armored targets at a distance of up to 6,500 km in the daytime and up to 3,000 kilometers at night, which exceeds by more than two times the characteristics of its predecessor BMD-2. The BMD-4M can develop a maximum speed of 70km/hour on roads and 10km/hour afloat.