Wednesday, December 8, 2021

‘Flying and swimming’ Russian tank can be dropped onto battlefield


In what could become a game-changing weapon on the battlefield, Russia has unveiled footage of a new amphibious ‘flying and swimming tank’ which can be parachuted into battle.

The Sprut-SDM1 can be dropped into combat zones from a cargo aircraft with a crew of three inside, while designers claim it can also function in 4ft waves at sea.

The Kremlin sees the state-of-the-art invention as giving Russian forces a key edge on NATO, but also as a money-spinner on the international arms market.

Russia boasts that the Sprut-SDM1 has undergone ‘extreme checks at sea, in central Russia and in the subtropics’, where the air temperature reached 40C (104F).

Footage released by state-owned conglomerate Rostec shows the light tank blasting targets while in the water.

The 18-tonne vehicle is said to have passed its Black Sea ‘swimming test’ successfully.

Testing at low temperatures is scheduled for early next year, Rostec’s industrial director said, saying it is also expected to function at minus 40C (-40F).

‘The Sprut-SDM1 is primarily intended for Russian paratroopers… [but] is expected [to] spark interest from foreign customers too,’ he said.

Although a light tank, the Sprut-SDM1 is claimed to pack the power of a modern main battle tank, with firepower comparable to the Russian T-90.

It is armed with a 2A75M 125 mm smoothbore gun and fires ammunition comparable with the T-72 and T-90 series tanks. A total of 40 rounds including missiles are carried for the main gun.

It showed itself capable of ‘firing when swimming, and coming ashore’,’ manufacturers boast.

Read More: Missiles, tanks on show at military parade

With up to three crew inside the tank as it parachutes into position, it can strike targets up to a mile and a half away, but also has guided missiles allowing it to destroy armored vehicles three miles away.

It has new sights from the T-90MS main battle tank, and thermal vision for the commander. In water, it is propelled by two water jets with a maximum speed of four and a half mph.

The tank can also be deployed from assault ships and can cover more than 300 miles without refueling. The Il-76 cargo aircraft can carry two of these light tanks.

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