Manul will be a platform compatible with various combat modules, including MLRS and air defense systems.
Based on the famous BMP-3, a few years ago the Russian defense industry introduced a promising combat vehicle, designated the BMP Manul, which is expected to successfully compete in the international arms market. Manul will be a platform compatible with various combat modules, including MLRS and air defense systems. Specifically, the AU-220M Baikal module with a 57 mm automatic gun was proposed.
The BMP Manul prototype was first revealed at the Army-2020 International Military-Technical Forum. The initial prototype was proposed to install an uninhabited combat module with a 30 mm automatic cannon, a 7.62 mm machine gun and a Kornet ATGM. The module is also equipped with modern optical-electronic sights and a digital fire control system.
The vehicle has a front-mounted engine, and a troop compartment that can accommodate eight people is located in the aft. Entrance and exit is carried out through a reclining ramp. The placement of the commander and gunner-operator depends on the type of fighting compartment. According to the manufacturer, the vehicle can reach a maximum road speed of up to 70 km/h, 55 km/h with off road terrain, and 9.5 km/h on water.
Recently, several images were revealed showing the vehicle equipped with the AU-220M module, also known as Baikal. This is an uninhabited turret with a oscillating mount for a 57 mm 2A91 automatic gun. It has a rate of fire up to 80 rds/min, and is capable of hitting armored targets at ranges of several kilometers, depending on their protection. Also on the module is placed a coaxial machine gun and optical-electronic sights of the commander and gunner.
The Manul project was developed with the aim of improving the ergonomics of the base BMP-3 and increasing the level of protection. The damaging element will now have to penetrate not only the frontal armor, but also the engine with units, which increases the safety of the crew and troops. In addition, the troop compartment has been redesigned. It has become larger and more comfortable, and the stern ramp makes it easier to get on and off.
The larger 57mm projectile is guaranteed to penetrate such armor from a distance of up to several kilometers. High performance is also achieved when firing at other targets, incl. buildings and tanks. Thus, the new version of “Manula” combines a fairly high level of protection, increased firepower and a certain ease of production and operation. At the same time, he is able to solve the same tasks as the base infantry vehicle BMP-3. Probably, such a combination of characteristics and capabilities may be of interest to the customer.