Recently, Anna News quoted Syrian military sources as saying that Kurganets-25 was brought to Syria to test and complete all assessment tests.
As one of the first countries to research, manufacture and develop infantry fighting vehicles, Russia has a great deal of experience in this area. In the past, in order to meet the operational requirements of the Cold War, the Soviet Army constantly increased its defensive and maneuverability features on infantry fighting vehicles, while enhancing the fire power on these vehicles. This is most evident in the line of BMP infantry fighting vehicles, built in the 1960s of the last century.
On the basis of the first BMP-1, the Soviet Union continued to develop second-generation infantry fighting vehicles BMP-2 and later BMP-3. These vehicles have evolved with a fire system combining automatic guns and anti-tank missiles, creating significant power for ground forces.
It can be said that the battlefield practice is the clearest and most accurate testing environment for weapons. After being commissioned, Soviet infantry fighting vehicles participated in many different wars with different types of terrain such as deserts, mountainous areas, urban areas, etc. However, due to the limited weapons features and the battlefield reality in Europe was very different than in the Soviet Union. Therefore, the BMP generations has exposed many limitations, including many issues related to the firepower system. The heavy losses in these wars were the driving force behind the development of the new Tank Support Fighting Vehicle program, the BMPT Terminator.
Despite successfully researching and manufacturing new BMPT, the Russian Army continues to promote research and production of Amata tanks. This is considered the most complete design, with superior firepower systems and modular design that allows to perform many different tasks. On the basis of the Armata chassis, Russia has developed new generation of infantry fighting vehicle and armored personnel carrier, including Kurganets-25 and Boomerang for light and medium armored brigades.
For the Russian army, the Kurganets-25 is a breakthrough in armor technology compared to previous generations and becomes a perfect machine in the urban war. The Kurganets-25 infantry fighting vehicle is a completely new development of the Russian army, designed in a modular fashion that allows easy replacement and use of different combat combinations, allows to reduce production and repair costs.
Kurganets-25 is manufactured by Kurganmashzavod, located in Kurgan city, southwestern Russia, and also produces legendary armored combat vehicles such as BMP series. According to the manufacturer, the Kurganets-25 will have many different variants, each of which will be equipped with weapons suitable to combat requirements. In the near future Kurganets-25 will gradually replace BMP, BMD, MT-LB and other types of tracked Soviet armored platforms. The Kurganets-25s were first seen in public during rehearsals for the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade.
Information about the tactical features of Kurganets-25 is quite limited, because the development of this new vehicle is completely confidential. However, some official information about Kurganets-25 has been leaked. According to Russian media, Kurganets-25 is different from previous versions such as BMP-2 and BMP-3. The weight of each vehicle is about 25 tons, nearly equal to the legendary T-34 tank and much heavier than its predecessors. Kurganets-25 also supports add-on armor, allowing the vehicle to operate effectively under heavy fire on the battlefield and shell fragments. The Afganit active protection system is capable of protecting the vehicle against anti-tank missiles and rockets.
Other parameters of Kurganets-25 also differ from previous generations including 7.2 meters in length, 2.5 meters in height and 3.2 meters in width. The new Russian armored vehicle is now closer to Western vehicles like the American Bradley M-2. The Kurganets-25 uses the same seven double-tired roadwheel layout as on the T-14 or T-15, although its drive sprocket is at the front as in the latter. The height of the vehicle can be adjusted between 100 and 500 mm thanks to a special adjustment system. In terms of cross-country capability, the Kurganets is equipped with a hydraulic suspension that reduces the overload and fatigue of soldiers when traveling on rough terrain.
At the heart of the Kurganets-25 is a 12.4 liter 6-cylinder turbo-diel YaMZ-780 engine delivering 750 horsepower. This allows for road speeds up to 80 km/h and ranges up to 500 km. The vehicle also holds an amphibious capability, traversing water sources at a serviceable 10 km/h.
Kurganets-25’s engine was positioned at the front to reserve space at the rear for the troop compartment. There are seven seats, all equipped with safety belts and shock absorbers as well as dampers mechanism when crossing minefields. The standard crew is three people including the driver, the commander and the gunner, all in the hull. With this new multipurpose platform, it can be easily converted from infantry fighting vehicles to armored personnel carriers.
Surprisingly, the fire layout of the Kurganets-25 is far different from the previous BMP-1, 2 or 3 when the turret was placed close to the rear instead of the center of the hull. The firepower of Kurganets-25 is also very advanced, with a remote control turret equipped with a 30mm automatic cannon and 7.62mm machine gun. There are also 4 Kornet-EM Anti-Tank Guided Missile launchers arranged on either side of the turret for long-range anti-tank capability.
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All of these weapons are controlled by a digital fire control system, allowing automatic selection of targets in both active and passive modes. To ensure the accuracy of the weapons system, Kurganets-25 is equipped with laser distance measurement system, day and night viewfinder, camera installed around the vehicle, providing full 360-degree panoramic views.
It is expected that this new generation of infantry fighting vehicles will be put into mass production from the period after 2020 to replace the legendary BMP series.
However, before large-scale production, Kurganets-25 needs to be fully tested tactical features to detect the remaining weaknesses, the most ideal place is the Syrian battlefield. Recently, Anna News quoted Syrian military sources as saying that Kurganets-25 was brought to Syria to test and complete all assessment tests.
Thus, it can be seen that the design of Russian infantry fighting vehicles has changed a lot. In particular, this idea emphasizes the use of small-caliber automatic cannon, enhances the flexibility of missiles and the defenses of the turret. Along with T-14 and T-15 Armata, Kurganets-25 promises to become the backbone of Russian armies in the future.