Russia’s state corporation Rostec announced that it has completed the development of an anti-aircraft missile system for Airborne Forces.

The new system is called Ptitselov. Rostec claims that this air defense system is built on the chassis of the BMD-4M infantry fighting vehicle, intended to engage low-altitude targets including aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, and some light armored vehicles. Ptitselov can be parachuted from an airplane.

According to Anna News, the Airborne Forces variant will be built on the BMD-4M infantry fighting vehicle chassis, whereas the Ground Forces variant will be based on a BMP-3 Infantry fighting vehicle chassis. The BMD-4 is an amphibious infantry fighting vehicle originating from post-Cold War Russia, similar to the BMD-3, as it was developed on the same basis. This armored fighting vehicle is one of the lightest in its class, designed to transport Russian Airborne Troops; increasing its mobility, armament, and protection on the battlefield.

Ptitselov is armed with 12 Sosna-R anti-aircraft missiles, that are held in their transport-launch containers and arranged in two banks of six. The 9M337 Sosna-R is a Russian radar and laser-guided supersonic two-stage missile. It is used in the Sosna-R short-range air defense missile system designed to protect military units from air attacks in all types of combat situations, including during march. Sosna-R has a weight of about 30 kg, an operating range of 10 km, a combat altitude of up to 5 km. It can engage targets of aircraft, helicopters, missiles, cruise missiles, aerial bombs, small-sized air attack weapons including elements of high-precision weapons and light armored vehicles.

The Russian Airborne Forces or VDV is a separate troops branch of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. First formed before World War II, the force undertook two significant airborne operations and a number of smaller jumps during the war and for many years after 1945 was the largest airborne force in the world. The Russian Airborne Forces are well known for their mobility, utilizing a large amount of specifically designed vehicles built for airborne transport, as such, they are fully mechanized and traditionally have a larger complement of heavy weaponry than most contemporary airborne forces.

The upgraded BMD-4M has a wider hull than its predecessor; 6 m long, 3.15 m wide and 2.7 m high. Three-man crew (comprising commander, driver and gunner), and six more fully armed infantrymen in the passenger compartment. The driver sits at the front and the engine is located in the rear part of the hull.

The BMD-4M chassis is powered by a UTD-29 diesel engine that delivers 500 hp for outstanding all-terrain maneuverability. It can reach a top speed of 70 km/h and has a range of 500 km.

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