The BTR-MD Rakushka (shell) is a new Russian armored personnel carrier, designed specially for airborne troops. Its development commenced in 2009. First two armored vehicles were delivered to Russian Airborne Forces in 2013. Another 8 vehicles were planned to be delivered for testing in 2014. It was expected that these 10 vehicles are to be put into service after the tests, alongside with improved BMD-4M airborne combat vehicles. The BTR-MD is seen a replacement for the ageing BTR-D air assault transporter, however full replacement of the fleet is unlikely due to funding problems. Most likely only a limited number of new APCs will be built. The new vehicle is also being proposed for the Russian naval infantry.
The BTR-MD is based on the BMD-4 airborne combat vehicle chassis. The turret has been removed and hull has been enlarged. It is much larger than the previous BTR-D. The Rakushka has more internal space and can be tailored to suit many roles. It can be used to carry troops, cargo, ammunition, fuel and other frontline supplies. The new APC is fully amphibious and can be airdropped.
A whole host of BTR-MD variants is currently planned or under development. These include signals vehicle, anti-tank missile carrier with Kornet missiles, MRU-D air defense radar carrier, Poliot-K unmanned aerial vehicle control vehicle, Poliot-K UAV command post vehicle , Obzhimka reconnaissance and fire control post. Other versions, such as Lastochka-2 special signals vehicle and BMM-D Travmatizm armored ambulance were trialed by the Russian airborne forces.
In 2013 an improved BTR-MDM was revealed, even though the first production vehicles were not yet delivered to the Russian airborne troops. The new vehicle has the same improvements as the BMD-4M airborne combat vehicle. Its engine, transmission, waterjets and a number of other components were sourced from the BMP-3M infantry fighting vehicle. The first batch of 12 BTR-MDMs was delivered for trials and evaluation in 2015. It was reported that the BTR-MDM is more reliable than the original BTR-MD. It was officially adopted in 2016, while the original BTR-MD was never produced in quantity. As of 2017 the Russian airborne forces operate around 80-100 of BTR-MDM armored personnel carriers. Source military-today.com
The BTR-MD Rakushka (Objekt 950) is a tracked armored personnel carrier, designed specially for airborne troops.
Its development commenced in 2009. First batch of 10 vehicles is expected to be delivered in 2013.
The BTR-MD is seen a replacement for the ageing BTR-D air assault transporter. The new vehicle is also being proposed for the Russian naval infantry.
The BTR-MD Rakushka is based on the chassis of the airborne tracked armoured infantry fighting vehicle BMD-3, but turret has been removed and hull has been enlarged. The vehicle has more internal space and can be tailored to suit many roles. BTR-MD is fully amphibious and can be airdropped. The BTR-MD Raskushka can be used as:
- personnel carrier
- command post
- ammunitions cargo carrier
- fuel cargo carrier
BTR-MDM (Shell-M) is a tracked, airborne, multi-purpose, fully-amphibious armoured personnel carrier (APC) developed primarily for the Russian Army as well as the Russian Marine Corps.
Development of the BTR-MDM vehicle began in 2008. It was unveiled at the Russian Arms Expo, RAE 2013, held in Nizhny Tagil, Russia, in September 2013. The first batch production APCs took part in the Moscow Victory Day Parade in May 2015.
The BTR-MDM armoured vehicle is designed for use by the airborne units / air assault formations of the Navy Marine Corps for the transportation of troops, fuel, ammunition, spare parts, and lubricants. It can be configured as command post machine, communications and control machinery, medical vehicle, and logistics vehicle.
BTR-MDM orders and deliveries
The BTR-MDM APC is based on the BTR-MD Rakushka vehicle developed and manufactured by JSC VgTZ Volgograd machine-building company, a part of the machine building industrial group Concern Tractor Plants. The modernised vehicle features improved performance characteristics and higher reliability compared to the base variant.
Prototypes of the BTR-MDM APC underwent tests conducted by the Ministry of Defense of Russia until the end of 2014. Marine tests on the prototypes were completed in August 2014.
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Kurgan machine plant, which is also a part of Concern Tractor Plants, shipped the first batch production vehicles to the Russian Airborne Troops in Tula Airborne Division, under the state programme of rearmament, in March 2015.
Design and features of BTR-MDM armoured vehicle
The BTR-MDM APC features an all-welded aluminium hull. The vehicle offers increased combat-readiness and high firepower in the battlefield.
Combat weight of the APC is 13.2t and it has a maximum cargo weight of 2t. It is operated by a crew of two (commander and driver) and accommodates up to 13 personnel. The front section is equipped with driver and commander seats as well as three roof hatches.
Transporting the wounded
The vehicle is air-droppable by military transport aircraft such as IL-76 and AN-124 using parachute, and is air transportable by a MI-26 heavy transport helicopter.
Armament and protection of the BTR-MDM APC
Fitted to the BTR-MDM combat vehicle is a roof-mounted, autonomous fire control turret in the left side of the cabin. The turret is armed with a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun. A PKMT 7.62 x 54mm machine gun is mounted on the ball joint for protection from small explosives.
PKMT 7.62 x 54mm machine gun
7.62mm machine gun is mounted at the front right side of the hull
The Kalashnikov PK is a general-purpose machine gun which has four basic versions: light machine gun firing from an integral bipod – PK; medium machine gun firing from a universal tripod – PKS; tank coaxial machine gun – PKT; and machine gun for armored personnel carriers (in pintle mounts) – PKB. When the basic weapon was improved in 1969 to become the PKM, all of its versions also received similar designations – PKMS and PKMT.
|PK / PKS||PKM / PKMS||PKMT|
|Weight||9 kg (gun) + 7,7 kg (tripod)||7,5 kg (gun) + 4,5 kg (tripod)||10,5 kg|
|Length||1173 mm||1160 mm||1098 mm|
|Length of barrel||658 mm||645 mm||722 mm|
|Feed||belt, 100, 200 or 250 rounds|
|Rate of fire||650 rounds per minute||650 rounds per minute||800 rounds per minute|
The APC is equipped with two smoke grenade dischargers on each side at the front, for protection from enemy vehicles. The hull offers protection against small arms fire and shell splinters.
Observation and fire control
A digital information and control system integrated in the vehicle provides command and control, and communication for the crew. The commander is provided with TNP3VE01-01 combined periscope.
TNP3VE01-01 combined periscope
|Input voltage (V DC)||
Engine details of the armoured personnel carrier
The BTR-MDM armoured vehicle runs on liquid-cooled, multi-fuel, four-stroke, naturally-aspirated UTD-29 engine, which has a maximum power of 500hp. Coupled to the engine is coupled is a four-speed, hydro-mechanic transmission system with a power take-off drive pump.
UTD-29 multi-fuel Diesel engine
|Engine power output (h.p.)||
|Number of cylinders||
|Cylinder bore (mm)||
|Cylinder stroke (mm)||
The vehicle is propelled by two single-stage, axial, screw-type water jets with guide vanes fitted on either side of the vehicle.
The vehicle is also equipped with an adjustable hydro-pneumatic suspension
BTR-MDM combat vehicle performance
The BTR-MDM armoured personnel carrier can reach highway speeds up to 70km/h, water speeds of approximately 10km/h, and average speed between 45km/h and 50km/h on dry dirt roads. Maximum range for the on highways is 500km and 350km on dry soil. The vehicle can endure for up to seven hours when afloat.
The vehicle can climb up to 0.8m-high walls and negotiate a variety of obstacles including trench, wade, and slides. Its minimum and maximum ground clearances are 100mm and 530mm respectively, and working ground clearance is between 400mm and 440mm.
|Power-to-weight ratio (h.p./t)||
|Engine power output (h.p.)||
|Max. road speed (km/h)||
|Max. water speed (km/h)||
|Max. road range (km)||
Main material source army-technology.com
Revised Mar 21, 2018