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RAE 2015: Few new systems feature

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RAE 2015: Few new systems feature
Christopher F Foss, Nizhny Tagil, Russia and Huw Williams, Nizhny Tagil, Russia - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

10 September 2015

The BMP-3 Dragon was one of the few new armoured fighting vehicles being shown for the first time. Source: Christopher F Foss

Despite the presence of Russia's latest armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) - the T-14 Armata main battle tank (MBT), T-15 heavy infantry fighting vehicle (HIFV), and Koalitsya-SV 2S35 155 mm self-propelled artillery system - Russia Arms Expo 2015 (RAE 2015) was a noticeably subdued event.

These vehicles were shown amid tight security and were firmly locked down behind a cordon, with no technical information being released. None took part in the daily firepower and mobility demonstration.

The emphasis was firmly on promoting the export of in-production AFVs, such as the T-90 series MBT and BMP-3 IFV, as well as upgrade packages.

Even those systems that were debuted at the 2013 iteration of the exhibition were noticeable by their absence, including the BTR-82A armoured personnel carrier (APC), which previously took part in the firepower and mobility demonstration.

The lack of a significant overseas presence was a key contributing factor. In 2013 France's Nexter Systems, Renault Trucks Defense, Panhard Defense, Thales, and Sagem all played a major part, with a number of joint ventures being lauded.

Sanctions have halted these partnerships and are causing major issues for a number of Russia's vehicle programmes. For example, Thales provides thermal cameras for the T-90 series MBTs, while Renault Trucks Defense teamed with UralVagonZavod to develop the Atom (8x8) family of AFVs with a full-scale mock-up being shown in 2013 - co-operation on this programme has now come to a standstill.


The Armata MBT was not put through its paces in the firepower and mobility display at RAE 2015. (Christopher F Foss)

Among the upgraded systems debuting at RAE 2015 were a BTR-80 8x8 amphibious APC, featuring a new protection package that includes bar/slat armour and spall liners, cameras for situational awareness through 360°, and a new remote weapon station armed with a stabilised 12.7 mm machine gun (MG).

Elsewhere, a new version of the BMP-3 IFV was shown with a design that sees the engine compartment moved from the rear to the front of the hull and the two 7.62 mm bow-mounted MGs removed - these changes serve to increase the internal volume for crew and dismounts.

The vehicle can be fitted with a variety of weapon stations including a remote-controlled turret armed with a 57 mm cannon and 7.62 mm co-axial MG, and a new turret that features a 100 mm gun, 30 mm co-axial cannon, and a 7.62 mm co-axial MG. One proposed fit would introduce the complete turret from the 2S25 Sprut SP anti-tank gun, which is equipped with a 125 mm smoothbore gun, and 7.62 mm co-coaxial MG. The 125 mm gun fires the same separate loading ammunition as the T-72 and T-90MBTs, as well as a laser-guided projectile fitted with a tandem high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead.
RAE 2015: Few new systems feature - IHS Jane's 360
 
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