Light Amphibious Tank SPRUT-SDM1. On the land, in the water, and in the air

For the first time in the world, it is in Russia where a modern light tank has been developed, and what makes it absolutely unique, it is an amphibious tank. This is a novelty that many military experts have already seen at international military exhibitions. It was presented by PJSC Kurganmashzavod (part of the High-Precision Weapons Holding belonging to the Rostec State Corporation).

The advantages of this light amphibious tank, the self-propelled anti-tank gun SPRUT-SDM1, are particularly obvious in the conditions of high mountains and coastal marine areas.

The vehicle is capable of performing tactical tasks including reconnaissance, combat, march, and out-guard security; actions within raiding, flanking, and forward squads; actions within a combat support area and providing maneuvering defence; forcing water barriers agoing; amphibious operations; actions in forested, mountainous and northern areas; territory monitoring in peacekeeping operations and in local armed conflicts.

And, since it is still a light amphibious tank by definition, the SPRUT-SDM1 has to meet some of general requirements related to a main battle tank:

 Fire power equal or at least comparable to that of a main battle tank;

Enhanced tactical mobility and operational maneuverability, including the capacity to independently cross a water barrier agoing;

Significantly better adaptability to an operational and strategic transportation by air, sea, rail, and road.

All these features have been embodied in the design of the Russian Light Amphibious Tank, the self-propelled anti-tank gun SPRUT-SDM1. The vehicle is capable of performing tasks in the three elements - on the land, in the water, and in the air.

It is absolutely clear for experts that, at last, there emerged a universal fighting machine for a variety of armed forces’ branches. Thus, the Land Forces equipped with such vehicles would now be able to complete their reconnaissance, anti-tank or police units, special mountain formations and squads. Both the Marines and coastal Land Forces would receive additional protection and enhanced firepower. Area defence units would acquire a rapid response force against sudden threats and attacks. At the same time, the cruising range of the SPRUT-SDM1 is up to 500 km without refueling that provides an additional service life and ensures fulfillment of a combat task over a long time.

The 500-HP multi-fuel diesel engine UTD29 develops the power necessary to drive this 18-ton three-man combat vehicle at speeds of up to 70 km/h on land and up to 10 km/h in the water. At the same time, the SPRUT-SDM1 Light Amphibious Tank is able to overcome mountain bridges without losses in personnel and materiel.

Across the world, there are no similar amphibious vehicles enjoying such powerful weapons per unit weight. So, the SPRUTSDM1 Light Amphibious Tank is equipped with the 2A75 125-mm gun, which is capable to fire modern APFSDS, HEAT and HEF projectiles, as well as munitions with remote detonation on a trajectory. Such weapons are particularly efficient against enemy personnel, MANPATS elements, soft-skinned vehicles, and light armor.

In terms of firepower, it is on the level with another Russian novelty – the T-90MS Main Battle tank. It is also necessary to mention that the upgraded SPRUT-SDM1 Light Amphibious Tank can fire guided missiles with shaped and HEF payloads, thanks to which the most protected enemy armor can be penetrated at a range up to 5 km. One ammunition allowance of the SPRUT-SDM1 Light Amphibious Tank totals 40 rounds for the gun, including 22 rounds in the mechanized rounds rack.

The vehicle mounts a 7.62 mm remote-controlled machine gun. As a result, the vehicle commander would be able to independently engage detected targets at the same time when the main weapon is being used by the weapons operator. The total ammunition for the MGs is 3,000 rounds.

Apart from the tank gun, the “self-propelled gun” enjoys the latest fire control system. This is the SOSNA-U, one of the world’s best sights for a weapons operator. The PKP, the commander’s panoramic sight, would allow firing all types of ammunition, including guided missiles. Both sights are equipped with an automatic target acquisition and tracking device. In case of damage of the main sights, there is a backup sight, an optical-electronic one which has a vertical-stabilized field of vision and a standalone power system.

The information and control system of the chassis does greatly facilitate operation and has a failure-warning feature. The chassis is equipped with a highly efficient independent hydro-pneumatic suspension with an adjustable chassis clearance system. Considering somewhat specific application of the vehicle, a possibility of squashing a bottom against the ground shall not be overestimated.

The demand for this category of armor will only increase in the near future. Especially, after foreign military specialists have seen the price of the SPRUT-SDM1 Light Amphibious Tank compared to that of similar vehicles offered by other foreign manufacturers.


Kurganmashzavod PJSC,
17, Mashinostroiteley Ave., Of. 1Zh,
640021, Kurgan, Russian Federation,
Phone: +7 (3522) 23-20-83, +7 (3522) 47-14-40,
Fax: +7 (3522) 23-20-71

©New Defence Order. Strategy  №1 (72) 2022


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