An Interview with VPK’s General Director

General Director of the Military Industrial Company (VPK), Alexander Krasovitsky, gave an interview to Interfax. In this interview he gave updates on the development work for Athlete armoured vehicle, Tiger APC, Bumerang Platform, and other projects carried out by the company.

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Athlete Armoured Vehicle

Krasovitsky said that preliminary tests of the multipurpose armoured vehicle "Athlete" were on schedule. During these tests, prototypes traveled 16 thousand kilometres under an accelerated test program, which corresponds to 30 thousand kilometres under normal conditions.

These tests were conducted on various types of roads and, mainly artificial bumps. No problems or malfunctions appeared in those tests. Therefore, the next stage will be conducting state tests, which would be done by the end of 2020.

"Currently, two modifications of the Athlete armoured car are ready for testing. First, a multi-purpose vehicle with a five-door armoured hull AMN 233121. Second, a special-purpose vehicle ASN 233122 with a three-door armoured hull and a rotating shoulder strap on the hatch on the roof of the hull," said Krasovitsky.

He added that the ASN 233122 is equipped with a 12.7 mm KORD machine gun, an AGS-17 30 mm automatic grenade launcher, and a Pecheneg PKP machine gun. Each of these weapons can be mounted on a turret on a rotating shoulder strap on the roof of the hull. The vehicle  provides stacking for the weapon itself and for its ammunition, as well as for the RPG-26 (RShG-2) anti-tank (assault) grenades.

However, that is not all. The vehicle could be equipped with a wide variety of weapons, depending on the request of the customer. There are also plans to equip the vehicle with a 30 mm automatic cannon, which is under development together with the “Armoury Workshops” company.

Tiger Armoured Vehicle & BTR  Armoured Personnel Carrier

VPK's General Director said that the production of "Tiger" will not stop when "Athlete" enters the phase of serial production. Moreover, demand on "Tiger" vehicles is growing, said Krasovitsky. He added that there were no radical or significant changes in the design of armoured vehicles.

Krasovitsky noted that the company has recently shipped a batch of special Tiger armoured vehicles with the right steering wheel design to an African country. The delivered batch is already operating and entered service there.

VPK will also start the development of a non-military version of the Athlete vehcile.

Bumerang Platforms

According to Krasovitsky, VPK has completed preliminary tests of prototypes based on the Bumerang unified interspecific wheeled platform. Furthermore, he said that new prototypes are in the process of preparation as part of the Bumerang development centre for conducting state tests. The plan is to transfer the vehicles to this centre for state testing this year.

He also talked about the possibility of creating a light wheeled tank based on the Bumerang platorm. The platform is flexible for mounting it with a variety of weapons, therefore VPK proposed this platform to the Russian Ministry of Defenceas part of a plan to develop new weapons and military equipment for the Ministry.

Medved Armoured Vehicle

In order to adapt the vehicle to the needs of the armed forces, VPK is to create a military modification of "Medved". What distinguishes the military version of the Medved armoured vehicle will be the presence of a filter-ventilation installation on the vehicle, mounts for installing weapons and ammunition on it.

" "Medved" [is] the first mine-protected vehicle in Russia, made according to the so-called MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) technology. The armoured vehicle passed all the tests and, according to their results, was approved for the troops of the Russian Guard."

Development Work Carried Out By Military Industrial Company (VPK)

Currently, VPK R&D work is ongoing to create 14 new vehicles. On top of that, there VPK is working on new modifications of the Tiger armoured vehicles, the BTR-82A armoured personnel carrier, and the Bumerang unified wheeled armoured platform.

He noted that the modernisation of the APCs of the BTR-80 / 82A family will be by including options for equipping with more modern combat modules, increasing the security of the machine.

At ARMY-2020 Forum, there will be a demonstration of a prototype of a new modification of the BTR-82AT armoured personnel carrier with a set of protective screens and a new remotely controlled combat module. Additionally, VPK will demonstrate there a multi-purpose light armoured vehicle and another modification based on the Tiger chassis. On top of that, a caterpillar floating snow and swamp vehicle "5901", under development now, with a carrying capacity of 5 tons will be demonstrated this August in ARMY Forum.

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