Russia’s Sprut (Octopus) -SDM1 light amphibious tank has successfully completed next phase in a series of state tests which began in August 2020 and will last a year and a half.
According to the RIA Novosti news agency, which quotes Bekkhan Ozdoev, industrial director of the cluster of weapons at the Rostec state corporation, the Russian Ministry of Defense has been conducting state tests to validate tank’s laid in operational characteristics in sea and high mountain regions, in different climate zones, at air temperatures ranging from -40 to +40 degrees.
The latest stage of state tests of the light amphibious tank the Sprut-SDM1 was held in the Black Sea and was recognized as a success, Russia’s Interfax-AVN news agency reports. The tank proved the ability to overcome water obstacles of up to Sea State 3 carrying out targeted fire afloat by its main gun in limited traverse range and easily negotiates an unprepared shore. The next stage of state tests, which are to start early next year, will be testing the Sprut-SDM1 at extremely low temperatures. T
The 2S25M Sprut-SDM1 is an airborne light tank. It is a modernized version of the previous Sprut-SD. The new Sprut-SDM1 light tank is unified with the chassis of the new BMD-4M airborne combat vehicle.
The Sprut-SDM1 has firepower of a modern main battle tank and experts consider it comparable to that of Russian T-72 and T-90 series tank. It is armed with a fully-stabilized 2A75M 125 mm smoothbore gun to fire ammunition at maximum range of 2-2.5 km. Besides, the Sprut-SDM1 can launch anti-tank guided missiles at a range of up to 5 km and can also target low-flying helicopters. In order to accommodate a main battle tank gun on a comparatively small and light chassis, the Sprut is equipped with hydropneumatic suspension that can be raised and lowered by the driver.
This combat vehicle was specially designed for the Russian Airborne Forces but can be also used by naval infantry units. The Sprut-SDM1 weighs just 18 t. Mobility, rapid redeployment and air transportability are the key factors of this new light tank. Excellent mobility is facilitated in part by extensive use of aluminum in the Sprut’s hull. This tank is airportable and can be paradropped. The Il-76 cargo aircraft can carry two of these light tanks. The Sprut-SDM1 can be paradropped with the crew on board. Furthermore it is fully amphibious. This light tank is operated by a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver.
The Sprut-SDM1 has been developed by Volgograd machine-building company and Kurganmashzavod of the High Precision Weapons Holding (HPW). On success of state tests the manufacturer gets approval for the launch of serial production.
Currently Russia is the only country to operate airborne tanks. At a time when the Indian Army is hunting for light tanks, Sprut has good chances to meet the requirements for acquisition. According to Indian media, New Delhi is already in talks with Russia’s official arms exporter - Rosoboronexport.