Originally appeared at SVpressa, translated by Comrade Korolyov exclusively for SouthFront
A final set of trials for the new Russian APC began last week. At the end of the year the first APCs will enter the military (codename of the vehicle: K-16). In 2017 these machines will enter mass production at the Arzamass machine plant. The military’s need for these machines will be satisfied only in the end of the decade, because K-16 can be used by all branches of the Russian military, may be excluding the Space Forces.
It is a completely new vehicle. According to the engineers it is vastly different from any modern-built APCs of Soviet designes that are currently serving in the Russian Army. The main producer of these vehicles is the “Military industrial company”. The task was very demanding. Firstly, the machine needed to be mine-proof, not only the APC itself, but all the machines that will be based on the “Bumerang” platform. Previous generation APCs were mine prone. This is why Russian soldiers preferred to sit on top of the armour, rather than inside the APC. This was solved completely.
The armour became tougher. New materials were used and geometry optimised, the engineers got the armour to be impervious to assault rifle and MG fire as well as small calibred AT rounds. As well as fragmentations from the large calibred AT rounds.
“Bumerang”, that is designed using 8 wheels (4 on each side), is amphibious. It uses a very powerful engine that runs on diesel, it is suited for cross country driving. On the highway it can move with speeds of up to 100 km/hr with 800 km range. It’s got two waterblasters that allow it to cross water obsticles. It is even capable of swimming in harsh weather conditions. For this purpose it has snorkels, air intake pipes that can be extended from the main body of the APC. This is why this vehicle can be used in the Navy as a naval infantry support vehicle.
The specialists, that got to “play around” with the K-16 say that it is very comfortable, this level of comfort is non-existant in the previous generation of Russian APCs. The engine with control section is in the front of the vehicle, the troopers are loaded (or landed) from behind, through rear bay doors. This way, the soldiers are protected. There are also 2 hatches that lead to the roof.
The model was first introduced to the Kremlin and representators of the Defense Ministry in 2013. And the first experimental vehicles went through the Red Square on 9th of May 2015 – at the 70th Anniversary of the Great Victory of the Soviet Union over the Third Reich.
The “Bumerang” platform is currently used to build two combat vehicles of different purposes. K-16 (APC) and K-17 (infantry support vehicle). The platform is most likely going to be used for an complete range of vehicles: Command vehicle, scout vehicle, electronic vehicle, self-propelled artillery, medical carrier, engineering vehicle… All this diversity demands optimal armaments, considering that the 20 tonne mass of the platform doesn’t allow heavy weapons to be installed. A 152-mm gun for the self-propelled artillery version will be too much.
The APC has a combat module “Bumerang-BM” that was built in Tula Construction Buerau. It is made of 30-mm automatic cannon 2A42, paired machine gun PKTM 7.62 mm and paired AT rocket launchers “Kornet” with 4 laser guided missiles.
The module is uninhabited, the fire is conducted remotely by the commander and by the gunner. This allowed to increase the safety of the crew and to lessen the profile of the module as well as install more equipment inside. As well as the vehicle’s own weapons, the module has TV and infrared targeting systems, atmosphere testing equipment. There are also units, which purpose is still classified. Experts think they could be for electronic warfare, or optoelectronic combat.
Maximum range on the cannon – 4 km. 500 rounds of ammunition, where 160 rounds are AP-tracing and 340 HE rounds. The MGs have 2000 rounds with 1.5 km range. The cannon is able to be lifted 70 degrees from the horizontal and fire onto air targets.
The AT missiles that are installed on the sides of the module in special containers can travel distances of 8-10 km depending on the model.
There are rumours, the module will not only be installed on the APC version, but also on “Kurganets-25” platform and even on some versions of the “Armata” platform. At the same time the multipurposefulness of the module is constantly tested and improved. It is planned to create a new module, “Epokha”, by the end of the decade. It is said to be a deep modification of the “Kurganets-BM”.
As it goes for K-17, as per its infantry support task, it needs a powerful combat module, which is the “Bumerang-BM”. The information in open sources is very limited. And sometimes, contradictory. This is why we can speculate the K-16 is armed with a different module. May be a development of the Nizhniy Novgorod’s “Burevestnik” research institue that is based on a 7.62 mm MG. Obviously, with a modern fire control and direction system. Perhaps, smoke grenades as well. May be even aerosoles.
The next stage to develop the platform is the creation of a 120 mm self-propelled artillery gun and a 57 mm AA gun.
To conclude, a curious story that was posted in social networks in April 2015 not long before the Victory Parade in Moscow. A blogger, that is knowledgeable in combat vehicles, wrote that an Irish military journal wrote an article about serious financial issues of the Timoney Technology company that is near Dublin. And that they were caused by EU’s sanctions against Russia. The Irish made a deal in 2011 with Deripaska’s “Russian motors” companies group of 100 million euros worth to create a transmission and engine adaptations for the “Bumerang” platform for exporting purposes.
When the work was almost complete, the sanctions were put in place and the Irish company suffered heavy losses. The Russians were also affected. And this is why the “Bumerang’s” parttaking in the parade was under question.
The “world community” became highly excited and began to spread this April’s Fools joke everywhere. That is considering, the author specially made a few hints on the unreliability of the source. E.g. the name of the journal was in French. Also, Deripaska has nothing to do with Russian military industial complex what so ever.