“Boomerang” in the version of an infantry fighting vehicle with cannon and machine gun armament
In the near future, the Russian army is to enter the Boomerang unified combat platform developed by the Military Industrial Company. First of all, an armored personnel carrier and an infantry fighting vehicle based on it will go to the troops, and in the future, the appearance of equipment of other classes is possible. In particular, the idea of developing the construction of a “combat vehicle with heavy weapons” or a wheeled tank is being considered.
History of the issue
The first reports about the fundamental possibility of creating a wheeled tank based on the Boomerang platform appeared almost simultaneously with the news about the start of this project. Subsequently, this topic was repeatedly raised at different levels. In particular, several times the leadership of “VPK” spoke about the hypothetical project and its technical features.
However, the development of a real project has not yet begun. The reason is simple – the lack of a corresponding order from the Ministry of Defense. However, upon receiving it, the platform developer is ready to start work and submit the finished project within a reasonable time frame. How soon the military department will make such an order is unknown.
Perhaps the situation will become clear in the near future. In June 2020, the Ministry of Defense held a meeting on the development of promising models of equipment. During this event, the Military Industrial Company recalled the Boomerang platform as a potential base for a wide range of armored vehicles for various purposes. She is capable of carrying weapons of different calibers and other special equipment that can be used in new projects.
Tank on wheels
Open data on the Boomerang platform and the equipment based on it make it possible to imagine what a hypothetical wheeled tank might look like. Obviously, to create such a machine, a radical alteration of the existing unified chassis is not required. At the same time, a suitable fighting compartment should be installed on the existing hull, and the internal compartments should be given for new equipment.
The wheeled tank will receive quite powerful protection from the base chassis. The Boomerang body is equipped with multi-layer combined armor based on metal and ceramics, and also carries overhead protection elements. The frontal part of the vehicle is protected from small-caliber guns. A turret with weapons may have a similar design.
The front-engine chassis is equipped with a YaMZ-780 diesel engine with a capacity of 750 hp. and an automatic transmission with torque distribution between all wheels. In the stern there are two water cannons for movement on the water. On land, cars of the Boomerang family can reach speeds of at least 100 km / h, on water – up to 10 km / h.
Last year, in an interview with Interfax, VPK CEO Alexander Krasovitsky mentioned that the wheeled tank could receive a set of weapons similar to that used on the 2S25 Sprut-SD self-propelled gun. However, he did not specify whether this will be a direct borrowing or the development of a new fighting compartment based on the available components and solutions.
Recall that the 2S25 self-propelled anti-tank gun is equipped with a 125-mm 2A75 smooth-bore gun-launcher with a two-plane stabilizer and an automatic loader. Such a weapon is capable of using the entire range of single-case rounds for the 2A46 tank gun, including several types of guided missiles. Also “Sprut-SD” is equipped with machine guns of normal caliber. In projects 2S25 (M), fire control systems of the tank type are used, which ensure high accuracy and efficiency of fire.
Shooting from a 30 mm cannon
Obviously, the tank-type fighting compartment will be located in the central part of the hull, behind the control compartment and the engine compartment. In this case, the aft compartment of the hull, previously intended for the troop compartment, will remain free. It can be used to increase ammunition or to carry any payload.
In accordance with current trends, the fighting compartment should be supplemented with a remotely controlled module with a machine gun of normal or large caliber. You also need a coaxial machine gun on a gun mount, “traditional” for tanks and other equipment.
The fire control system must be built using modern principles and components. In this context, unification with the SPTP 2S25 of the latest version and later modifications of domestic tanks will be useful. Taking into account the prospects for the development of the army, it is necessary to integrate communication facilities compatible with the Unified Tactical Control System.
A hypothetical wheeled tank on the Boomerang platform has a number of important differences from existing models of technology, and some of them can be considered advantages. Such a model is quite capable of finding its place in the army and regaining its place in the international military equipment market.
Launch of a guided missile from an airborne launcher
The main advantage of the already developed armored vehicles and the alleged wheeled tank is the use of a unified platform. The common chassis will significantly simplify and reduce the cost of both production and operation of a number of samples of different classes. In addition, unification of weapons and components of the FCS is possible, which will also give similar advantages.
An important feature of the Boomerang family is the use of a wheeled chassis. It is easier to operate, provides high driving performance and increases overall vehicle mobility. Unlike tracked tanks, wheeled tanks are capable of quickly covering long distances on their own, without involving tankers. In addition, due to the limited combat mass, the tank based on the “Boomerang” will be able to retain the ability to swim.
The use of a fighting compartment of the type of SPTP 2S25 allows you to obtain high combat characteristics, allowing you to fight all modern threats. At the same time, it will be possible to provide an advantage over the bulk of foreign wheeled tanks and similar armored vehicles. The latter are often armed with 105-mm rifled cannons, while the Boomerang will be able to carry a 125-mm smooth-bore system that can fire both projectiles and guided missiles.
Self-propelled armament 2S25M – 125-mm cannon, machine gun and smoke grenade launchers
In general, a wheeled combat vehicle with a large-caliber powerful weapon can become a convenient and successful addition to other armored vehicles of traditional classes. She can take on at least part of the functions of tanks and solve such problems with fewer restrictions and with more complete compliance with current conditions. At the same time, it is obvious that a wheeled tank on the Boomerang platform will not be able to completely replace main tanks in all areas of their application.
With unclear prospects
On the basis of the unified combat platform “Boomerang”, combat and auxiliary armored vehicles for various purposes can be created, incl. carriers of various artillery systems. However, in the case of a wheeled tank, so far we are talking only about a fundamental possibility, but not about a real project with clear prospects.
As follows from the news and statements of recent years, the “Military Industrial Company” is ready to develop a similar armored vehicle and start its production – but for this it needs an order from the Ministry of Defense. The development contract is not yet available and it is not known if it will appear in the future. For a number of reasons, the Ministry of Defense does not show much interest in the subject of wheeled tanks and is in no hurry to order their development.
Thus, the prospects and technical appearance of the hypothetical replenishment of the “Boomerang” line completely depend on the customer and are still in question. At the same time, the industry has the necessary ideas, developments and components to create a finished project. Time will tell how the army will use its capabilities.