By Boyko Nikolov
Russia begins serial production of the 2С25М Sprut-SDM1 tank destroyer, Rostec announced. The self-propelled anti-tank vehicle will be produced at the Kurganmashzavod plant. Along with it, the BT-3F amphibious armored personnel carriers will go on the production line.
Serial production of Sprut-SDM1 was supposed to start at the end of last year. At least those were the plans announced by the plant’s executive director, Mr. Pyotr Tyukov, back in August. Then version SDM1 performed a series of state tests that allowed its certification. There is no official information why the serial production of the self-propelled anti-tank gun has been delayed for more than half a year.
Sprut-SDM1 is a modernized basic version of Sprut-SD. Sprut-SD was produced in the period 2005 – 2010, after which it was discontinued. In 2018, its production resumed. Today, interest in the tank destroyer is renewed again, most likely because of the war with Ukraine. Since its inception, Russia has lost a large number of armored land vehicles. According to experts, the losses are more than predicted, and, logically, Moscow would show interest in a weapon designed in the 1980s, which, however, has production readiness for a restart.
Sprut-SDM1 is actually a design at least eight years old. In 2015, this version was officially presented during the Russian exhibition “Army-2015”. The design of the new self-propelled anti-tank gun involves experts from Kurganmashzavod and Traktorni Zavodi.
New fire control system
The upgraded version of the Sprut-SDM1 self-propelled anti-tank gun, as well as the basic version, are equipped with an artillery-missile system with a 125 mm gun 2A75 and an automatic loader. However, the vehicle received an updated fire control system with a combined sight with TV and thermal channels.
What sights the new 2C25M serial machines will be equipped with has not been announced. Posts among Russian hobbyists and Sprut-SDM1 fans suggest that it will most likely be the PPND B03S03 “Sodema” multi-channel sight, which is already being fitted to the upgraded BMP-3M.
With the innovations, the combat capability of anti-tank self-propelled guns will remain the same, but the effectiveness is supposed to increase. I.e. the new optical systems should increase the efficiency of using the Sprut-SDM1 at any time of the 24-hour day.
The fact is that these changes will significantly increase the characteristics of the tank destroyer and allow them to effectively use their weapons twenty-four hours.
All the main technical characteristics of the upgraded +/- self-propelled guns remained at the same level. “Sprut-SDM1” has a combat weight of 18 tons. The maximum speed on the highway is 70 km / h. The machine can cross water obstacles, swimming with the help of water cannons at a speed of up to 7 km / h. Crew – 3 people.
The most noticeable visual difference between the Sprut-SDM1 self-propelled guns and the basic version is the chassis with seven small-diameter support wheels with individual torsion beam suspension and hydraulic shock absorbers.
As part of the unification of equipment for the Airborne Forces, it was decided to equip the 2S25M self-propelled guns with the chassis of the BMD-4M combat vehicle units. Nevertheless, the ability to change the clearance by adjusting the suspension parameters was also preserved.
At the same time, the Sprut-SDM1 also received a new diesel engine. It is UTD-29 type with a power of 500 hp, instead of the 2V-06-2 with a power of 450 hp. So far, there is no official information on whether the new cars will be equipped with additional side windows and anti-cumulative grilles.
But still with a high degree of probability, taking into account the current situation and accumulated combat experience, the Kurgans [Kurganmashzavod] will equip the Sprut-SDM1 with additional armor similar to the BMP-3M, which they also supply to the Ministry of Defense.