Russia developing new lightweight tank based on Sprut-SDM1

On June 27, 2019, the chief designer of the Special Machine-Building Design Bureau, Sergei Abdulov, told TASS Russian News Agency that the firm is working on a new lightweight tank, which is based on the Sprut-SDM1 self-propelled anti-tank gun. It will not be an airborne vehicle but should be amphibious.

Russia developing new lightweight tank based on Sprut SDM1
New Russian lightweight tank to be built, based on the design of the Sprut-SDM1 (Picture Source: Rosoboronexport)

He said, "Work is underway to develop a lightweight non-airborne but floating tank based on the Sprut-SDM1 platform. As compared to the Sprut, the new vehicle will get enhanced protection and different running gear: it will use a torsion bar suspension from the BMP-3 IFV that is more reliable and easier to operate than the Sprut’s hydro-pneumatic gear, the chief designer said, adding that "the weapons on the vehicle will remain the same."

Abdulov did not provide the project's name. No development timeframe was reported, meaning it is not clear when the prototypes of the vehicle will be ready for testing.

The Sprut-SDM1, based on the BMD-4M chassis, is an airborne vehicle classed in Russia as an anti-tank gun, though often referred to as a light tank. It sports a 125mm 2A75M smoothbore gun as its primary weapon.