The Russian arms giant Rostec has announced that the development of an anti-aircraft missile complex for the airborne units has been completed. The newest system is called Ptitselov [means Birder in English].
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Ptitselov will be able to be lowered from a plane with the help of a parachute. Rostec claims that this anti-aircraft complex was built on the chassis of a BMD-4M amphibious assault vehicle.
The birth and development of the BMD-4M were accompanied by disagreements about the capabilities of this combat machine within the Russian military. In 2012, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Russia said that the BMD-4M did not meet the requirements of the Russian army. Later, however, the Airborne Forces responded that this machine fully met their requirements.
In 2016, the BMD-4M officially entered service with the Russian Airborne Forces. Ptitselov is actually an add-on to BMD-4M. I.e. instead of the standard tower, this anti-aircraft system is placed in its place.
The Ptitselov anti-aircraft system is designed to counter air targets at a short range. The chassis is powered by a 450 hp engine. The chassis is armored. The weapons complex can be remotely controlled. It is built based on the Sosna remote weapon platform.
The platform has an optical-electronic unit and two launchers for containers with missiles. According to sources in the Russian media, Ptitselov can perform horizontal circular targeting. At the same time, the optics, as well as the weapon complex, can also move in the vertical plane.
12 missiles can be accommodated in the combat module of the system. The missiles are type 9M340 Sosna-R. 9M340 Sosna-R is a 130mm rocket that weighs in the range of 30-31 kg. The operational range of the missile is 10 km. However, the missile can also hit targets at a height, with an operational strike height of up to 5 km. This rocket reaches a maximum flight speed of up to 900 m/s. The warhead is fragmentation.
The combat module or the Ptitselov anti-aircraft system itself is controlled by an operator-gunner. The operator-gunner is inside the landing vehicle BMD-4M. Inside the console, the operator-gunner can direct the fired missile, as it has a camera on the front directly transmitting the video signal to the operator-gunner. The maximum detection and tracking range of large objects is 30 km. It is intended to work in automatic and semi-automatic mode.
Rostec was supposed to finish developing Ptitselov last year. However, the war in Ukraine changed the plans for many Russian weapons projects. Ptitselov also fell into this group. Almost 12 months later, Rostec announced that it had finished development.
Ptitselov’s tests are pending. Due to the war, several anti-aircraft systems may be directly tested in real combat conditions. Russia has already announced that the BMD-4M is performing well at the front. It received damage as well as being fired upon by the enemy, but according to reports in the Russian media, those vehicles that allow for field repairs are repaired just like that.
Experts in Russia say that the choice of BMD-4M chassis for Ptitselov is the right decision. Mainly in terms of reducing maintenance costs, a unified chassis that can work in formation, and the ability to be easily and quickly repaired. How effective it will be remains to be seen, however, when Moscow orders the tests to begin in Ukraine.
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