One of the earliest versions of AUB-220M DBM. Photo NPK Uralvagonzavod / uvz.ru
Since 2015, the AU-220M Baikal remotely controlled combat module (DBM) has regularly been shown at exhibitions. This product is equipped with a 57-mm automatic gun 2A91 high power, which should provide him with a sharp increase in combat qualities. It is planned to use such opportunities in several promising projects - both Russian and foreign.
It is well known that the main reason for the emergence of DBKM "Baikal" was a kind of crisis in the field of light armored vehicles. Most of these machines are equipped with automatic guns of 30 mm caliber, but they themselves are protected from this weapons. Accordingly, to combat them, tools of increased power and increased caliber are needed.
The product AU-220M was developed by the Nizhny Novgorod Central Research Institute "Petrel" and was first presented in 2015 at several domestic and foreign exhibitions. It is an uninhabited tower with machine-gun and cannon weapons, storage and supply of ammunition, fire control devices, sights, etc. Defeat targets is provided by a 2A91 gun and a PKTM machine gun. In the future, the introduction of a missile system is possible.
Baikal was originally created as a universal DBM suitable for installation on different chassis. In this regard, the main units are placed in a single housing, occupying a minimum volume inside the carrier machine. The latter has certain requirements. So, for mounting, a landing flange with a diameter of 1740 mm and a load capacity of at least 3650 kg are required. Also, the chassis must withstand loads when firing.
Experimental version of the BRM-3K with Baikal. The first Derivation looked similar. Photo by Vitalykuzmin.net
As theoretical and design work has already shown, a number of domestic and foreign armored combat vehicles meet similar requirements. Thanks to this, several models of equipment armed with Baikal have been created, and new ones may appear in the near future.
Already in 2015, the possibility of mounting the AU-220M module on the chassis of the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle was shown. This combination of the base vehicle and weapons allows you to create several types of armored vehicles of different classes and for different purposes.
The first appeared version of the BMP-3 called Derivation, developed by the Uralvagonzavod NPK. The full-time fighting compartment was removed from the armored car, and a new DBM was mounted instead. This led to a sharp increase in combat characteristics and to the expansion of the range of tasks. In particular, the possibility of an effective fight against both ground and air targets of various types was mentioned.
Later, the “Derivation” project was developed. At the exhibition “Army-2018”, the first public display of the BMP-3 in version 2C38 “Derivation-Air Defense” took place. An armored vehicle with an updated AU-220M module is intended for military air defense. Fire controls have been refined to more effectively solve such problems with the 57mm 2A91 gun.
Experienced BBM "Derivation-Air Defense". Photo Bmpd.livejournal.com
In 2016, the industry showed a modernized version of the BRM-3K Lynx combat reconnaissance vehicle, also updated using the Baikal module. Together with the DBM, the armored vehicle received new optoelectronic devices suitable for reconnaissance missions.
Since 2015, it has been repeatedly mentioned that Baikal is fully compatible with the promising heavy unified platform Armata. Subsequently, a corresponding project was developed, and in 2018, the public was first shown a finished prototype of this kind. The AUB-220M DBM of the latest version, known as the “Dagger,” was installed on the chassis of the heavy T-15 infantry fighting vehicle. A characteristic feature of this modification of the Baikal is the presence of guided missiles that complement the powerful 57-mm gun.
So far, the T-15 with Baikal was shown only at the exhibition site. However, in the near future it will be shown in motion. Recently, the Ministry of Defense reported that such equipment will take part in the parade on May 9. It should be noted that previously BBMs with AU-220M in Red Square were not shown.
The combat module with a 57-mm cannon is of interest not only for Russian designers and military. There is already an international project involving the installation of the Baikal on a foreign chassis. In addition, in the future, work may begin on a new machine of this kind.
Heavy BMP with a combat module "Baikal" / "Dagger". Wikimedia Commons Photos
In 2016, the Barys 8x8 armored personnel carrier equipped with the Baikal model was shown at the KADEX exhibition in Kazakhstan. This pattern was the result of triangular cooperation. The chassis was designed by the South African company Paramount Group (originally named Mbombe 8) and manufactured by a joint venture of Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering. The layout of the armament complex was presented by NPK UVZ.
It was alleged that the Barys with the AU-220M could enter service in the very near future and go into production. However, so far this has not happened. Baikal remains at the testing stage, and until the completion of these works the release of Barys with enhanced weapons is not possible. KPE is waiting for the completion of testing and is ready to continue work on a joint project.
At the beginning of February, Russian industry presented at the Indian exhibition Defexpo-2020 a number of modern developments, including DUBM AU-220M. On the eve of the exhibition, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov spoke about the possible emergence of a new joint project using Baikal. Russia suggested that India develop a promising IFV capable of carrying such a DBM. The opinion of the Indian side on such a proposal is still unknown.
In the context of joint projects, one can recall the Atom wheeled infantry fighting vehicle developed in the framework of cooperation between the Russian Uralvagonzavod and the French company Renault Trucks Defense. This armored vehicle received a combat module BM-57 with a 57-mm automatic gun. It seriously differed from the modern AU-220M, but showed the fundamental possibility of equipping wheeled armored infantry fighting vehicles with increased caliber weapons.
Wheel BMP "Barys 8x8" with Russian weapons. Photo by Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering / kpe.com.kz
The Atom project has not been developed. In 2014, the French side refused to work together due to a change in the political situation. However, some ideas and solutions could find practical application. Less than a year after this, the Petrel Research Institute showed the AU-220M combat module.
Wide range of equipment
DBM AU-220M "Baikal" was developed just a few years ago and still has not left the test stage. At the same time, the industry managed to create several options for the module and work out a number of military vehicles with its use. The possibility of installing a new product on several chassis of domestic and foreign production with the receipt of BBM for various purposes was shown. In addition, the appearance of new armored vehicles, including joint development.
The prospects of all developed combat vehicles with Baikal directly depend on the progress of work on the combat module itself. According to domestic media reports, the development and testing of this product is nearing completion. Thus, in the near future, the military department will have to evaluate new developments and choose the most successful ones for further production and operation in the army.
Obviously, first Baikal will go into service with the Russian army. At the same time, it is not yet clear in which particular sample. Several BBMs have been developed on serial and advanced chassis, and all of them may be of interest to the army. It remains to wait for official statements and data on this subject. Then it is possible to launch a series of South African-Kazakhstani "Barysa" with Russian weapons. In the long term, the appearance of the Russian-Indian BMP with such weapons can be expected.
However, to obtain such results, it is necessary to complete the ongoing work. Only after all activities are completed, the AU-220M will be able to go into production and into service. And only then will the army or a foreign customer be able to get all the desired benefits associated with promising weapons.