6 armored vehicles Russia could parachute into your backyard
Who's ready for summer, huh? Grills, pool parties, and long lazy days to replace all the cold dreariness, am I right?
NO! Because Russia is always watching, and it's always capable of dropping a bunch of armored vehicles on our heads and forcing us into a Red Dawn-style conflict to preserve American freedoms.
The old Red Dawn, with Patrick Swayze and Soviets.
But don't fear. The first step is always identifying the threat. Here are six armored vehicles that could erupt from the sky in the middle of your final exams, pool party, or whatever.
The BMD-4M packs a 100mm gun, a 30mm automatic cannon, a Konkurs anti-tank guided missile launcher, two machine guns, and aluminum armor. It's powered by a 500hp multi-fuel engine and moves on two thick treads. In addition to shells, the main gun can fire Bastion laser-guided anti-tank missiles.
The whole 13.6-ton shebang can be thrown out of the back of a plane with the crew already inside. The crew of three can be joined by five infantrymen. As a special bonus, they can swim and fire in the water.
(Photo: Vitaly V. Kuzmin CC BY-SA 4.0)
The BMD-3 is a predecessor to the BMD-4M and features the same Konkurs ATGM launcher, machine guns, and a 30mm automatic cannon, but it's a little lighter at 13.2 tons and lacks the 100mm main gun. It also features a 40mm grenade launcher.
It can carry five infantrymen in its standard configuration and eight in an emergency. Like the 4M, it's amphibious.
(Photo: Smell U Later CC BY-SA 3.0)
The BTR-MD is based on the BMD-4 chassis but is designed as a multi-role armored transport. It has a crew of two and can be configured as a command and control vehicle, ammo or fuel transport, ambulance, or infantry fighting vehicle.
It carries a 7.62 machine gun and a 30mm grenade launcher and weighs just over 13 tons.
The BTR-ZD is an anti-aircraft vehicle based on the older BTR-D armored personnel carrier. It has little permanent armament, just a pair of 7.62mm machine guns. But it usually packs a ZU-23-2 antiaircraft gun either strapped to the roof or towed on a trailer. The ZU-23-2 has two 23mm machine guns.
It can also carry two man-portable air defense teams equipped with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. The whole thing weighs only 8 tons, is amphibious, and can be airdropped.
5. 2S25 Sprut-SD
(Photo: SLonoed - Танки в городе CC BY 3.0)
With a 125mm smoothbore main cannon that can fire both conventional rounds and laser-guided anti-tank missiles that can also target enemy helicopters. The three-man crew can fire up to seven rounds per minute, but they can't easily change the order of the rounds because it uses a 22-round autoloader.
The weapon is amphibious and, like many of the vehicles on this list, can be airdropped with the crew inside.
6. 2S23 Nona
The 2S23 Nona is in the center of the photo, just ahead of where Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is walking. (Photo: Office of the Ukrainian President CC BY-SA 4.0)
This self-propelled mortar can fire standard rounds to distances of over 5.5 miles, rocket-assisted ones to nearly 8 miles, and anti-tank rounds to over a half mile. The 2S23 Nona can swim and jump from planes.
Based on the BTR-80 armored personnel carrier chassis, the 2S23 rolls on eight tires rather than tracks.