ARMY 2021: Sprut-SDM1 – a light tank with heavy firepower

Rostec’s holding High-Precision Weapons is to showcase its newest Sprut-SDM1 light amphibious tank, which is the only 125 mm gun-armed light tank in world, at the ARMY 2021 defence show to be held near Moscow between 22-28 August. The vehicle’s capability to accurately fire its main gun while swimming makes the Sprut-SDM1 the most tactically flexible light land system in the global arms market

Russia announced the start of the international marketing of the Sprut-SDM1 in 2018. This July, state corporation Rostec reported successful Black Sea trials of the tank, which included unloading from the landing ships.

“Sprut-SDM1 is not inferior in firepower to tanks such as T-80 and T-90, and its mobility on land and water is at the level of the BMD-4M airborne infantry fighting vehicle. The tank is capable of completing complex tactical missions, in particular, reconnaissance, working as part of raid or forward detachments, defense maneuvers, attacking through water obstacles, amphibious operations, and territory control. The main operator of the Sprut is the Russian Airborne Troops, but I am sure it will also kindle interest of foreign customers. First of all, we are focusing on the markets of India, Asia and the Middle East”, said Rostec’s Industrial Director of Weapons, Ammunition and Special Chemistry Bekkhan Ozdoev.

Developed by the High-Precision Systems’ Kurganmashzavod, the Sprut-SDM1 is equipped with a 2A75 125 mm main gun, which can fire armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS), high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT), high-explosive fragmentation (HE-Frag) rounds, as well as air-burst ammunition. Besides that, the Sprut-SDM1 can fire guided missiles, which also makes it unique among the light tanks. It can destroy targets at range of up to 5 km. The 500 h.p. multi-fuel diesel engine provides power required to move an 18 t combat vehicle with a three-strong crew at speeds up to 70 km/h on land and up to 10 km/h on water.

The Sprut-SDM1 is said to be highly capable in high mountains and hot tropical climate. Without refueling it can make marches over a distance of 500 km, can be transported by military transport aircraft and landing ships, and airdropped with a crew inside the vehicle.