Rosoboronexport (part of the Rostec State Corporation) has presented at the IDEX 2023 expo in Abu Dhabi the Sprut-SDM1 light amphibious tank. This latest development of the Russian tank industry is especially peculiar due to being the only amphibious fighting vehicle in its class that has the firepower of the main battle tank. Russia started global marketing of the Sprut-SDM1 in 2018. According to the latest official statement, the tank has already aroused the interest of countries with complicated terrains interspersed with water barriers, swamps, mountains and deserts.
In 2023, the Russian military proudly display the cutting-edge Sprut-SDM1 Light Tank armed with a 125 mm gun at IDEX. This modern battle tank is armed with a formidable 125mm gun, capable of providing superior firepower, and effective fire support, as well as a wide range of ammunition options for any situation.
Its 125 mm gun is able to fire multiple types of munitions, including HEAT and HE-Frag, allowing it to accurately and effectively target enemy forces. Additionally, the tank is equipped with a 12.7 mm machine gun for close-quarters combat, making it an extremely versatile and effective weapon.
The Sprut-SDM1 has an armament suite consisting of a 125-mm gun, a 7.62-mm remote-controlled machine gun and a 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun. The vehicle has a guided missile weapon system to engage armoured targets, including explosive reactive armour (ERA)-equipped ones, at ranges up to 5 km. The tank can also destroy strongholds, enemy manpower etc.
The tank utilizes a powerful engine, allowing for high speeds and a remarkable ability to traverse rough terrain. Moreover, the Sprut-SDM1 is fitted with advanced armour plating, providing superior protection and an additional layer of defence against enemy fire. This tank is equipped with advanced sensors and tracking systems, allowing it to detect and engage targets quickly and accurately. Furthermore, the tank is designed with an innovative suspension system, allowing for smooth handling and improved stability. The Sprut-SDM1 Light Tank is the pinnacle of modern engineering and is certain to be a major asset to the Russian military.
Without refuelling, the Sprut-SDM1 can travel over a distance of 500 km. The tank is capable of overcoming water barriers, and firing its gun at the same time; it can be landed from a ship or aircraft, can work day and night in a terrain impassable for or inaccessible by other vehicles of this kind, e.g. high in the mountains, in rarefied air conditions, at very high or very low temperatures.
The tank is also capable of moving at high speeds both in water and on land. Its lightweight design allows it to reach speeds of up to 30 km/h on land, while in water it can move at up to 10 km/h. This enables it to cross large distances quickly and carry out various operations in different environments. Furthermore, the tank has advanced night vision capabilities, allowing it to carry out operations and reconnaissance missions under cover of darkness.
The Sprut-SDM1 is also equipped with explosive reactive armour, which provides additional protection against enemy fire. As well as this, the tank is equipped with a fire control system, which helps to ensure accurate and effective target engagement. This allows the tank to remain effective in the face of enemy fire and ensures maximum efficiency in a combat situation.
The Sprut-SDM1 was showcased in Abu Dhabi along with other major products of Russia’s armour export portfolio – T-90MS MBT, the TOS-1A heavy flamethrower system, the BMPT tank support fighting vehicle, the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle, the BT-3F armoured personnel carrier etc.
Recently Russia’s state defence exporter reiterated its intent to take part with the Sprut-SDM1 in the Indian Army’s tender for the supply of light tanks, citing readiness to transfer the technology and provide assistance in setting up the production of the tank in India. It stressed, that the Sprut-SDM1 uses the same ammunition that is already being manufactured in India.
The Russian Aviation & Military Guide (RAMG)’s IDEX 2023 special edition has published a detailed analysis of the Sprut-SDM1’s capabilities, putting special emphasis on its optoelectronic suppression system and the fire control system.
The Russian publication noted that “the vehicle ensures the solution of complex tactical missions such as reconnaissance, battle outposts, protection on the move, protection at the halt; actions as part of the raid, bypass and forward detachments; fighting in the forward defence area and manoeuvring defence; hasty forcing water obstacles; amphibious operations; actions in wooded swamps and forested wetlands, mountainous terrain, and northern regions; control of the territory in operations on maintaining peace and internal armed conflicts.”
“Another advantage of the Sprut-SDM1 is its optoelectronic suppression system. It protects the vehicle against approaching missiles or laser irradiation. In addition to the tank cannon, the SPTAG mounts the latest fire control system. All types of ammunition, including guided missiles, can be fired using the commander’s panoramic sight. Both sights are equipped with an automatic target tracker. In case of damage to the main sights, there is a backup sight; it is an optoelectronic device with the field of view stabilized in the vertical plane and a self-contained power supply,” – wrote the RAMG.
The chassis of the combat vehicle is said to be equipped with a highly efficient independent hydropneumatic suspension with a variable ground clearance system. Thus the tank can ‘lie down with its hull bottom on the ground if needed.
Finally, the Sprut-SDM1 has an impressive range of up to 500 km, allowing it to remain operational for extended periods of time. This makes it an invaluable asset for any military force, and its addition to the IDEX Exhibition will be sure to be both a sight to behold and an effective demonstration of Russia’s military power.