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Russia considers arming armoured fleet with 57 mm cannons

31 May 2019
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A modified AU-220M armed with a 57 mm cannon on the 2S38 Derivatsiya-PVO SPAAG designed for the dual role of air defence and ground combat. Source: IHS Markit/Mark Cazalet

The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is working with Rostec and the Techmash Concern to examine the feasibility of replacing the 30 mm 2A42 cannon that arms the majority of its medium-armoured vehicles with a 57 mm cannon, the TASS news agency reported on 21 May.

"The change of calibre will be of enormous cost for the modernisation of existing weapons and military equipment," Techmash deputy general director Alexander Kochkin was quoted by TASS as saying. "The customer, the Ministry of Defence, is also carrying out relevant work."

The report added that Rostec enterprises are working towards this goal on their own initiative, but as the company is owned by the Russian state the development is part funded by the government.

Russia's next-generation vehicles, such as the T-15 Bagulnik, K-16 Bumerang, and Kurganets-25 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), have been displayed with the AU-220M Baikal weapon station armed with a 57 mm cannon at various exhibitions.

A further derivative of the AU-220M turret was shown mounted on the 2S38 Derivatsiya-PVO self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) during the Army 2018 defence and security exhibition in Russia last August. The 2S38 is an air-defence vehicle based on the hull of a BMP-3.

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