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Russia debuts new tactics and equipment during exercise ‘Zapad 2021'

Russia has used new tactics and a light tactical buggy that can be carried internally in an Mi-8 helicopter during exercise ‘Zapad 2021', demonstrating the role that the VDV and UGVs could play during a conflict. (Russian MoD)

The Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) have demonstrated new tactics, techniques and procedures, and tactical vehicles, including the Sarmat-2, during exercise ‘Zapad 2021' being held in western Russia and Belarus from 10 to 16 September, the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) reported on its website.

The VDV deployed the air-transportable Sarmat-2 using Mi-8 helicopters. The 4×4 vehicle is designed to transport three personnel and is armed with a Kord 12.7 mm heavy machine gun or AGS-17 30 mm automatic grenade launcher, the MoD said on 11 September.

The ministry reported on 13 September that the VDV's mobile strike echelon was deployed by 24 Mi-8s with fire support from Mi-24 and Mi-28N helicopters, with the Sarmat-2 providing high manoeuvrability and allowing units to quickly occupy designated points. The mobile strike echelon was used to hold a position ahead of the main formation and inflict damage on the simulated opponent, the MoD added.

Other firsts for the VDV included a night landing by 600 airborne troops and 30 BMD-2K-AU and BMD-4M series air-deployable infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), equivalent to a battalion tactical group from the 76 th

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