The 2S25 Sprut-SD (Russian: 2С25 «Спрут-СД»; 2S25 "Kraken-SD") is a self-propelled tank destroyer or light tank developed and manufactured by the Russian defence company, Volgograd tractor factory joint stock company to meet the requirements of the VDV. In mid-2001, the Volgograd tractor plant revealed that the development of the 2S25 lasted several years.
The Sprut-SD is designed to defeat tanks, hard-skinned material and enemy manpower by airborne and amphibious landing forces, as well as by specially designated units of ground forces. Its main armament, the Sprut anti-tank gun, is capable of firing APFSDS, HE-Frag, HEAT and ATGM ammunition. This allows the 2S25 to be as powerful as a main battle tank and as maneuverable and amphibious as airborne infantry combat vehicles. The 2S25 can be used by units of ground forces and naval infantry as a light amphibious tank. Currently, the only operators of the 2S25 are the Russian airborne troops with 24 of these vehicles in service. The Republic of Korea and the Indian military have expressed interest in acquiring the 2S25 Sprut-SD.
In the early 1990s, the Volgograd tractor plant created a new self-propelled tank destroyer based on a modified prototype light tank classified as Object 934. The plant was also the designer and manufacturer of the BMD-1, BMD-2, BMD-3 and latest BMD-4 airborne combat vehicles that are used by the Russian Air Assault Divisions. After the completion of modifying the chassis, it received the index "Object 952". The turret piece of the machinery was developed in the Yekaterinburg artillery plant number 9. In mid-2001, it was stated that the Volgograd tractor plant had been working on the 2S25 for about seven years. Recent information has indicated that production of the BMD-4 airborne combat vehicle has been transferred to the Kurgan Machine Construction Plant where production of the BMP-3 armored fighting vehicle and its variants are currently undertaken for the local and export markets. As far as it is known, production of the 2S25 self-propelled anti-tank gun is still being carried out at the Volgograd tractor plant. One of its first trials took place May 8, 2001 on the "Prudboy" tank firing range located North Caucasian military district for the representatives of the power ministries of Russia and foreign military and diplomatic corps from 14 other countries of Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America.
According to Russian information, the Russian Army placed an initial contract for a total of 15 2S25 SPATG in three batches of five vehicles each in 2005. This was followed by a second batch of 45 units with the total requirement being for up to 85–110 units. However, there were only 4 batteries (24 vehicles) in service with the airborne forces as of 2009. In 2010, the cancellation of further procurement was announced as well as the termination of release due to a fire caused by a fuel leakage on one of the vehicles after a military parade on Red Square. The cancellation of further purchases was later denied by VDV commander Vladimir Shamarov in an interview with RIA Novosti military commentator Ilya Kramnik. Serial production starts 2018.
The 2S25 is based on the chassis of the BMD-3 Infantry fighting vehicle which is also produced by the Volgograd tractor factory and in service with the Russian airborne troops. Notable distinctions from the BMD-3 are the armament, the fire control system and the addition of two wheels to each side of the vehicle; which increases to 7 on each side. At the front of the chassis is where the crew is located. The turret and ammunition occupies the middle of the vehicle, while the engine-transmission compartment is towards the rear. The driver has a hatch on the front deck; the commander and gunner have hatches on the turret deck. In the stowed position, the commander sits to the right of the driver while the gunner sits to the left. Each member of crew has available the built-in the roof observant instruments with the day and night channels. Standard equipment includes an electronic NBC protection system to ensure survivability of the crew in case of a nuclear fallout.
The 2S25 Sprut-SD is equipped with a two-man turret armed with a 125 mm anti-tank gun. The gun is fitted with an autoloader, which ensures high rate of fire of 6−8 rounds per minute with both conventional projectiles and rounds with guided missiles. It is completely stabilized in the vertical and horizontal planes and conducts fire with the same 125 mm separate case ammunition loadings, which are used for the 2A46 smoothbore tank gun. With the fire control system featuring this stabilization of the elevation and azimuth, it also includes a laser rangefinder and a ballistic computer that provides ever-changing data about the target. The two-plane stabilization of the commander's sight is aligned with the laser sight for aiming the 125 mm shells onto the laser rangefinder.
The main armament of the 2S25 is a 125 mm smoothbore 2A75 tank gun which is a derivative of the 125 mm 2A46 tank gun installed on other Russian main battle tanks. The angles of elevation and depression for the anti-tank gun are +15° and −5° respectively. When aimed towards the stern of the vehicle, the elevation and depression of the gun changes to +17° and −3° respectively. Given the need to install a gun to a substantially lighter chassis, designers created a new recoil device with a new ejector and thermal insulation jacket; it lacks a muzzle brake. The ammunition of the 2A75 includes laser guided missiles like the 9M119 Svir; providing a maximum range of 4 km for defeating armored targets. Reloading the main gun is completed by means of a horizontal autoloader mounted behind the turret. It can carry a total of 40 rounds for the main armament with 22 ready to use in the autoloader. In case the autoloader is no longer intact, manual loading is possible at the cost of a substantially longer reload time. A coaxial 7.62 mm PKT machine gun mounted to the left side of the main armament serves as the secondary armament of the 2S25; equipped with one tape of 2000 rounds.
The weight of the 2S25 is 18 tonnes which is comparable to that of infantry fighting vehicles. Like the BMD-3, the 2S25 features hydropneumatic suspension with a variable height clearance of 190–590 mm within 6–7 seconds to reduce visibility. Hydropneumatic suspension provides high smoothness while driving and dampens recoil of the main gun. Suspension on each side consists of seven single rollers, four support rollers, rear wheel drive and a front-mounted steering wheel. There are hydraulic track adjusters in assistance for greater mobility. In the engine-transmission compartment, multi-fuel diesel engine 2V-06-2S installed, which develops a power of 510 hp (380 kW). It features an automatic transmission that has five gears forward and five gears reverse.
While driving, the 2S25 can reach a top speed of 71 kilometres per hour (44 mph) on an even road; the average speed being 45−50 km/h when driving off-road. The vehicle exerts a ground pressure of 0.36 to 0.53 kg/cm² depending on the type of tracks. It can overcome vertical obstacles as tall as 0.8 metres (2.6 ft) and cross 2.8 metres (9.2 ft) trenches. Like many other Russian armored fighting vehicles, the Sprut-SD is completely amphibious and moves with the help of two water jets that allow it to reach a speed of 8–10 km/h depending on the state of the currents. To increase the buoyancy, wheels are with airtight chambers and powerful water pumps; extracting water from the lower chassis. The vehicle is sea worthy and can cross water obstacles without preparation in a sea state of up to 3. While waterborne, the 2S25 retains the capability of firing the gun within a ±35° sector towards the front of the chassis.
The hull of the 2S25 self-propelled anti-tank gun is composed of welded aluminum armor with a composite skin to maintain a light weight. Through the frontal arc, 40° left and right of the frontal armor provides protection against attack from 23 mm weapons at 500 m (550 yd) and against small arms fire and shell splinters through the remainder of the vehicle. Two banks of three smoke-grenade dischargers are mounted towards the rear on each side of the turret as countermeasures to infrared weapons.
Possessing a high power-to-weight ratio of 28.3 hp/tonne, the 2S25 can operate in high altitudes of up to 4000 m, while the installed rubber-clad shoes or snow-riding tracks expand the vehicle's capabilities in various climates. According to the manufacturer, the 2S25 can also be employed as a light amphibious tank by rapid deployment forces, airborne, marine and special purpose units. With its low weight, it can become essential in mountains and swamps regions, where heavy equipment cannot travel. The 2S25 is designed to be parachuted from aircraft such as the Il-76 with the crew inside, allowing nearly immediate combat readiness upon landing to provide high firepower alongside paratroopers.
Like other tank destroyers, the Sprut-SD is designed to fight and destroy modern main battle tanks such as the M1A2 Abrams or the Merkava IV. The large caliber can be used to destroy armored personnel carriers and other mobile armored targets as well; giving fire support to paratroopers at any time. The 2S25 can be used to destroy strongholds and defensive structures using its Sprut anti-tank gun. While amphibious, it can climb onto ships under its own power during a combat mission.
RussiaRussian airborne troops – 24 vehicles were in service during 2009 with further orders being cancelled in 2010. In 2013, the Russian airborne troops ordered a new 125 mm self-propelled gun to the replace 2S25; based on the BMD-4 chassis with a 2A46M-5 125 mm gun.