The Boomerang 8×8 armored infantry fighting vehicle is the latest wheeled armored vehicle developed in Russia. Its design introduces significant changes from that of the BTR-60, 70 and 80, which have been in service since the early 1960s. VPK, the designer and manufacturer of the Russian wheeled combat vehicles, preferred to invest in the BTR-90, a more powerful, well-armed version of the successful BTR-60-70-80, of which +25,000 were produced over the past 50 years. But the Russian military wanted something else. VPK shelved the BTR-90, modified the BTR-80 into the BTR-82 as a temporary solution, and began to design a new 8×8 platform to address the Russian military needs reflected by the official requirement issued in 2011.
The first prototypes of the Boomerang were delivered in 2013. The first pre-production vehicles delivered for operational testing were publicly displayed in 2015. Following those tests VPK is expecting orders for 2,000 such vehicles, in various configurations.
The Boomerang is operated by a crew of three, and has a carrying capacity of 9 troops. In line with other modern 8×8 APCs, its fighting compartment is more spacious than previous BTRs. Its engine, which is located on the right side and its turret, mounted on the deck, not penetrating the armor, do not obstruct its internal space. This layout enables the troops to exit from the rear ramp, similar to the tracked BMPs. Although common with western 8×8 APCs, it did not exist in earlier Russian 8×8 vehicles.
Their previous models – BTR-82, followed the same design introduced with the BTR-60, which used side doors for troop access, since the engines prevented access to the protected capsule from the rear, while the manned 14.5 mm gun turret blocked it in the front. The only way out was through a clamshell access door on the side, or personnel hatches on the top and side. This proved to be a major drawback in combat, as the troops had to dismount the vehicle exposed to enemy fire from the front and side. It also limited communications between the crew and squad during dismounted operation.
Also gone are the personal periscopes and firing ports which enabled mounted fighting for the troops. Instead, the Boomerang provides a panoramic view generated by video cameras covering the vehicles to a full 360 degrees (3).
Two hatches are mounted on top (7), retaining some functions for the troops. These hatches are likely blocked in models provided with active protection systems.
The Boomerang is built with a different approach – enabling protected mobility for an infantry squad, while providing fire support for them, both on the move and in stationary positions. It is a bigger platform than that of its predecessor, also heavier and more powerful. As opposed to its predecessor’s simple steel armor, the Boomerang has compound, modular armor, combining different materials and an optional (6) active protection system. (Such a system was not visible in the photos we have obtained thus far, but is shown one appears on the model released by the Russian Ministry of Defense).
The vehicle is protected with additional, modular armor at the front, which could also be part of a belly protection plate (8). The V shaped hull is designed to deflect blast away from the floor, in case of a mine or IED explosion underneath the vehicle or under a wheel. Boomerang can be fitted with heavier armor, but such configuration is likely damage its floating ability.
Like the tracked Kurganets-25, the Boomerang comes in two basic models, differing from each other by the type of armament with which they are equipped – an armored infantry fighting vehicle (1) mounting the EPOCH (2) remotely-controlled weapon system (RWS) fitted with a single 2A42 30 mm cannon, 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun and four Kornet-EM guided missiles. These are significant improvement over the previous 14.5 mm heavy machine gun turret used on the BTR-82. The armored personnel carrier is armed with a smaller RWS, mounting a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun (5).
The Boomerang is powered by a single turbo-charged diesel engine, the same type that powers the Kurganets-25 platform. It is an 8×8 vehicle, with steering on the two front axles. All wheels use MacPherson-type suspension (4), with both front and rear wheels fitted with double shock absorbers. The drive train also has two extensions powering the water jets for amphibious operation (10). A folding wave breaker (9) mounted above the front hull, extracted to is released to clear the deck while operating in water.
Other variants expected to follow include a self-propelled gun, a mortar carrier, a command vehicle and other combat support variants. An 8×8 vehicle called ‘ATOM’ was displayed at the ARMS 2013 expo in Nizhny Tagil, fitted with a 57mm cannon. At the time ATOM was presented as a collaborative effort between UralVagonZavod (UVZ) and Renault Defense Trucks of France, though to be a competing track to the Boomerang.
BTR Bumerang [Boomerang] APC
The new Boomerang armoured personnel carrier (VPK-7829) is set to replace the BTR-82/A, a heavily modernized variant of the 1980s-designed BTR-80, which features improved armor, a new engine, night vision and advanced communications systems.At the beginning of 2016, Alexander Krasovitsky, general director of the Military-Industrial Company (Voyenno-Promyshlennaya Kompaniya), which developed the new APCs, announced the start of testing of the Boomerang. Mass production of the Boomerang vehicles is scheduled to begin in 2017, and large-scale deliveries to the armed forces – in 2019. Krasovitsky said that, as is the case with the Armata and the Kurganets, the manufacturing enterprises are actively looking for foreign buyers and partners for the refinement of their products. He noted that his company is ready to supply the Boomerang for export as soon as it receives permission from the government. Designers and military spokesmen have been tightlipped regarding the machine, although it is claimed that the new design will be "nothing like any of the modern APCs." The 8x8, front-engine design features ceramic armor technology, including anti-tank grenade and anti-mine protection, has a crew of three, and can be fitted with a 30 mm anti-materiel or armor-piercing cannon, a 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine gun.
In addition to its role as a troop carrier, the multi-role vehicle will be capable of serving as an anti-tank missile carrier, an air defense missile launcher, an armored ambulance, a command post vehicle, a fire-support vehicle and a mortar carrier. Speaking to Russian military news hub Zvezda, military expert Ilya Kramnik explained that "the protection levels of the Boomerang APC will be much higher [than its predecessors]. This is ensured by the special shape of the vehicle's bottom and the internal layout, in particular, the suspension of crew seating toward the vehicle's ceiling."
The modern Russian army needs a new wheeled platform for APCs and machines, which is estimated at about 10,000 units. The production of this number of vehicles over the course of 12-15 years will cost approximately the abovementioned sum. It cannot be said for sure that the Russian military leadership is ready to replace Russian-made APCs with imported ones.
Domestic development still continued. The promising Russian armored combat vehicle “Boomerang", which was supposed to be the first in a new line of hardware, was expected in 2016. The Russian Army will take delivery of the first Boomerang armored personnel carriers in 2013, Ground Forces chief Col Gen Alexander Postnikov said on 21 February 2013. Large-scale deliveries will start in 2015, eventually replacing the BTR-82A and BTR-80 APCs currently in service, he added. Postnikov did not provide any details about the new model but, according to some media reports, it will be an amphibious vehicle. Dmitry Galkin, general director of the Voyenno-Promyshlennaya Kompaniya [Military-Industrial Company], said the new vehicle “will be nothing like any of the modern APCs." “We call it ‘a combat wheeled vehicle’ because it will be used as a platform for an APC, infantry fighting vehicle, tank, or self-propelled gun," he said.
Machines based on the platform will enter service in medium brigades in the Army. Armored personnel carrier on the basis of the FSM "Boomerang" are designed to transport infantry and fire support. Presumably, the "Boomerang" is an amphibian, and can independently negotiate water obstacles. The engine will be located in the front of the machine that will allow landing and landing from the stern. Presumably in an APC system "Boomerang" will be used achievements obtained during the design of the BTR-90. Details of the Russian armored vehicles were still unknown in 2012.
On the basis of the new APC, replacing the module will create a SAM launcher, reconnaissance vehicle, ambulance, car anti-tank systems, infantry fighting vehicles in the wheel version. To replace the BTR-82A, this machine will be developed on the basis of the secondary wheel base unified platform, "Boomerang." This machine is designed to transport infantry and support the fire department during the battle. Ensures the maintenance of all types of motorized infantry fighting compartment, suppression of enemy infantry, combat armored vehicles peers, defeat tanks and helicopter gunships, protect the crew and troops from small arms fire, shrapnel, autonomy of operation of the crew and troops for three days in isolation from the main forces. "Boomerang" is intended for self-overcoming water obstacles.
Prior to the supply of "Boomerang," Russian Defense Ministry plans to buy the BTR-82A and upgrade existing armored vehicles. For the first time on this project became known in late 2010. Development of a modular armored "Boomerang" on the basis of the medium wheel unified platform was commissioned by the Ministry of Defense of Russian instead of the BTR-90 in mid-2011. Rezrabotka is the Military Industrial Company together with the Arzamas Machine-Building Plant. Since 2011, the Central Research Institute "Thunderbird" developed platforms for "Boomerang" and "Armata" caliber 7.62 mm, 12, 7 mm and 30 mmremotely operated weapon systems.