Russian airborne troops are carrying out drills in three regions of the Central Federal District – Kostroma, Yaroslavl and Ivanovo. The drills are the largest so far. The event involves 4,000 men and 300 pieces of equipment. On the first day, 800 troops were landed at airfield Severny in Ivanovo. BMD-4M airborne combat vehicles weighing 13.5 tons were air-dropped for the first time.
There are only two BMD-4M specimens available so far. The new vehicle uses basic components and units of the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle adopted as standard armament in the Russian army.
The most difficult part of the drills, according to Airborne Troops Commander Vladimir Shamanov, was crossing water obstacles. The operation was conducted on the Volga and on Lake Pesochnoye. BMD-2 airborne combat vehicles, Nona self-propelled artillery guns, Reostat command vehicles, and Sprut self-propelled anti-tank guns took part in the crossing.
The Sprut is one of the newest weapons adopted by airborne troops. The vehicle weighs 18 tons but was successfully landed during the drills. It crossed the one-kilometer wide Volga, while attacking a token enemy.