MOSCOW --- Russia’s military hardware armed with 57mm caliber guns will securely strike modern and future foreign light-and medium-armored vehicles, Editor-in-Chief of the Arsenal of the Fatherland journal Viktor Murakhovsky told TASS on Tuesday.
The 57mm munitions also boost the possibilities of fighting enemy air targets and manpower, he added.
Deputy CEO of the Russian engineering firm Tecmash (part of the state hi-tech corporation Rostec) Alexander Kochkin told TASS earlier on Tuesday that Russia was considering rearming light-and medium-armored vehicles from their basic 30mm caliber to 57mm guns.
"Proceeding from the ballistic capabilities of these [57mm] munitions, especially their new types, they will securely pierce the front armor of foreign light-and medium armored vehicles at effective fire ranges," Murakhovsky said.
The basic 30mm caliber for the Russian armor is no longer effective against advanced foreign armored vehicles, the chief editor said.
"The British [infantry fighting vehicle] from BAE Systems, the German and promising US vehicles, on which they have recently reopened their program [the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle, NGCV], according to their specifications and trials, can withstand, as they claim, frontal armor hits by 30mm projectiles, moreover, at distances of 100-150 m, i.e. point-blank," Murakhovsky said.
Russia is already developing some weapon systems with this caliber, the chief editor said.
"The previous Army forum [defense exhibition] already featured a module with such caliber firepower mounted on the heavy T-15 IFV and such developments are underway for the medium-class platforms. It is, in principle, possible to mount such a module on the Kurganets and even the Bumerang platform, although with a smaller ammunition load. The 57mm caliber can also be used for an anti-aircraft system. I mean the Derivatsiya-PVO weapon," he said.
57mm munitions feature increased firepower to strike manpower and aircraft, such as drones, loitering and guided munitions, combat helicopters, attack planes and other low-speed and low-flying targets, Murakhovsky said.
The new Armata, Kurganets and Bumerang combat platforms and battlefield air defense missile systems, such as the Derivatsiya-PVO weapons, will be armed with the 57mm guns, in the first place, the expert said.
"I am confident that eventually there will be options for modernizing previous-generation military hardware, I mean the BMPT [tank support combat vehicle] and the variants for upgrading IFVs, first of all, the BMP-2 IFV," the expert noted, outlining the prospects of the new caliber in the troops.
At the same time, the expert said he did not expect large-scale rearmament of the previous-generation military hardware with the new caliber. "I believe this will be offered as an option," he explained. "Besides, this is also difficult financially."
"The defense budget is not boundless. The land troops and the Airborne Force, in which this caliber will be largely used, are not as financially provided as other branches of the Armed Forces. That is why, I think that the switchover to the 57mm caliber will take quite a long time," the expert pointed out.
The expert stressed, however, that the new caliber will find its application in the troops. "Considering that intensive work is underway to develop these munitions, including guided and air burst projectiles, I believe that the caliber has very good prospects," the expert stressed.