Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971

2020-06-07

Boomerang Combat Platform Enters Global Market

The Boomerang is the latest standardised wheeled platform for multiservice forces to be developed by the Military Industrial Company (VPK). It is used as the base for developing the 22-tonne amphibious K-16 armoured personnel carrier (APC) and the 25-tonne K-17 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV).
 
Rosoboronexport JSC, part of the Rostec State Corporation, is now promoting the Boomerang universal combat platform in foreign markets. “The launch of the marketing campaign for the Boomerang’s export version is good news for Rosoboronexport and our partners,” said Alexander Mikheev, Director-General of Rosoboronexport.

“The combat platform was developed in accordance with design specifications from the Russian Ministry of Defence for the highest fighting and operational capabilities meeting current and future war-fighting requirements. The platform is unique in building the widest range of vehicles on its base with various weapons and equipment.

African, Middle East, Southeast Asian and CIS countries have already shown interest in Boomerang and we estimate exports of this platform in the foreseeable future at about US$1 billion.”  
 
Superlative Design and Protection 
Russia’s Ministry of Defence was behind the order for a new Boomerang combat platform  with a new layout scheme for today’s combat needs. The driving compartment is located at the front left and the engine compartment at the front right, while the fighting compartment is in the middle and the troop compartment at the rear of the vehicle. 
 
Although the Boomerang can accommodate 11 troops, it can also provide a place for equipment, with the total weight of the platform’s extra ‘baggage’ exceeding 700 kg. The troops enter and leave the vehicle via roof hatches and a rear door or ramp, while the platform has the advantage of presenting a base for widest range of vehicles and array of weaponry.
 
Protection of this wheeled combat platform can be built up by using a multi-level principle comprising of armour, ERA and active protection system, and a smokescreen laying system alongside other systems. Armour and a special shaped hull provide full protection of military personnel against the effects of small arms, mine-explosive devices and shell splinters. 
 
In addition, spall liners are mounted on the inner surfaces of the hull. When taking damage, the armoured vehicle can leave a dangerous place entirely independently, even with its two wheels completely torn off and can certainly continue moving with its tires punctured by bullets.
 
The vehicle’s survival on the battlefield is enhanced by multiple features: a disruptive camouflage painting; an aerosol or smoke screen system; fire protection systems; and an NBC protection system. Moreover, the inclusion of special systems and technical solutions ensures combat crew survival when the vehicle strikes a mine. The Boomerang can also be equipped with jammers protecting the crew from radio-controlled improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
 
According to experts, the Boomerang’s combat capabilities are comparable to foreign combat armoured vehicles and even reportedly exceed them in accomplishing tasks through its cross-country ability. It has a more powerful engine and enjoys greater protection, thanks to an active armour system, enhanced fire power and the innovative use of armament combined with ATGM systems. 
 
Hi-tech Spaced Armour
The Boomerang’s armour is spaced to allow operators to change the levels of protection depending on the conditions of task completion, while the removable sheets can be changed according to the situation. Moreover, modern technologies are used in the protection device, with lighter aluminum alloys and ceramics available to supplement the more familiar use of steel. 
 
According to VPK LLC developers, Boomerang will withstand the hit of even an artillery shell, which distinguishes the new machine from the armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles of previous generations. These vehicles only protected crew from large calibre bullets and fragments, but the Boomerang armour excels existing models by 20 per cent in terms of its service life and reliability.  
 
Safe, Comfortable and Easy-to-use
The presence of a fire system in the Boomerang contributes to personnel safety for the airborne compartment is filled with foam from cylinders installed inside the hull should fire appear. Moreover, the presence of head restraints possessing a variable angle of inclination also contributes to a comfortable stay inside the vehicle. 
Serviceman should not have difficulty in completing a multi-kilometre journey on Boomerang in comfort and will not suffer from stiff joints after leaving the compartment. For ease of use, embarking and disembarking the vehicle can be performed on the go, while the convenience of landing and disembarkation is facilitated by the ramp’s ability to be let down for use as a step.
 
Export-ready Design and Configuration
The export version of combat vehicles based on Russia’s latest Boomerang standardised wheeled platform will differ from its configuration for the Russian Army. Nonetheless, the design will be unchanged according to Military Industrial Company CEO, Alexander Krasovitsky:
 
"A promotional certificate and an export configuration certificate have been formalised for combat vehicles based on the Boomerang standardised platform,” assured the Boomerang’s developer and producer. “The configuration of the vehicles intended for exports differs from those that go to the Russian Army by communications and automated combat control systems, electromagnetic shielding and protection systems against the WMD [weapons of mass destruction] and the means of reducing visibility on the battlefield.”
 
Chief Executive Krasovitsky also confirmed that the vehicles’ design will remain unchanged. “No changes are stipulated in the design of the vehicle intended for exports. In any case, we will listen to the requirements of foreign customers and outfit the platform with the equipment, which they will request,” Alexander Krasovitsky stressed. Certainly, the latest K-16 armoured personnel carrier based on the Boomerang platform will be 1.5-2 times cheaper than its closest model rivals.
 
Smooth and High Mobility
The Boomerang combat vehicle is based on the chassis of a universal wheeled combat platform. Depending on the armament installed, it can engage various enemy targets, including manpower, gun emplacements, armoured and soft-skinned targets and low-speed air targets, and does so from a halt, on the move and afloat in any weather, day or night.
 
An eight-wheel-drive, independent suspension and a fuel-efficient 750 hp diesel engine facilitates the Boomerang’s high level of mobility and smooth ride. As a combat vehicle, it can easily negotiate various obstacles at speeds of over 100 km/h on the highway and a cruising range of at least 800 km. 
 
The armoured vehicle is fitted with a pull winch rated at 10 tonnes, increasing its cross-country ability, with the Russian vehicles distinguished from their foreign counterparts by their amphibious properties which make it possible to negotiate water obstacles even in Sea State 3. With an endurance on water of up to 12 hours, the Boomerang reaches a speed on water of at least 10 km/h.
 
In fact, the Boomerang demonstrated speed indicators of 105 km/h during tests on the asphalt road and 92 km/h on the dirt road, higher than the declared characteristics and impressive for a multi-tonne machine weighing over 30 tonnes. Although off-road conditions usually reduce speed, the Boomerang suspension confidently ‘swallows’ all the bumps in a soft, smooth course that fulfils inclines of 35 degrees, climbing them on both forward and reverse. 
 
During testing, the vehicle overcame a wall up to 80 cm high, which is a record for a heavy-wheeled vehicle. An armoured personnel carrier can usually only overcome vertical obstacles of half a metre high.
 
Epokha and Kornet Armament 
The Boomerang’s baseline version is outfitted with the Epokha combat module and Kornet anti-tank missile system. The K-16 armoured personnel carrier is armed with a 12.7mm machine-gun.
 
The weapon stations mounted on the combat platform can be either remote controlled and manned weapon stations with machine gun, cannon or combined armament. The Boomerang can place a 30 mm automatic cannon and a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, a 30 mm automatic grenade launcher, two launchers with two ATGMs on each, and a 12.7 mm Kord machine gun (APC version).
 
The Boomerang’s modern digital fire-control system includes a two-plane weapon stabiliser, a multi-channel electro-optical sighting system with built-in laser rangefinder, and automated gunner’s and commander’s workstations. The multi-function display and integrated ballistic computer control the weapons and conduct aimed fire.
 
Multi-target AU-220M Capabilities
Upon their upgrade, the AU-220M can serve as an unmanned cannon and machine-gun module for arming infantry fighting vehicles and utilising new hardware based on the Armata, Kurganets-25 and Boomerang platforms. With a circular rotation gun mount and a firing range of 14.5 km at a maximum rate of fire of 80 rounds per minute, the module functions as the armament of small-displacement ships and boats.
 
The ammunition load includes 80 unitary 57mm munitions serving as multifunctional remote-controlled, armour-piercing and guided projectiles. This load permits effective strikes against small-size unmanned aerial vehicles, low-flying aircraft and helicopters, but can also combat land-based light-armoured hardware and field fortifications. 
 
When armed with the new module, Boomerang can fire from a halt, on the move and on the float, day or night in any weather conditions. With the exception of main battle tanks, the 57mm high ballistic cannon strike all types of targets in the battlefield, while the weapon’s robotised remote control enables the accomplishment of a range of combat assignments without the crew’s direct participation. 
 
Preliminary State Trials
Last December, Military Industrial Company CEO Alexander Krasovitsky told the Russian News Agency (TASS) that the company had worked with the Defence Ministry to complete preliminary trials of the prototypes of the K-16 armoured personnel carrier and the K-17 infantry-fighting vehicle based on the latest Boomerang wheeled platform. Krasovitsky stressed that the prototypes confirmed the characteristics stated in the vehicles’ technical specifications. 
 
Military Industrial Company has started on new prototypes at its production facilities for future state trials, while its Military Engineering Centre in Nizhny Novgorod is already assembling a full-size mock-up of the combat vehicle based on the ready-made armoured hull for ballistic trials and anti-mine resistance tests. State tests of the Boomerang combat vehicles will be completed in 2022.
 
Amphibious Multi-mission Vehicle
The Boomerang 8x8 amphibious combat vehicle can handle a wide range of combat missions and peacetime tasks, repelling the aggression of a potential adversary, defending the state’s borders and fighting terrorist groups. It can also assist populations in cases of natural disasters and other calamities.  
 
In addition to its role as a troop carrier, this multi-role vehicle can serve as an anti-tank missile carrier, an air defence missile launcher, an armoured ambulance, a command post vehicle, a fire-support vehicle and a mortar carrier. Moreover, the Boomerang combat module can also be manoeuvred using a remote control because the parameters of such robotisation are fully consistent with current global trends. 
 
In terms of mobility, speed, security, firepower, ergonomics and command-and-control, the Boomerang platform demonstrates its superiority over the technology of the previous generation. There is no doubt that it will significantly enhance the combat capabilities of present and future customers.
 
Reference Text/Photo 
 
 

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