The BTR-MDM Rakushka (Shell-M or Objekt 955) is a further development of the BTR-MD racked, airborne, multi-purpose, fully-amphibious armoured personnel carrier (APC). The BTR-MDM is used as tracked armored personnel carrier for mechanized Airborne Forces (VDV) and he is based on the BMD-4M (Airborne Infantry Fighting Vehicle) chassis. The BTR-MDM APC is based on the BTR-MD Rakushka vehicle developed and manufactured by JSC VgTZ Volgograd machine-building company, a part of the machine building industrial group Concern Tractor Plants. The BTR-MDM is fully amphibious and could be also proposed to the Russian Naval Infantri. The BTR-MDM was unveiled for the first time during the at the 9th International Exhibition of Arms, Military Equipment and Ammunition Russian Arms Expo which was held from 25 – 28 September 2013 in the city of Nizhny Tagil, Russia.
The BTR-MDM was designed with intention to have a maximum possible internal volume. The BTR-MDM is of all-welded aluminum construction providing the crew with protection from small arms fire and shell splinters. Protection of this vehicle is very light due to weight limitations. This air assault transporter can carry 13 fully-equipped troops, plus the crew of two. Driver is seated in the middle. Occupants enter and leave the vehicle via rear door and roof hatches. There are some firing port provided for the troops to fire their weapons. This APC can also carry at least three stretchers, ammunition or fuel in stead of the troops.
Fitted to the BTR-MDM combat vehicle is a roof-mounted, autonomous fire control turret in the left side of the cabin. The turret is armed with a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun. A PKMT 7.62 x 54mm machine gun is mounted on the ball joint for protection from small explosives. Two smoke grenade discharger are mounted to each side at the front of the vehicle. In 2018 the Russian airborne forces received first MRU-D automated air defense control systems, based on BTR-MDM chassis. This unusual vehicle is fitted with Barnaul-T system and provides targeting data for MANPADS teams armed with Verba systems. Firing data is transferred directly to operator’s sight. There are some firing port provided for the troops to fire their weapons.
The BTR-MDM Rakushka uses the same powerpack and suspension as the BMD-4M airborne armoured infantry fighting vehicle. The BTR-MDM armoured vehicle runs on liquid-cooled, multi-fuel, four-stroke, naturally-aspirated UTD-29 engine, which has a maximum power of 500hp. Coupled to the engine is coupled is a four-speed, hydro-mechanic transmission system with a power take-off drive pump. The vehicle is propelled by two single-stage, axial, screw-type water jets with guide vanes fitted on either side of the vehicle. The vehicle is also equipped with an adjustable hydro-pneumatic suspension giving a ground clearance between 130 and 530 mm, although for normal road travel it is 450 mm. The ground clearance is adjusted by the driver from his seat and it takes 10 seconds to lower or raise the suspension.