Russian Naval Infantry units of the Caspian Flotilla have started practicing practical skills in marine amphibious training (MAT) at the “Scorpion” training complex. Crews of the latest 8×8 wheeled armoured personnel carrier BTR-82A during overcoming of sea sites fulfilled standards for damage control of equipment afloat, in case of a fire, at inflow of water in the vehicle or loss of a course and management. Naval Infantry overcome water spaces on floating equipment on their own way, study the devices of amphibious landing vehicles, and also perform loading and unloading of personnel and combat vehicles on landing ships and boats. In total, more than 300 military personnel of the Russian Naval Infantry units take part in practical training on MAT, about 50 units of BTR-82A armored personnel carriers are involved.
The BTR-82A is an advanced 8×8 wheeled armoured personnel carrier (APC) being manufactured by Military Industrial Company of Russia for use by the armies of Russia and Kazakhstan. The BTR-82A is an upgraded version of the BTR-80A wheeled armored vehicles. The firepower of the BTR-82A is increase by the use of a new unified fighting module with electric drive armed with one 2A72 30mm cannon coupled with a 7.62 mm machine gun. The BTR-82A is fitted with a reinforced multi-layer floor which provides protection against mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The BTR-82A is also equipped with new seats and a special suspension that have energy-absorbing properties which increase the protection against mine blast. The hull of the BTR-82A is made with new armored vehicle ballistic protection of laminated synthetic material such as Kevlar.
The Russian Naval Infantry (MPR; Morskaya pekhota Rossii), operates as the amphibious force of the Russian Navy. The first Russian naval infantry force formed in 1705, and since that time it has fought in the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War (1853-1856), the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), the First World War (1914-1918) and the Second World War (1939-1945). Under Admiral Gorshkov (Soviet Navy Commander-in-Chief from 1956 to 1985), the Soviet Navy expanded the reach of the Naval Infantry and deployed it worldwide on numerous occasions. The Naval Infantry, alongside the Coastal Defense Missile Artillery Forces, form part of a larger institutionâ€”the Coastal Troops of the Russian Navy (Russian: Ð‘ÐµÑ€ÐµÐ³Ð¾Ð²Ñ‹Ðµ Ð²Ð¾Ð¹ÑÐºÐ° Ð’ÐœÐ¤ Ð Ð¾ÑÑÐ¸Ð¸, Beregovye voyska VMF Rossii).
From 2000 onwards, the Caspian Flotilla included a new naval infantry brigade, the 77th, based at Kaspiysk. The headquarters and two battalions of the brigade were scheduled to be established by August 1, 2000. It was reported by Agenstvo Voyenniykh Novostyei (AVN) in June 2000 that the new brigade, which may have inherited the lineage of the 77th Motor Rifle Division, was to have its troops housed in Kaspiysk and Astrakhan, along with as many as 195 combat vehicles and two hovercraft sent to it from Chukotka and the Northern Fleet, respectively. The new unit is fully staffed with modern weapons and military equipment, including BTR-82A armored personnel carriers, 120-mm self-propelled artillery guns 2S9 “Nona”, 122-mm howitzers D-30, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV ) “Eleron” and “Orlan”. The brigade was also reported to have had helicopters assigned to it.