Rosoboronexport JSC (part of the Rostec State Corporation) has begun promoting the newest Boomerang universal combat platform in foreign markets. The VPK-7829 Boomerang is a modular amphibious wheeled infantry fighting vehicle and armored personnel carrier being developed by Russian Military Industrial Company (Voyenno-promyshlennaya kompaniya, VPK) for the Russian Army. The VPK-7829 Boomerang was developed as a replacement for the BTR-80 in the Russian Army. The uniqueness of the platform lies in the opportunity to build 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.
The Boomerang vehicle will be based on Armata Universal Combat Platform. It’ll be amphibious and be able to negotiate and overcome water obstacles using two waterjets. In a departure with the previous BTR (Like BTR-70) series of vehicles, the engine will be located in the front instead of the rear. Engine location was a significant drawback of BTR vehicles, where soldiers had to exit the vehicles through cramped side doors. The Boomerang has rear doors and roof hatches for troop entry and exit. It will likely have a crew of three consisting of the driver, gunner, and commander and hold seven troops. Protection will come from ceramic armor and technologies to prevent shell splinters.
Several components and subsystems will be interchangeable between the Bumerang APC and Kurganets-25 IFV, and both vehicles will be powered by the same engine. There are two versions of the Bumerang 8×8 vehicle: the K-16 armored personnel carrier (APC), lightly armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun in a small remote turret; and the K-17 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), heavily armed with the Bumerang-BM RWS with a 30 mm cannon and Kornet-EM anti-tank missiles or AU-220M with 57 mm BM-57 autocannon and 7.62mm PKMT machine gun. Further versions could include a fire support vehicle with 57 mm autocannon as well as version with a 125 mm gun for use as a self-propelled anti-tank gun were confirmed in March 2018.
High mobility and a smooth ride of the vehicle are achieved through the use of eight-wheel-drive, independent suspension and a fuel-efficient 750 hp diesel engine. The vehicle can easily negotiate various obstacles, attain a speed of over 100 km/h on the highway and has a cruising range of at least 800 km. To increase its cross-country ability, the armored vehicle is fitted with a pull winch rated at 10 tons. The Russian vehicle is most favorably distinguished from its foreign counterparts by its amphibious properties, which make it possible to negotiate water obstacles even in Sea State 3. Moreover, it develops a speed of at least 10 km/h on water, having endurance on water of up to 12 hours.
Protection of this unique Russian universal wheeled combat platform can be built using a multi-level principle: armor, ERA and active protection system, a smoke-screen laying system and other systems. Armor and a special shape of the hull provide protection of personnel against the effects of small arms, mine-explosive devices and shell splinters. Spall liners are mounted on the inner surfaces of the hull. In case of damage, the armored vehicle is able to leave a dangerous place on its own with its two wheels completely torn off or continue moving with its tires punctured by bullets.
The vehicle’s survival on the battlefield is enhanced by disruptive camouflage painting, an aerosol or smoke screen system, fire protection systems, and an NBC protection system. Special systems and technical solutions ensure the survival of combat crew when the vehicle strikes a mine. In addition, the vehicle can be equipped with jammers protecting the crew from radio-controlled improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The Boomerang is comparable to foreign combat armored vehicles in its combat capabilities and tasks at hand and even exceeds them: in cross-country ability – through a more powerful engine, in protection – thanks to an active armor system, in fire power – due to the use of combined armament with ATGM systems.