During the Cold War decades, the Soviet Army championed use of multi-axle armor wheeled vehicles among its ground force ranks. This ultimately begat the classic line of BTR models centered along a basic 8x8 design and serving in the Armored Personnel Carrier (APCs) role. The types went on to see considerable procurement and operational service throughout the world. Today (2015), the "Bumerang" stands as the next incarnation of the BTR for service in the modern Russian Army and brings with it all of the lessons learned in recent fighting in Chechnya and the Ukraine while also applying knowledge gained in observing coalition actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. The vehicle forms a part of the "new look" Russian Army with a collection of modern vehicles unveiled in 2015. The Bumerang is set to succeed the BTR-80/BTR-82 and BTR-90 family lines.
The Bumerang was designed around a 2011 Russian Army requirement intending to improve upon the weaknesses inherent in the BTR-80 and BTR-90 designs while playing up to their strengths. Additionally, those vehicles were designed during a time when war in Europe was to provide the most likely battlefield but more recent actions involving Russian forces proved that a new way of thinking was in order - unconventional warfare was here to stay. By late 2011 the program gained support and a design and development phase ensued which begat the new entry - receiving the name of Bumerang (translating simply to "Boomerang"). This product, along with others in the Armata family line, were publically debuted during the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade.
Outwardly, the Bumerang exhibits the well-accepted design lines witnessed in other modern 8x8 wheeled armored vehicles. Ground clearance is excellent, made possible in part by the eight large, run-flat, height adjustable road wheels - four being fitted to a hull side. The glacis plate is very shallow for basic ballistics protection and the driver's position hatch is set to the upper left side of the plate, the engine being installed at the front-right of the hull. The hull is given a flat roof line and mounts a turret that holds the primary and secondary armament options available to the crew. Roof hatches for crewmembers are situated over the rear section of the hull roof. The passenger cabin is located at the rear of the vehicle for protected entry/exit through a rear square-shaped door. The standard operating crew is three with additional seating for seven to nine combat-ready infantry.
This diesel engine is a turbocharged unit outputting 500 horsepower and this is the same powerpack that will be featured in the upcoming Kurganets-25 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) currently under development as well and detailed elsewhere on this site. Road speeds are estimated to reach 95 kmh and each wheel is suspended for improved cross-country travel.
As with other historical Soviet APCs / IFVs, the Bumerang is designed with an inherent amphibious quality. A folding rectangular plate is set on the extreme nose of the vehicle and opened prior to water entry. Propulsion in water sources is through a pair of water jets set to the lower part of the hull rear.
The powered turret is a small-profile design and remotely-operated (i.e. unmanned) by the crew from within the safety of the vehicle hull. Primary armament is set to become variable based on mission need but will deploy a 7.62mm Medium Machine Gun (MMG) at the minimum. Plans are to include a larger version of the turret fitting a 30mm autocannon or larger caliber main gun along with a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. The basic 7.62mm machine gun could very easily be replaced by a 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun system as needed or even an automatic grenade launcher. Turret options are also being developed with an Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) launcher support in mind, adding a definitive anti-armor capability to the Bumerang. Smoke grenade dischargers will allow for an on-call, self-screening quality and an onboard digital countermeasures suite will alert the crew to incoming dangers as well as automatically react as needed.
As with other vehicles of this class, the standard Bumerang design will form the basis of other related battlefield vehicles including an armored ambulance, Command Post (CP) vehicle and mortar carrier (among others). Beyond the Bumerang APC and Kurganets-25 IFV will be the T-15 "Armata" Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle (HIFV) joining the inventory of the Russian Army - giving commanders a high level of tactical flexibility. The T-14 "Armata" is set to become the spearhead of Russian armored divisions when it comes online itself - serving in the thousands as the primary Russian Army Main Battle Tank (MBT).
Deliveries of the Bumerang were set to begin in 2015.