Both sides deployed elite paratroopers to drop deep behind enemy lines during the Second World War. The Allies relied heavily on paratroopers during the D-Day landings, but the succeeding Operation Market Garden into the German-occupied Netherlands has been dubbed “A Bridge Too Far.”
German armoured divisions met British airborne battalions in the Netherlands with severe resistance. It was difficult to battle opposing armour with rifles and machine guns, as the film, based on Cornelius Ryan’s eponymous novel, observed.
The paratroopers of the day required something a little more powerful. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union developed armoured vehicles specifically for paradrops in order to help their paratroopers.
The BMP-1 infantry battle vehicle was first introduced by the Soviet Union in 1966. It was a brand-new armoured personnel carrier that gave mechanised infantry teams the firepower they needed to take on tanks and entrenched ground forces. The 14.6-ton BMP-1 is equipped with a machine gun, an anti-tank missile launcher, and a 73-millimeter low-pressure cannon. The same deadly weapon set was fitted to the considerably smaller and lighter BMD-1 – the Boyevaya Machine Desanta – by Soviet designers.
Then There’s The BMD-4M.
The Russian military has continued to experience the benefits of an armoured battle vehicle dropped from the sky. The newest Kornet-D1 air-droppable self-propelled anti-tank missile system has entered the last stage of fire testing, according to Rostec, a state-owned enterprise.
“The High Precision Weapons Group is in the last stages of shooting tests, and the vehicle is also undertaking laboratory and road testing,” Rostec stated in a statement, according to Russian state-run news agency TASS.
The current platform is based on the chassis of the Russian Army’s Airborne Force’s BMD-4M airborne infantry fighting vehicle. It will be armed with the Kornet anti-tank missile system, which was built by the Shipunov Design Bureau of Instrument-Making – a division of the High Precision Weapons Group – to destroy tanks and other armoured targets, including reactive armoured vehicles.