RYAZAN , Russia, May 20 (UPI) -- Production of 250 new Russian armored personnel carriers, which impressed observers at Moscow's Victory Day parade, will begin June 1.
"Ten BMD-4M vehicles and 10 (Rakushka) armored personnel carriers have passed the state tests, and now the documentation for launching the serial production for June 1 is nearing completion," Rusian airborne Forces Commander Vladimir Shamanov told Russia's Tass news service at the Seltsy Training Center on Wednesday.
The Russian Defense Ministry will receive the new equipment, meant to replace vehicles dating back to the Soviet era of the 1970s, over three years. They are made from aluminum armor and were specially designed for airborne troops.
Each can be adapted for an assortment of uses to carry troops or supplies, and the fully-amphibious vehicles can be dropped by parachute from the air. The models each carry machine guns.
They made their debut May 7 at Moscow's massive Victory Day parade, celebrating the end of World War II.