Military observers from around the world watched as the Russian Army displayed a new family of combat vehicles at the 2015 May Day Parade in Moscow to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Great Patriotic War (World War II). These new vehicles represent a new approach to armament, survivability, and modular reuse of systems across platforms (similar to the failed Future Combat Systems of the US Army). One of these designs is the Kurganets-25 which provides a common core for an APC (BTR) version as well as an IFV, similar to the Bradley APC/IFV designs used by the US Army. The Object 693 refers to the armored personnel carrier (APC) version which provides transportation for eight troops around the battlefield. Like the Armata series, the Kurganets-25 is manned by a crew of three, all housed inside the hull and armed with an unmanned turret. The primary gun of the APC is 12.7mm (.50 caliber) machine gun. Unlike the Armata chassis, the Kurganets-25 chassis is amphibious.
Panda Hobby is producing the Armata and Kurgonets combat vehicles with this Object 693 being the latest in the series. The kit is molded in tan styrene and presented on five parts trees plus eighteen trees molded in brown, one tree molded in clear, and one fret of photo-etched parts. Among the kit’s features and options:
Detailed suspension/drive train
Three-piece track links
Nicely detailed hull
Photo-etched grilles on the engine deck
Positionable crew hatches
When I first heard about the three-piece track links, I had to grimace as we’ve seen track links where the guide teeth were molded separately and each link had its own separate pin. It was quite a relief when I saw these three-piece track links – the steel track link is two parts (front, back and guide tooth) and snaps together to the adjoining links.
The decals provide the stylized Russian star on either side of the parade vehicles.
While this kit represents one of the early production vehicles that appeared in the Moscow May Day Parade, it provides a solid foundation for updates once the type is seen in the field or exported to client nations. Like most APC kits, this one is fairly simple in construction and yet will be rather sizable given large stance and the spaced armor in the side skirts. It may be a bit of an exaggeration, but if the rear door was larger, you could almost get an MT-LB inside.