Prior to the end of the 1960s, Soviet airborne units had been mounted in trucks; generally the air-droppable version of the GAZ-66. In order to give these troops some fire support, self-propelled assault gun units were added to the VDV TO&E. By the mid-1950s, the ASU-57:
Like its predecessor, the ASU-85 could be palletized and airdropped:
or it could be loaded into the Mi-6 Hook heavy lift helicopter. The ASU-85 filled the role of light infantry support gun and was also capable of a limited antitank role.
Beginning in 1969, the BMD-1:
began entering service, filling the triple roles of IFV, infantry support artillery, and antitank vehicle. However, it proved to be complicated and slow to build, as well as quite expensive, so in 1974 a simpler and cheaper APC was introduced, the BTR-D:
Those ASU-85's that were retired found a new lease on life as city buses:
The Poles and East Germans also operated the ASU-85 from the mid-60s through the mid-70s, but all of theirs had been retired by 1976.
And here is my ASU-85 assault gun company which will operate in support of my VDV battalion:
That's it for this weekend. More next time.