In Development: 2S38 Derivatsiya


Today, we’d like to tell you about the first prize that’s coming in the next Battle Path we call Wars of the Past. It is the 2S38 Derivatsiya Armored Fighting Vehicle.


2S38 Derivatsiya

As you might have guessed, the name Derivatsiya stands for “Derivation” – Russian nomenclature can be pretty strange. It is, for all intents and purposes, a modified BMP-3 chassis with an AU-220M turret featuring a powerful 57mm gun. It was developed by Kurganmash and, according to some sources the Syrian experience played a large part in the project.

The name actually refers to the whole program to develop a fire support vehicle capable of engaging both flying targets (especially helicopters) and ground targets. According to some reports, it can also intercept MLRS rockets in flight, but one should take such claims with a grain of salt.

The first such concept appeared in 2015-2016 in the form of BMP-3-57 Derivatsiya, which was a BRM-3K Rys (“Lynx”) mated with an earlier version of the AU-220M Baykal turret.


2S38 Derivatsiya

If you’re wondering what on earth is the BRM-3K – it’s basically a modified BMP-3 from the early 1990s. The designation BRM stands for “combat reconnaissance vehicle”, which already implies its purpose. It is a dedicated recon vehicle that entered service in 1995 (it would only appear in public in 1999) with its turret armed with a 30mm cannon only, but fitted with advanced sensors and optics, including a thermal imager and a surveillance radar. The hull differences between the BMP-3 and the BRM-3K are not that huge – the BRM hull doesn’t have a troop compartment, no bow machineguns, a different hatch layout and a few other smaller details. Only a small number of these vehicles have been ever built, which is why the model is quite obscure today.

Much like the American Griffin series, the Derivatsiya was not intended as a production vehicle. Instead, it was a technology demonstrator – a proof of concept, if you will.


2S38 Derivatsiya

Unlike the Dragun, which was also unveiled at the Armiya 2015 expo, the Derivatsiya did not had its internal components moved around (whereas the Dragun had its engine moved to the front). The two platforms are therefore different, even though some websites mix them up, especially since the Dragun was also offered with an unmanned turret with a 57mm gun (albeit a different one, even though the two are related).

The AU-220M module (developed by the Burevestnik bureau) has been around for a while, at least since 2015. It weighs some 3.2 tons. It was modified for ground use from a naval turret (57mm is typically a naval caliber) and is fitted with the 2A90 57mm rifled automatic cannon with the following properties:

  • Rate of fire: up to 120 rounds per minute
  • Maximum gun depression: -5 degrees
  • Maximum elevation: +75 degrees
  • Ammo carried: 148 (or up to 200 according to some sources)
  • Range (flying target): 200 to 6000 meters
  • Range (ground target): up to 3000 meters
  • Maximum flying target altitude: 4500 meters
  • Maximum flying target speed: 500 m/s

The gun uses several types of ammunition of the 57x348SR 281-series family, including:

  • 53-BR-281 APCBC-T
  • 53-OR-281 HE-T

It’s worth noting that these rounds are pretty ancient – they have been developed in the 1950s for the 57mm S-60 anti-aircraft gun. On one hand, this allows Russia (and any potential buyers) to utilize old ammunition stocks. On the other hand, the ammunition is fairly obsolete. However, more ammunition types are planned, such as programmable multi-purpose ammo as well as guided ammunition.

There’s also a 7.62mm PKT machinegun (or a 12.7mm machinegun) with 200 rounds. The turret is fitted with a variant of the Shtora soft-kill APS, only instead of the typical IR projectors it works as combination of a laser warning receiver and smoke deployment. The optics for the turret is a system called 1PN147 OES-OP – quite a modern one.


2S38 Derivatsiya

The vehicle is still powered by the UTD-29 500hp 10-cylinder diesel engine located in the back, allowing for the maximum speed of 70 km/h. It is also amphibious. It weighs 21.5 tons, has a crew of three and protection levels similar to a standard BMP-3 (that is, aluminum armor while the turret is made of steel). Frontally, the hull should be protected against 30mm ammunition. Its side armor can protect the crew from heavy machineguns and shell fragments, but that’s about it. The thick side slabs that look like ERA are in fact armored floaters, not ERA.

An unknown number of prototypes have been built between 2015 and 2020 – perhaps a dozen or so. Each one of them is slightly different since the vehicle is still going through an evolution process, so there is no one “correct” Derivatsiya – our model is based on a 2020 prototype. The vehicle is currently undergoing state trials that are supposed to last at least until 2022.


Click the image to open a larger version

In Armored Warfare, the 2S38 Derivatsiya will be a Tier 8 Premium Armored Fighting Vehicle.

But before we tell you more about it, here’s the usual disclaimer:

The numbers below are very preliminary as the vehicle has not been properly tested. They are sure to change and should only be discussed as an indicator of how we’d like to set the vehicle up.

With that being said:

We want to set up the Derivatsiya as an AFV and TD hybrid with the potential to hunt down and destroy enemy Light Tanks. Starting with protection, there isn’t really much to look at. A poorly armored chassis (frontal protection versus 30mm autocannons) with some additional armor on the sides (we’re currently discussing how we are going to tackle that part), an unmanned turret and a rather standard soft-kill APS.


Click the image to open a larger version

Mobility-wise, it’ll be, well, okay. We’re looking at the maximum speed of 70 km/h and the 0 to 32 km/h acceleration of 4 seconds (which will be possible to upgrade to 3.4 seconds using Battle Path’s Workshop), average agility... definitely not the highlight of this vehicle.

Where things start to get fun is the firepower. We have a very powerful 57mm 2A90 autocannon that will have two shell types (well, three, but we’ll get to that):

  • AP (500mm penetration, 88 damage)
  • HE (44mm penetration, 130 damage)

With the rate of fire being 225 rounds per minute, we’re looking at some 15700 points of damage per minute. If this doesn’t compute, it’s because the vehicle will be using the new Autocannon Overheat mechanism. You’ll be able to fire 40 rounds before the gun overheats, followed by 3 seconds of cooling.


Click the image to open a larger version

But that’s not all. You’ll be able to use the Workshop mechanic to unlock several additional progression modules. First, you’ll be able to choose between:

  • Improved rate of fire to 350 rounds per minute at the expense of longer 5 second cooling (if you prefer burst damage playstyle)
  • Improved cooling so that you can fire 80 rounds without overheating instead of 40 and the cooling time gets shorter as well (2.4 seconds), but the rate of fire stays the same (if you prefer sustained damage playstyle)

Both these upgrades bump your damage output to roughly 18000, so it really is a matter of preference.


Click the image to open a larger version

Additionally, there will be a very special round unlocked the same way – the UAS. This round will have the following characteristics:

  • PELE shell type (with all its corresponding mechanics)
  • 375mm of penetration, 80 damage per shot

Additionally, this shell will have limited guidance (the way the kinetic shells of Griffin 120mm do). It will be possible to use it together with the abovementioned upgrades, so you’ll effectively be trading some penetration and a bit of damage for the limited guidance ability and PELE characteristics.


Click the image to open a larger version

There are two more things that need to be said about this vehicle’s firepower:

  • The gun will also have a rather uncomfortable maximum depression of -5 degrees. You’ll have to position yourself carefully
  • The vehicle will feature the Improved Propellant module, reducing penetration loss over distance (and thus increasing its mid-range effectiveness)

And last but not least, there’s the utility factor. The vehicle will start with 30% camouflage and 430m of viewrange. There will be two additional modules affecting this aspect. You will be able to choose between the two following upgrades:

  • Improved Thermal Optics (better spotting through foliage)
  • Improved Camouflage (lower camouflage penalty when firing the gun)

In summation, as you can see, you’ll be able to configure this vehicle in several different ways. There will be the burst damage and active “hunter” option highly suitable for PvP, or there will be the sustained fire while staying hidden option that will fit the PvE needs nicely.

In its core, however, the Derivatsiya will remain a short-to-medium range heavy AFV with a decent pool of hitpoints. Consider your options carefully.

We hope that you’ll enjoy this vehicle and, as always:

See you on the battlefield!

Go up

Join the action