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Airborne combat vehicle


The BMD-3 airborne combat vehicle can be paradropped with all the crew inside

Country of origin Soviet Union
Entered service 1990
Crew 2 men
Personnel 5 + 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 12.9 - 13.2 t
Length 6.36 m
Hull length 6.1 m
Width 3.11 m
Height 2.45 m
Main gun 30 mm cannon
ATGW Konkurs
Machine guns 1 x 7.62 mm, 1 x 5.45 mm
Grenade launchers 1 x 40 mm
Engine 2V-06 diesel
Engine power 450 hp
Maximum road speed 70 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 10 km/h
Range 500 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.8 m
Trench 1.8 m
Fording Amphibious


   Combat use of the BMD-2 airborne combat vehicle in Afghanistan revealed that an combat vehicle with a two-man turret would perform more efficiently. Furthermore the BMD-2 was too light for its 30 mm cannon - the whole hull was swinging while the vehicle was firing. Significant improvement of the BMD-2 was impossible as its improvement capabilities were already outgoing. Consequently a new BMD-3 airborne combat vehicle was developed and entered service with the Soviet Army in 1990. However due to collapse of the Soviet Union, end of the Cold War and funding shortages of the dwindling Russian military this vehicle was never produced in large numbers. Production of the BMD-3 ceased in 1996 totaling only 137 units. Eventually newer and more advanced designs were adopted, such as the BMD-4M.

   The BMD-3 has a redesigned hull, which was specially intended to accommodate the 30 mm automatic cannon. This armored vehicles features improved armor protection over its predecessors - the BMD-1 and BMD-2 airborne combat vehicles. Also the BMD-3 was significantly larger than its predecessors.

   This armored vehicle has a similar turret used on the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle, mounting a 30 mm cannon. A Konkurs (Western reporting name AT-5 or Spandrel) anti-tank guided missile launcher has four reload missiles and can engage main battle tanks ant significant ranges.

   Secondary armament consists of a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. Additional 5.45 mm machine gun is mounted in front of the hull and there is also a 40 mm AG-17 automatic grenade launcher. Over 500 rounds are carried for the grenade launcher, of which 280 are ready to use.

   The BMD-3 can carry five fully equipped troops, but in case of emergency 8 troops can be carried. Two of them are provided with a firing ports and vision blocks.

   This airborne combat vehicle is powered by a 2V-06 diesel engine, developing 450 hp. It has a hydropneumatic suspension with variable height control, which also allows the vehicle to lean in any direction. Such suspension also allows the vehicle to be paradropped on platforms.

   This vehicle is amphibious and fords water obstacle afloat. The BMD-3 is very seaworthy and can take damage while afloat. Even if 30 percent of its displacement is filled with water vehicle will be still floating in the water and will not sink. Furthermore it is fitted with pumps, pumping out the breaching water. Propulsion on water is provided by two waterjets. Amphibious speed on water is up to 10 km/h.

   The BMD-3 airborne combat vehicle can be paradropped with all the crew inside, thus saving time for the assembly on the battlefield.




   BMD-3K is a command vehicle. It was officially adopted in 1996 but due to funding problems it never reached production.

   2S25 Sprut-SD light tank. It has a stretched hull and is fitted with a 125 mm gun. Armor protection of this tank is rather limited. This light tank was officially adopted in 2005.

   RKhM-5 nuclear, biological and chemical reconnaissance vehicle. First vehicles were produced and delivered to Russian airborne units in 2009.

   BMD-4 airborne combat vehicle. It is a further development of the BMD-3, fitted with significantly more powerful armament.




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