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Infantry fighting vehicle


The BMP-23 infantry fighting vehicle is based on the MT-LB multi-purpose armored carrier

Country of origin Bulgaria
Entered service ?
Crew 3 men
Personnel 7 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 15.2 t
Length 7.28 m
Width 2.85 m
Height 2.53 m
Main gun 23 mm cannon
ATGW 1 x Malyutka launcher
Machine guns 1 x 7.62 mm
Ammunition load
Main gun 600 rounds
ATGW 4 missiles
Machine guns 2 000 x 7.62 mm
Engine YaMZ-238N diesel
Engine power 302 hp
Maximum road speed 61 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 6 km/h
Range 600 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.8 m
Trench 2.5 m
Fording Amphibious


   In the mid 1970s Bulgaria purchased license from the Soviet Union to produce the 2S1 Gvosdika 122 mm self-propelled howitzer. This self-propelled howitzer is based on the MT-LB multi-purpose armored carrier. Bulgarians developed their own array of variants of the 2S1 Gvosdika and MT-LB, including indigenous Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). Despite similar designation the BMP-23 has little in common with Soviet BMP series IFVs. A total of 115 BMP-23s were built.

   Chassis of the BMP-23 has 7 roadwheels per side, as the 2S1 Gvosdika artillery system, while the original MT-LB multi-purpose armored carrier is shorter and has 6 roadwheels per side. A more powerful engine was fitted. Bulgarian designers used a number of readily available component and weapons in order to create this armored vehicle.

   Main role of the BMP-23 is to carry infantry into the battlefield and provide direct fire support.

   Some sources report that protection of the BMP-23 is rather poor for an infantry fighting vehicle, even though it is actually heavier than Soviet BMP-1 and BMP-2 IFVs. Automatic fire detection and suppression system is fitted.

   This infantry fighting vehicle is fitted with an indigenous turret, armed with a 23 mm cannon. It is essentially a single gun of the ZU-23 towed anti-aircraft gun, that was widespread throughout the Eastern block. This cannon has a range of effective fire against ground targets of 2 000 meters. The BMP-23 is fitted with the 9M14M Malyutka (Western reporting name AT-3 Sagger) anti-tank missile launcher on top of the roof to deal with tanks. Four missiles are carried inside the vehicle. This missile was wire-guided had an effective range of up to of 2 500 meters. Though its hit probability was only 50-60. There is also a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun.

   Vehicle has a crew of 3 and can carry 7 fully equipped troops. There is a number of firing ports provided for the troops.

   The BMP-23 is powered by a Russian YaMZ-238N diesel engine, developing 302 horsepower. It is slightly more powerful than standard engine of the MT-LB armored carrier. The YaMZ-238N was used on a number of Soviet military vehicle. The BMP-23 is fully amphibious without preparation. On water it is propelled by its tracks.




   BMP-23A is an improved variant of the BMP-23 with six smoke grenade dischargers and more capable Fagot (Western reporting name AT-4 Spigot) anti-tank missile launcher on top of the roof. The Fagot was way more accurate than the Malyutka.

   BRM-23 armored reconnaissance vehicle with similar layout and weapons fit. It had a crew of five and carried additional surveillance equipment.

   BMP-30 infantry fighting vehicle. Essentially it is the BMP-23 fitted with complete turret of the Russian BMP-2 IFV. It is armed with a 30 mm cannon, which packs a heavier punch and has an effective range of up to 4 000 m. There are also coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun and a roof-mounted Fagot anti-tank missile launcher. The BMP-30 was reportedly adopted in 1987 and was built in very small numbers.




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