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BMP-3

Infantry fighting vehicle

BMP-3 IFV

The BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle resembles a light tank

 
 
Country of origin Soviet Union
Entered service 1987
Crew 3 men
Personnel 7 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 18.7 t
Length ~ 7.3 m
Hull length 7.2 m
Width 3.23 m
Height 2.45 m
Armament
Main gun 1 x 100 mm, 1 x 30 mm
ATGW 9M117 Bastion
Machine guns 3 x 7.62 mm (6 000 rounds)
Elevation range - 5 to + 60 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 40 x 100 mm, 500 x 30 mm
ATGW 6 missiles
Machine guns 6 000 x 7.62 mm
Mobility
Engine UTD-29 diesel
Engine power 500 hp
Maximum road speed 70 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 10 km/h
Range 600 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.8 m
Trench 2.5 m
Fording Amphibious

 

   Development of the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle commenced in the late 1970s. It was originally designed as a replacement for a PT-76 amphibious light tank, but during development was repurposed as infantry fighting vehicle. It was adopted to service with the Soviet Army in 1987. A pre-production batch of 12 vehicles was delivered the same year. It was obvious, that design of this IFV had little in common with previous BMP-1 and BMP-2. A number of drawbacks related to previous IFVs were fixed. Due to funding problems Russia obtained only a relatively small number of these armored vehicles. As of 2017 a total of 720 are in service with the Russian military, plus another 200 are on order. The BMP-3 has been exported to Azerbaijan (100), Cyprus (43), Indonesia (54), Kuwait (around 200), South Korea (70), Ukraine (4), United Arab Emirates (around 650) and Venezuela (130). Morocco ordered 60 of these combat vehicles. The BMP-3 is still being produced.

   Appearance of the BMP-3 resembles a light tank. As mentioned before, it actually started life as a light tank and is significantly better protected than the previous BMP-1 and BMP-2. Also it has a rear-mounted engine for a better weight distribution and improved amphibious capabilities.

   The BMP-3 is armed with a 100 mm gun, capable of firing 9M117 Bastion laser-guided anti-armor missiles, as well as ordinary HE-FRAG projectiles. The 9M117 missile has a maximum range of 4 km. It penetrates 650-750 mm behind ERA, providing this IFV a considerable anti-armor capability. HE-FRAG rounds have a maximum range of up to 7 km. Vehicle is completed with an semi-automatic loader and has a maximum rate of 10 rounds per minute. A total of 40 rounds are carried.

   The BMP-3 is also armed with coaxial 30 mm cannon and 7.62 mm machine gun. The 30 mm cannon fires at a rate of 330 rpm and has a maximum range of 2 km against ground targets and 4 km against low-flying helicopters. Vehicle is also fitted with two more bow-mounted, forward firing 7.62 mm machine guns, operated by the dismounts.

   The BMP-3 is fitted with computerized fire control system with ballistic computer.

   The BMP-3 is significantly better protected than the previous BMP-1 and BMP-2. Hull and turret of this infantry fighting vehicle are welded of aluminum alloy armor. The front arc is made of composite armor and provides protection against 30 mm armor-piercing rounds. All-round protection is against 14.5 mm armor-piercing rounds. Protection can be enhanced with add-on explosive reactive armor kit. Furthermore the Arena active protection and Shtora countermeasures systems can be installed. Such systems are usually associated with main battle tanks. This infantry fighting vehicle is also fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.

   The BMP-3 is fitted with smoke grenade dischargers. It can also generate smoke screens by injecting fuel into exhaust.

   This infantry fighting vehicle has a crew of three and can carry 7 troops. Two infantrymen are located on each side of the driver and operate bow-mounted machine guns. Rest of the troops are seated to the rear on two inward-facing bench seats, over the engine pack. It is worth mentioning, that the troop compartment is cramped. Infantrymen enter and leave the vehicle via rear doors and roof hatches.

   The BMP-3 is powered by an UTD-29 V-10 diesel engine, developing 500 hp. Engine is mounted at the rear. It is mated to a manual transmission with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears. This IFV has a hydropneumatic suspension, which can be adjusted to suit the type of ground being crossed.

   Vehicle is fully amphibious. Propulsion on water is provided by two waterjets.

   The BMP-3 is fitted with a self-entrenching blade and can prepare itself a defensive position.

   Despite its formidable capabilities the BMP-3 becomes out-dated. A new-generation Kurganets-25 IFV was developed for the Russian Army. It was publicly revealed in 2015. However due to funding problems it is unlikely that Kurganets-25 will be fielded in large numbers.

 

Variants

 

   BMP-3K command vehicle.

   BMP-3F marine version of the infantry fighting vehicle. It has improved amphibious capabilities. A self-entranching blade was removed. This armored vehicle can operate at sea up to a Sea State 3. It can fire efficiently afloat up to a Sea State 2. The BMP-3F has been exported to Indonesia.

   BMP-3M improved export version, fitted with new UTD-32T turbocharged engine, developing 660 hp. This IFV has a new fire control system.

   BRM-3 Rys (lynx) armored reconnaissance vehicle with the 100 mm gun removed;

   BREM-L Beglyanka armored recovery vehicle.

   2S18 Pat-S 152 mm self-propelled howitzer. It was only a prototype.

   2S31 Vena (vein) 120 mm mortar system.

   Khrizantema (chrysanthemum) anti-tank missile carrier.

   Kornet-T anti-tank missile carrier.

   UR-07 Minefield breaching system.

   Engineer vehicle, fitted with a front-mounted dozer blade and a backhoe bucket loader.

   TKB-841 prototype air defense gun/missile system of the Pantsyr-S1, based on the BMP-3 hull.

   1V172-2 artillery control vehicle. It is used for surveillance and command of artillery units.

   BT-3F armored personnel carrier. It is based on the BMP-3F but has a superstructure instead of the turret, similar to that of the 1V172-2 artillery control vehicle. It has a crew of 3 and accommodates 14 dismounts. This armored vehicle was specially designed for amphibious operations from ship to shore. A demonstrator was first publicly revealed in 2016. It is being proposed for the Russian naval infantry as a replacement for their BTR-80 series 8x8 armored personnel carriers.

 

Video of the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle

 

 
BMP-3 IFV

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BMP-3 IFV

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BMP-3 IFV

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BMP-3 IFV

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BMP-3F IFV

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BMP-3F IFV

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BMP-3F IFV

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BMP-3F IFV

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BMP-3F IFV

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Personal appeal from Andrius Genys

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