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BMP-3 Fighting Vehicle

The BMP-3 [BMP = Boyevaya Mashina Pyekhota - Infantry Fighting Vehicle], which represents a totally different design concept from BMP-1/2, is a light tank that can hold a squad of infantry. It has a 100mm main gun that fires HE to demolish buildings, can fire long-range ATGMs through its barrel, and a 30mm autocannon and a medium machine gun as a single unit in the turret. The innovative BMP-3 armament suite has been subjected to criticism in the Russian military, which has focused on deficiencies in the barrel-fired ATGM. The performance obtained from the 500 horsepower engine powering this 18 ton of vehicle compares favorably to the American Bradley, which has an engine of similar power for a 33 ton of vehicle. The BMP-3, first seen in public during a parade in Moscow in 1990, was built by Kurganmashzavod, developer and manufacturer of the BMP-2 infantry combat vehicle. The hull of the BMP-3 resembles the BMD Airborne Infantry Fighting Vehicle, with a new turret in the center of the vehicle. The troop compartment at the rear of the hull is accessed via a pair of doors in the hull rear. The BMP-3 is fully amphibious, propelled in water by two water-jets mounted at the rear of the hull.

A French SNPE ERA kit and others are available for use on the BMP-3. However, during dismounted troop movement ERA would be a hazard. Thus, passive armor is more likely and ERA application is doubtful. Other options are spall liners and air conditioning. Russian AG-17 30-mm automatic grenade launcher modification is available for use on BMP-3. Russian KBP offers a drop-in one-man turret called Kliver, with a stabilized 2A72 30-mm gun, a 4 Kornet ATGM launcher, thermal sights, and improved fire control system. The Namut thermal gunner's sight is available for use on BMP-3. This uses the French Athos thermal camera. Namut sight has 3x and 10x channels with a night acquisition range of 2,600 meters. Stowed rounds and ATGMs can be passed from the passenger compartment to the gunner for hand loading. This includes ATGMs. The "HEF" (or "HE-Shrapnel") round can be employed in indirect fire mode with air burst to 7,000 m.

The Russian Army will not purchase any more BMP-3 units as of 2010. Deputy Defense Minister for Armaments, Army General Vladimir Popovkin (later - Head of Russian Space Agency), spoke of the vehicle very negatively. "We really need to take care of our soldiers. Today they sit atop BMP because inside it's like a "coffin" Nobody wants to be inside. We should develop another vehicle." These words broke a contract for the supply of the BMP-3 to Greece for $1.5 billion.

Being inside of BMP-3 is dangerous, the layout of the crew compartment is poorly designed, and getting out of the vehicle is difficult. Designers cannot strengthen the level of protection of the crew and at the same time increase its firepower. As a result, Russian BMP-3 has perhaps the world's lowest level of security. This is totally unacceptable for the army consisting of contract professionals.

An order for the delivery of BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles that the Russian Defense Ministry suspended three years earlier over inferior quality will be completed, a defense industry official said 24 September 2013. The vehicles, manufactured in 2010 at the Kurganmashzavod plant, “were criticized by the Defense Ministry” when they were first made, Oleg Bochkarev, deputy head of the governmental Military Industrial Commission, said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

The vehicle has since been modernized and given “a large number of various modifications,” he said, adding that the product is in high demand on foreign markets. “This equipment will function for a long time yet,” Bochkarev said. First Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Sukhorukov said last year that Kurganmashzavod had been fined 3 billion rubles ($90 million) over its failure to deliver BMP-3s on time and meet the required quality standards.

The Defense Ministry and Concern "Tractor plants" signed a contract for the supply of several hundred infantry fighting vehicles BMP-3, vice president and co-owner of the concern Albert Bakova told Tass. "We have signed a three-year contract with the Ministry of Defence on the BMP-3. The number in the hundreds of cars," - a spokesman said. According to him, in the course of serial production of BMP-3 armored vehicles in the design has been made more than 1.5 thousand.

Tanks also clarified that "Kurgan", included in the "Tractor Plants", will continue to carry out the order for the supply of military BMP-3 to complete the development work on the platform "Kurganets-25" and the serial production of armored infantry fighting vehicles of the new generation on its base.

Agreement for the modernization of 135 BMP-3, set the UAE, to be completed in the summer of 2015, told reporters on Tuesday the deputy head of "Rosoboronexport" Igor Sevastyanov. "The contract for the modernization of 135 vehicles BMP-3 is almost as planned ... A little less than half of the machines already delivered to the customer. We expect to complete the entire job in the summer of 2015," - said Sevastyanov at an arms fair IDEX-2015 in Abu Dhabi (UAE). Agreement on the $ 74 million the parties signed in February 2011, also in the exhibition IDEX.

Iraq planned to acquire 500 and Saudi Arabia 950 BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles from Russia, Albert Bakov, first vice president and co-owner of the Tractor Works Concern, the manufacturer of these machines, told TASS 30 September 2015. "We’ve got an application for 500 BMP-3s from Iraq and for 950 from Saudi Arabia," the interlocutor told the Agency.

He noted that there are no problems with orders, but a balance must be set between those for export and for the domestic market. "In 2016 we’ll start conveyor manufacturing to fulfill all the orders on time. However, the conveyor start-up calls for a lot of work in the component supply segment," Bakov added.

Previously it became known that before the end of 2017 the Russian Defense Ministry is due to receive over 200 new BMP-3s. In addition, there were reports that those combat machines might be purchased by Myanmar and Morocco planning to acquire small lots of 35 to 40 IFVs.

As per unclassified sources, the BMP-3s are in service with a number of countries, including Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Russia is currently fulfilling an order to upgrade 135 infantry fighting vehicles of the UAE. The work is expected to be completed in early 2016.

Russia and India are considering co-development of a new generation infantry fighting vehicle at an Indian enterprise, Albert Bakov, first vice president and co-owner of the Tractor Plants Concern, told TASS on 14 October 2015.

"There are plans of joint production of a new combat vehicle implying development and manufacture at their plant of a Russo-Indian infantry fighting vehicle. This is quite realistic, but no final decision on this has been made so far," Bakov said. "Our countries already have experience of joint work, for instance, the fifth generation fighter project," Bakov added.

He said that there are a few more options of cooperating with India. "The Indians would like to launch the production of some vehicles in their country. At issue is the modernization of equipment in service with their armed forces as well as acquisition of equipment we’ve modernized," Bakov said.

According to the company official, the Russian Defense Ministry may allocate extra funding for developing the new version of the BMP-3 Dragoon infantry fighting vehicle. "The Defense Ministry is interested in those vehicles," Bakov added. "Once we’re through with the trials, we’ll hold talks with them."

He stressed that the Dragoon has no imported components. The newly developed version also differs from the baseline BMP-3 in that its powerplant is located in front and the landing compartment is fitted with a ramp. The Dragoon must receive a combat module armed with 2A70 100mm caliber gun, 2A72 automatic 30mm gun and PKT 7.62mm caliber machinegun.

Bakov said the model demonstrated early in September at the Russia Arms Expo-2015 Defense Exhibition in Nizhny Tagil is not the Dragoon’s final version. What is now mounted on the turret, will be put away, as much as possible, in the body since all "the protruding parts" will become an easy target for enemy’s munitions," he said. "I think the process will take at least a year," Bakov added.

He also said that NATO specialists "very carefully examined" the BMP-3’s new versions, Dragoon and Derivation, armed with the 57mm gun in Nizhny Tagil. "They did so, however, not because they wanted to buy them, as you well understand," Bakov added.


  • BMP-3F: Amphibious Armored Combat Vehicle developed for Naval Infantry.
  • BMP-3 M1995: ATGM launcher vehicle, with Kornet (AT-14) launcher and autoloader, and thermal sights.
  • 9P157: ATGM launcher vehicle, with Krizantema (AT-15) ATGM autoloader, MMW and thermal fire control system.
  • BMP-3K: Command variant, with electronic round fuze system for 100-mm gun and a steel hull. Bow MGs are removed. Added radios are R-159, R-143 and R-174. The 1PN71 thermal sight (3.7x/11.5x) has an acquisition range against tanks of 3.0 km. The 1D14 laser rangefinder (73x and 18x sights) has a day light only acquisition range of 10.0 km. The 1PN61 passive image intensifier night sight uses a laser illuminator. In the passive mode, the Generation II (7x) sight has a night acquisition range of 1.2-1.5 km. Using the active laser pulse illuminator, the acquisition range can be extended. Tall Mike Radar has an operating band I (9.0 GHz), and detection ranges: 3.0 km against personnel, 12.0 against moving vehicles.
  • BREhM-L: Armored recovery vehicle (ARV).
  • BRM-3K: Combat recon vehicle with radar and 30-mm gun.
  • BMP-3: UAE upgrade improvements including Namut Thermal Night sight.

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