BMD-3 Airborne Infantry Fighting Vehicle
The BMD-3, which rectifies many of the faults of the BMD-1 and BMD-2 AIFVs, is more rugged (and heavier) than previous BMDs and can be airdropped with its crew in the vehicle. The IL-76M can carry 3 BMD-3s ready for airdrop. All BMDs have an adjustable suspension to raise or lower the vehicle's height and cushion it better for airdrop. The BMD-3 features an entirely new chassis fitted with the two-man turret of the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle. While retaining the boat-shaped hull of the earlier vehicles, the BMD-3 has improved amphibious capability and a significant increase in firepower. And unlike its predecessors, the BMD-3 can be airdropped with its complement of of seven men inside the vehicle, enhancing the element of surprise associated with airborne operations. Previously the crew of other vehicles would be dropped separately, requring additional time to marry up with their fighting vehicle. The all-welded construction of the BMD-3 provides the crew with protection from small arms fire and shell splinters.
The crew consists of commander, gunner, driver, and four infantrymen, with the commander normally dismounting with the squad. Three additional infantrymen may be carried in an emergency in the rear.
The two-man power operated turret is armed with a 30-mm 2A42 dual feed cannon and a 7.62-mm PKT machine-gun mounted coaxially to the right. The roof-mounted ATGM launcher can fire either the AT-4 SPIGOT or AT-5 SPANDREL. The bow-mounted AG-17 30-mm automatic grenade launcher and 5.45-mm RPKS machine-gun are operated by the infantrymen seated in the front of the BMD-3. The automatic grenade launcher has 290 ready rounds and 261 in the rack. The ATGM launcher has 3 ready rounds (one on the launcher), and two stowed. The Russian SANOET-1 thermal gunner's sight is available. Thermal sights are available for the ATGM launcher. The Russian Trakt/1PN65 thermal imaging ATGM night sight is optional. Acquisition range is 2,500 m (NFI). For the ATGM launcher in dismount configuration, the Russian Mulat/1PN86 lightweight thermal ATGM night sight has 3,600 m detection range and 2,000 m identification range. French-German Flame-V adapter kit permits the BMD-3 to launch Milan, Milan-2 and Milan-3 ATGMs. 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, a coaxial 7.62-mm MG and improved fire control system.
The BMD-3 is powered by a rear-mounted 2V-06 water-cooled diesel which provides a high power-to-weight ratio of 34 hp/ton. The hydroneumatic suspension has variable height control. Propelled by two water jets at the rear of the vehicle, the BMD-3 is fully amphibious. A French SNPE explosive reactive armor (ERA) kit and others are available for use on the BMD-3. However, during dismounted troop movement, ERA would be a hazard. Thus, passive armor is more likely and ERA application is doubtful. For amphibious use, additional armor application is unlikely. Other options are spall liners, air conditioning, and a more powerful engine.
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