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BMP-2 Fighting Vehicle

The BMP-2 [BMP = Boyevaya Mashina Pyekhota - Infantry Fighting Vehicle] infantry combat vehicle, fielded in the early 1980's [initially designated BMP 1981], is an improved version of the BMP-1 incorporating major armament changes. The new two-man turret mounts a 30-mm automatic gun with a long thin tube and double-baffle muzzle brake that can be used against aircraft and helicopters. The ATGM launcher on top of the turret can employ either AT-4 SPIGOT or AT-5 SPANDREL missiles, though the AT-5 Spandrel canister is normally mounted. Given the enlarged turret, there are two roof hatches in the rear fighting compartment, rather than the four of the BMP-1, and the the BMP-2 accommodates one less passenger. Each side of the troop compartment has three firing ports with associated roof-mounted periscopes.

The BMP-1 was highly vulnerable to fire from heavy infantry weapons, medium antiarmor weapons, and artillery fire. Faced with the combat inadequacies of their BMP-1 armored personnel carrier in the Yom Kippur War of 1973, and later in Afghanistan, the Soviets produced a new model - the BMP-2. There was a change in the main armament; the turret was relocated, and the infrared (IR) and other optical equipment is different. Another identification point on the BMP-2 is the addition of a third shock absorber to the second forward pair. Additionally, the new vehicle carried fewer infantrymen.

The most noticeable visible feature of the new BMP-2 is that the turret is further back, compared to the BMP-1. The BMP-2 turret ring is two meters in diameter, about one-half a meter larger than the ring on the BMP-1. The commander sits on the gunners right and has a large revolving overhead hatch. Both the commander and the gunner have three integrated periscopes. The BMP-2s radio antennae are behind and to the right of the turret. The third crew member, the driver, sits forward in the hull. In the BMP-1, the commander sat up front behind the driver, and many BMP-1 commanders used the gunners seat instead, despite the consequent problems in the turret./p>

The new vehicle weighs in at 14.3 tons and is 6.858 meters long. It stands 2.077 meters high to the top of its turret and can travel up to 80 km/hr on roads. It has a road range of 450-500 km and can cross a trench two meters wide. An onboard fire extinguishing system is provided as well as a gyrocompass and an anti-flooding system for the engine during amphibious operations. Also an exterior optical-cleaning device is fitted. Armor on the BMP-2 offers the same protection as the BMP-1. Maximum hull armor thickness is 19-mm and that of the turret is 23-mm. The BMP-2 is proof against .50 caliber all around and against 7.62- mm from above.

BMP-2 was created on the basis of BMP-1 to further enhance the combat characteristics of the latter. The development was conducted in the ChTZ KB1972 ("Facility 769") and in KB KMZ in 1974. Adopted in 1980, the machine development of the Kurgan plant, mass production started at the KMZ from April of the same year.

The BMP-2 is a light amphibious tracked combat vehicle with high mobility and armouring. Its cross-country capabilities are improved due to employment of a different type of tracks and adjustment of the shock absorber. It is intended for destruction of various armoured targets, including enemy tanks, combat helicopters and manpower. Used by mechanized units, the vehicle enables small arms fire from firing ports when on the move. Its armor provides NBC protection of the crew. It is adjusted for airlift.

The BMP-2 is fully amphibious [water obstacles can be crossed by swimming], and the upper part of the track has a sheet metal cover deeper than that of the BMP-1 which is filled with a buoyancy aid. A French SNPE explosive reactive armor (ERA) kit and others are available for use on the BMP-2. 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. Russian AG-17 30-mm automatic grenade launcher modification is offered for BMP-2.

The main armament of the BMP-2 is a 30-mm automatic cannon 2A42 mounted in a double rotating turret. With the gun, the 7.62-mm PKT machine gun is paired. The 9P135M (9P135M-1) launcher is located on the roof of the turret between the commander's and gunner's hatches. Thus, the weapons installed in the car allow fighting against various targets, including tanks and helicopter gunships.

The BMP-2 chassis with a six-way undercarriage in terms of design and technical characteristics is similar to the BMP-1 chassis. The combat crew of the machine consists of 10 people: a non-dismountable unit (crew) 3 people (the commander of the car, the same commander of the compartment, the operator-gunner and the driver-mechanic) and 7 infantry commanders. The latter can target fire from personal weapons through special embrasures.

The fact is that with the help of the BMP-1 complex (a 73-mm gun, coupled with it 7.62 mm machine gun and ATGM "Malyutka"), it was difficult to solve fire missions to defeat typical "infantry" targets - open, lying and especially sheltered manpower, light armored vehicles such as American BTR M113, light defensive structures, as well as to repel attacks of low-flying aircraft and helicopters.

In addition, the experience of combat use of BMP-1 showed that the 2A28 gun did not effectively combat tanks and other armored vehicles due to insufficient accuracy and short range of fire, and because of the low power of the ammunition at the target. Therefore, only ATGMs are used in BMP-1 to defeat such targets.

The BMP-1 main gun, the 73-mm 2A20 low-pressure smoothbore firing the PG-9 fin-stabilized projectile, proved ineffective due to the limited range of the round and its vulnerability to winds while in flight. Moreover, the guns semiautomatic loading system not only slowed the rate-of-fire, but also jammed frequently. And because the gun automatically moved to 3.5 degree elevation after firing, the gunners sight was moved off-target. The gun had a theoretical rate-of-fire of four rounds per minute, but this was rarely, if ever, achieved in combat. The guns limited range of elevation and depression - from -3 degrees to +33 degrees - was another disadvantage. The BMP1s coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun was similarly limited in elevation and depression.

The BMP-1 also carried the AT-3 Sagger missile, fired from a launch rail over the main gun. Reloading the missile launcher entailed nearly complete exposure for the gunner. To track the missile in flight, he had to keep the sights crosshairs on the target with his righthand joystick and traverse the turret with his left hand. 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. ATGM load consists of one ready on the launcher and four stowed. They are readily accessible, but require hand loading from an open hatch. The AT-5 and AT-5B are more likely than AT-4 and -4B. French-German Flame-V adaptor kit permits the BMP-2 system to launch Milan, Milan-2, and Milan-3 ATGMs.

While the new BMP-2s main gun is of smaller caliber than the 73-mm of the BMP-1, it is a more efficient weapon. It is a 30-mm rapid-fire cannon stabilized in two planes. It has a dual-feed system for AP-T or HE-T ammunition. It has three firing modes: single-shot or two rates of autofire - 200-300 rounds per minute or full auto at 500 rounds per minute. The 30-mm AP-T shot can penetrate, at zero degrees angle of obliquity, 55 mm of armor at 500 meters and 50 mm at 1,000 meters. Five hundred rounds of main gun ammunition are carried, as are 2,000 rounds of 7.62-mm ammunition for the coaxial machine gun. The BMP-2s square mantlet, as opposed to the BMP-1s protruding mantlet, allows the gunner to elevate the gun to a maximum of 74 degrees, which gives it excellent antiaircraft (AA) capabilities, especially against low-flying planes and helicopters. The 30-mm guns maximum effective AA range is 2,000 meters.

The AT-3 Sagger antitank guided missile (ATGM) of the BMP-1 has been replaced on the BMP-2 by the AT-5 Spandrel ATGM. This newer missile has a range of 4,000 meters and a semi-automatic guidance system. The gunner fires the Spandrel from its over-the-turret launching rail. The special guidance optical equipment for the Spandrel sets just below the launcher. The crew can reload the missile launcher from inside the turret. The BMP-2 carries one Spandrel ATGM in the ready position on the launch rail and four more inside the vehicle. Some sources also report that the BMP-2 is alternately armed with the AT-4 Spigot ATGM that has a range of only 2,000 meters.

The hull-mounted IR searchlight on the BMP-1 has been moved to the BMP-2s turret hatch, and a new white-light and IR gunners sight are mounted to the right of the main gun and slaved to it. There initially did not seem to be thermal sights on the BMP-2. Thermal sights are available, and the Russian SANOET-1 thermal gunner's sight is available. The Russian Trakt/1PN65 thermal imaging (TI) ATGM night sight is optional. Acquisition range is 2,500 m (NFI). For the launcher in dismount configuration, the Slovenian TS-F ATGM night sight is available and has a detection range of 4,500 m and recognition range of 2,000 m. The Russian Mulat/1PN86 lightweight TI ATGM thermal sight has 3,600 m detection range and 2,000 m identification range.

On the machines of the first issues, as in the experimental "object 675", there were no smoke grenade launchers and a second machine gun was mounted on the roof of the hull above the hatch of the senior shooter. There are three grenade-launcher pods on either side of the turret, capable of firing HE or smoke grenades. Similar pods have been seen on the newest T-72/80 tanks. In addition to the smoke grenades, the Soviets also inject diesel fuel into the exhaust system to produce smoke./p>

The control compartment is located in the left front of the machine. It houses the workplace of the driver-mechanic, equipped with traffic control devices for the vehicle, instrumentation, surveillance devices, communication equipment (the A-3 apparatus of the tank intercom system - TPU). Behind the driver's seat is the workplace of one arrow. It is equipped with an embrasure for shooting from personal weapons (in the left side of the hull), observation instruments TNP-165A and TNPO-170A, and also with the A-3 TPU apparatus.

The right front of the machine's body is occupied by the engine-transmission compartment (MTO). It is combined along the length of the machine with the control department. These compartments are separated by a heat and sound insulating partition, in which there are hatches for access to the MTO units. The engine, gearbox and planetary gears are combined into a power unit, and the radiators of the cooling system, the engine lubrication system, the transmission oil system, the ejector and the air purifier - into the cooling and air-cleaning unit. The latter is attached to the beams of the roof of the case.

The body of the machine is welded, made of rolled sheets of armored steel. The case details have different thicknesses and design angles for providing the best protection against bullets, small caliber projectiles, shell fragments and mines, as well as strength and rigidity of the structure. According to the configuration of the body, BMP-1 and BMP-2 are close to each other. The biggest differences are in the construction of the roof of the hull, which is connected with the installation of a much larger double turret on it. The latter has a conical shape, welded from steel armor plates. On the roof of the turret are hatches of the commander and the operator, holes for the installation of the 1PZ-3 and BKK-1-42 sights, as well as the support of the ATGM launcher. On the hatches, nests of all devices and the joint of the hull and the turret (between the upper and lower shoulder straps of the ball bearing), there are rubber seals, providing sealing of the internal space. On the roof of the hull in the amphibious compartment and on all covers of the hatches on the inside, there is a rebound, which increases the protection of the crew from penetrating radiation.

Changes in rear deck hatches reflect reduction in infantrymen carried inside the new model. The BMP-2 has only two hatches, whereas the BMP-1 had four. The BMP-2s hatches are directly above the rear doors. These doors also serve as fuel cells, as on the BMP-1. Moving the BMP-2s turret further to the rear has reduced the number of infantrymen the vehicle can carry. The BMP-1 could carry eight, but the BMP-2 can only carry six [or seven??]. Theoretically, the infantrymen can fire their weapons through hull ports just beneath the turret ring. In practice, however, this hasnt worked because of the crowded interior. The vehicles poor ventilation system cant handle the high concentrations of cordite gases. This is known to have happened repeatedly in the BMP-1 during the Mideast wars. Protection of the crew and landing from radioactive dust, poisonous substances and bacterial agents is provided by the system of hermetic sealing of inhabited compartments and the supply of purified air into them, which includes a device for radiation and chemical reconnaissance (PRRR), a filter-ventilation installation, permanent and closed seals, actuators. The system has automatic inclusion with manual duplication.

Although the BMP-2s firepower has been upgraded with its 30-mm rapid-fire cannon and the new Spandrel ATGM, the human engineering was virtually unchanged. The vehicles survivability on the battlefield does not seem to have been significantly improved over its predecessor and like the BMP-1, the BMP-2 is still highly vulnerable to mines.

It was first shown to the general public at the military parade in November 1982. As of 1995, BMP-2 was in service with the following countries: Russia, Algeria (230 units), Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Sierra Leone , Slovakia (93 units), Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Finland (110 units), the Czech Republic (187 units), Sri Lanka, Yemen, Kuwait.

On 29 September 2017, State Corporation Rostek and the RF Ministry of Defense signed a contract for the modernization of 540 BMP-2 and BMD-2 in the framework of the new state armament program for 2018-2025. This was announced on Friday by the head of Rostekh Sergei Chemezov. On the part of the state corporation, the agreement was signed by the Deputy General Director of the Holding "High Precision Complexes" (part of Rostech), the Managing Director of the PCU Dmitry Konoplev, and from the Ministry of Defense - Deputy Minister Yuri Borisov.

"Today we signed an agreement on the modernization of 540 combat vehicles BMP-2 and BMD-2," Chemezov said. According to him, the contract implies the modernization of military vehicles under the state defense order for the needs of the Russian Defense Ministry in the framework of the state program of armaments for 2018-2025. The contract is concluded for 10 years, said Borisov. "We signed today a ten-year contract that will determine your [PCP] production activities for the production of light armored vehicles for the entire period of the new state program," he said.

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