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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. The BMP-3 tracked amphibious infantry fighting vehicle, successor to the BMP-1 and BMP-2, entered service with the Soviet army in 1990. It is manufactured by the Kurganmashzavod company, part of the Tractor Plants consortium. 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.

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.

Its modernized version has better reviews. Based on this information, BMP-3M is a more highly maneuverable military vehicle that might well have been called BMP-4. It uses the sighting system "Spring" from the imager that greatly improves the efficiency of arms use and consists of 100-mm and 30-mm guns, and a new missile. Its mobility is enhanced by installation of a new turbo engine of 660 liters, a universal device driver TCE-1 and automatic gear shifting mechanism APP-688. UTD-32T engine significantly increases the rate of specific capacity of the vehicle and the average speed on dirt roads.

Level of protection of the crew and marines is also increased significantly due to installation of an optical-electronic suppression "Blind-1." It provides protection against anti-tank guided missiles with semi-automatic command-control system that uses laser target illumination as well as artillery that has a fire control system with a laser rangefinder.

Additional armor screens can be installed on BMP-3M to improve its ballistic protection against armor piercing bullets of 12.7 mm at a distance of 150m in attacks from all angles.

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