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Current production BMP-3
Type Infantry fighting vehicle
Place of origin  Soviet Union
 Russian Federation
Production history
Manufacturer Kurganmashzavod
Weight 18.7 tonnes (18.4 long tons; 20.6 short tons)
Length 7.14 m (23 ft 5 in)
Width 3.2 m (10 ft 6 in)
Height 2.4 m (7 ft 10 in)
Crew 3 (commander, gunner, driver)
7 troopers (+ 2 additional seats)

Armor 35 mm (1.4 in) max. frontal armour (est.)
100 mm gun/launcher 2A70, 30 mm autocannon 2A72, AT-4/AT-5 ATGW launcher
2×7.62 mm PKT machine guns, 1x5.45mm machine gun, 1x40mm grenade launcher
Engine UTD-29M diesel

500 hp (375 kW)
Power/weight 27 hp/tonne
Suspension torsion bar
600 km (370 mi)
Speed 72 km/h (45 mph) (road)
45 km/h (28 mph) (off-road)
10 km/h (6.2 mph) (water)

The BMP-3 is a Soviet amphibious infantry fighting vehicle, successor to the BMP-1 and BMP-2. The abbreviation BMP stands for Boevaya Mashina Pehoty (Боевая Машина Пехоты, literally "Infantry Combat Vehicle").

Production history

The design of the BMP-3 or Obyekt 688M can be traced back to the Obyekt 685 light tank prototype with 100 mm gun 2A48-1 from 1975.[1] This vehicle didn't enter series production but the chassis, with a new engine, was used for the next-generation infantry combat vehicle Obyekt 688[2] from A. Blagonravov's design bureau. The Ob. 688 weapons configuration—an externally-mounted 30 mm gun and twin Konkurs ATGM launcher—was rejected; instead the new 2K23 armament system was selected. The resulting BMP-3 was developed in the early 1980s and entered service with the Soviet army officially in 1987. It was shown for the first time in public during the 1990 May Day parade and was given the NATO code IFV M1990/1.

The BMP-3 is designed and produced by the Kurgan Machine Building Plant (Kurganmashzavod - KMZ), some variants however are build by the Rubtsovsk Machine Building Plant (RMZ), for example the BRM-3K.[3][4]


Weaponry and optics

The BMP-3 is one of the most heavily armed infantry combat vehicles in service, fitted with a low-velocity 2A70 100mm rifled gun, which can fire conventional shells or ATGMs 9M117 (AT-10 Stabber) (40 100mm rounds and 8 ATGMs are carried), a 2A72 30mm dual feed autocannon with 500 rounds and a rate of fire of 350 to 400 RPM, and a 7.62mm PKT machine gun with 2,000 rounds, all mounted coaxially in the turret. The main gun elevates from −5° to +60°.[5] There are also two 7.62mm PKT bow machine guns, again with 2,000 rounds each. The BMP-3 is capable of engaging targets out to 5,000–6,000 meters with its ATGM weapon system 9K116-3 "Basnya". If the missile launcher is destroyed, missile guidance ceases and the missile may miss its target. The minimum engagement distance, flight time and vulnerability of launcher are typical of command-guided, rather than fire-and-forget, ATGM systems. With conventional ammunition, such as the HE-Frag shell 3OF32, the 2A70 gun has a range of 4,000 meters. The 3BM25 APFSDS round can also be used.[1]

BMP-3 of the UAE with "Namut" thermal sight

According to the manufacturer's web-site, all weapons can be fired from the halt, on the move, and afloat with the same effectiveness. The ability to hit targets on the move with missiles was successfully demonstrated during competitive evaluations in the UAE in 1991.[6]

The turret is fitted with the 2K23 system which consists of an automatic loader with 22 rounds (the remaining 18 rounds are stored in the hull), a ballistic computer 1V539, a cross-wind sensor, a 2E52-2 stabilising system, the 1D16-3 laser range finder, the 1K13-2 gunner's sight/guidance device, the PPB-1 gunner's sight and an OU-5-1 IR search light. The commander has a combined optical sight 1PZ-10, a day/night vision device TKN-3MB and an IR search light OU-3GA2.[1] Since 2005, the BMP-3 can be fitted with a new fire control system from "Peleng" Joint Stock Company from Belarus. This consists of the SOZH-M gunner's main sight with integrated laser range-finder and missile-guidance channel, the Vesna-K targeting system with thermal imaging camera and automatic target tracker AST-B, an armament stabilisation system, a ballistic computer with data input sensors and a PL-1 IR laser projector.[7][8][9][10]

Standard equipment includes five firing ports with associated vision blocks, a tranceiver R-173, a receiver R-173P, a GO-27 radiation and chemical agent detector, an FVU filtration system, an automatic fire extinguisher and six smoke grenade launchers 81mm 902V "Tucha-2".


The vehicle has an unconventional layout. The engine is in the back of the vehicle to the right (unlike in most other IFV which have the engine located forward in the hull). As a result the driver is seated forward in the hull (in the center) together with two infantrymen (one on each side of the driver). The vehicle has a double bottom and the engine is located under the floor of the vehicle (troops enter/leave the vehicle over the engine).[11] In an effort to improve battlefield survivability the fuel tanks are also located in the floor of the vehicle. The remaining five infantrymen are seated aft of the two man turret.[1]

Early models were powered by a 450 hp engine UTD-29, but most BMP-3s are equipped with the 500 hp UTD-29M version. The engine was developed at the Transmash Diesel Engine Plant in Barnaul.[1]
The BMP-3 can pass more than 300 km without stopping or realigning equipment, further, it has a built in toilet inside the hull for crew to use.


The hull and turret are made of aluminium, with the front being provided with a layer of spaced armor. Over the frontal 60 degree arc the vehicle is protected against 30 mm armor-piercing rounds of 2A42 gun at a range of 300 m.[12] In an effort to improve battlefield survivability the fuel tanks are also located in the floor of the vehicle.

The BMP-3 can lay its own smoke screen by injecting fuel into the exhaust.[13][14] A chemical agent detector, an FVU filtration system, an automatic fire extinguisher and six smoke grenade launchers 81mm 902V "Tucha-2" are standard.

An ERA reactive armour kit is currently available providing increased protection, however, using ERA on an IFV is considered problematic by some experts since in the event of the malfunction of the ERA, it can possibly pose a threat to friendly troops located in the vicinity of the vehicle.[15]

The BMP-3 has also an ability to carry Shtora electro-optical jammer that disrupts semiautomatic command to line of sight (SACLOS) antitank guided missiles, laser rangefinders and target designators. Shtora is a soft-kill, or passive-countermeasure system.


Russian Federation

  • BMP-3 - Basic version, as described.
    * BMP-3M - KBP and Kurganmashzavod have upgraded the vehicle with a new turret and engines. The upgraded vehicle is called the BMP-3M and the new turret includes a new automatic fire control system with digital computer, new BZS1 gunner's sight with SAGEM thermal imager and laser illuminator, TKN-AI commander's periscope with laser infrared illuminator and new ammunition loading system. The BMP-3M will also be able to fire ammunition types including new 100 mm laser-guided projectiles, new 100 mm HE-FRAG (high explosive fragmentation) rounds and new 30 mm APDS (armour piercing discarding sabot) rounds. Additional passive armour protection is effective against 12.7 mm armour-piercing rounds from a range of 50m. Explosive reactive armour is available as an option. The new uprated engine is the UTD-32, which is rated at 660 hp. There are actually several different M models, some fitted with additional armour, "Arena-E" or "Shtora-1" protection system, air conditioner etc.
    *BMMP (bojevaya mashina morskoj pekhoti) - Version for naval infantry, fitted with the turret of the BMP-2.
    *BMP-3K (komandnyi) - Tactical command variant, includes additional radios R-173, an AB-1 APU, a navigation device TNA-4-6 and the "Ainet" round fuzing capability. The BMP-3K lacks the bow machine guns and has its whip antennas mounted on the rear hull. Crew: 3+3.
    *BMP-3F - Specially designed for operations at sea, with improved seaworthiness and buoyancy, and high fire accuracy at sea force 2. This version can endure continuous amphibious operation for seven hours.
    *BRM-3K "Rys" (Ob.501) (boyevaya razvedivatel'naya mashina) - Surveillance variant with 1PN71 thermal sight (3.7x/11x, 3 km range), 1PN65 second-generation image intensifier (7x, 1.2-1.5 km range), 1RL-133-1 ("TALL MIKE") I-band surveillance radar (3 km man, 12 km vehicle), 1V520 computer and a TNA-4-6 navigation system. The armament consists only of the stabilized 30 mm gun 2A72 (600 rounds) and a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun (2,000 rounds). Combat weight: 19 t, crew: 6.
    *BREM-L "Beglianka" (Ob.691) (bronirovannaya remontno-evakuatsionnaya mashina) - Armoured recovery vehicle with five-tonne crane and 20/40 metric tonne capacity winch.[16] Photos Photos 2
    *9P157-2 "Khrizantema-S" - Anti-tank version with Khrizantema (AT-15) system with radar and laser guidance. The 9P157-2 carries two 9M123 missiles on launch rails which are extended from a stowed position, the radar is also stowed during transit. The missiles are re-loaded automatically by the tank destroyer from an internal magazine with 15 rounds (missiles are stored and transported in sealed canisters) and can also accept munitions manually loaded from outside the vehicle. The manufacturer claims that three 9P157-2 tank destroyers are able to engage 14 attacking tanks and destroy at least sixty percent of the attacking force. The dual guidance system ensures protection against electronic countermeasures and operation in all climatic conditions, day or night. NBC protection is provided for the crew (gunner and driver) of each 9P157-2 in addition to full armour protection equivalent to the standard BMP-3 chassis and entrenching equipment. The 9M123 missile itself is supersonic, flying at an average speed of 400 m/s or Mach 1.2 [3] and a range of between 400 and 6000 meters. Photos
    *9P163M-1 "Kornet-T" - Anti-tank version with Kornet (AT-14) missile system. Some sources call it the 9P162. The Kornet is similar in function to the Khrizantema missile system. The 9P163M-1 carries two 9M133 missiles on launch rails which are extended from a stowed position during transit. Missile are re-loaded automatically by the tank destroyer from an internal magazine with 16 rounds (missiles are stored and transported in sealed canisters). Nuclear, biological and chemical protection is provided for the two crew members (gunner and driver) in addition to full armour protection equivalent to the standard BMP-3 chassis. The guidance system of the 9P163M-1 allows two missiles to be fired at once, the missiles operating on different guidance (laser) channels.
    *2S18 "Pat-S" (Ob.697) - Self-propelled version of the 152 mm howitzer 2A61 "Pat-B". This was only a prototype, further development led to the 2S31.
    *2S31 "Vena" - Fire support vehicle with a 120 mm mortar.
    *DZM "Vostorg-2" (dorozhno-zemlerojnaya mashina) - Combat engineer vehicle with a dozerblade and excavating bucket. Prototype.
    *UR-07 (ustanovka razminirovaniya) - Mine clearing system, initially known as UR-93. The UR-07 might replace the UR-77 "Meteorit". It has the same chassis as the BMP-3 but a bigger steel hull with two launch ramps in the rear. The ramps are used to fire rockets towing hose-type mine-clearing line charges to clear mine fields. Every UR-07 is accompanied by a support vehicle MOP (mashina obespecheniya razminirovaniya).
    *UNSh (Ob.699) (unifitsirovannyj shassi) - Basic chassis for specialised variants.
    *KhTM (khodovoj trenazhor) - Driver trainer.
    *Hermes or TKB-841 - Air-defence vehicle with high-velocity missiles and radar system. Prototype.
    The turret of the BMP-3 has been fitted to the Patria Armoured Modular Vehicle.
  • Vichr A developing version of the BMP-3 that can be used both manned and unmanned (remotely controlled). In addition, Vichr has a small helicopter drone with camera and a small 6-wheeled all-terrain land drone that can be discontinued and taken up by the Vichr.[17]


The majority of BMP-3s are in use outside of Russia with the United Arab Emirates being the largest foreign operator:

A row of UAE BMP-3 armored vehicles during a parade

  •  Azerbaijan - 4[18] inherited from the USSR.
    *  Cyprus - 43 delivered in 1995-1996.[18]
    *  Greece - 415 BMP-3M had been ordered in 2008. The order is put on hold.[19]
    *  Indonesia - 17 BMP-3F have arrived in 26 November 2010,[20] on May 11, 2012 another 37 BMP-3F buying agreement has been signed by both parties.[21]
    *  Kuwait - 118 delivered in 1995-1996.[18]
    *  Russia - 693[22]
    *  South Korea - 23 delivered in 1996-1997.[18] to pay off Russian debt, and another 37 in 2005.[23]
    *  Sri Lanka - 45[citation needed]
    *  Ukraine - 4 [24]
    *  United Arab Emirates - 250 for Abu Dhabi and 402 for Dubai[23] (of which 391 delivered in 1992-1997[18]) with "Namut" thermal sight and other modifications. Might be further upgraded with modular armor "Kaktus" and UTD-32 engine.
    *  Turkmenistan - 4[25]
    *  Venezuela - 130 ordered, first deliveries in 2011.[23] 250-400 planned.

Former operators

  •  Soviet Union - Passed on to successor states.

See also

  • BMP Development


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Zaloga, Steven J., Hull, Andrew W. and Markov, David R. (1999). Soviet/Russian Armor and Artillery Design Practices: 1945 to Present. Darlington Productions. ISBN 1-892848-01-5[page needed]
  2. "Ob'yekt 688". Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  3. "Products Of Our Plant". Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  4. "Kurgan/Rubtsovsk BRM-3K Rys (Lynx) combat reconnaissance vehicle (Russian Federation)". 2007-07-23. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  5. John Pike (2010-05-13). "BMP-3 Fighting Vehicle". Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  6. "Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP-3". 1991-07-27. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  7. "Peleng - Special optoelectronics". Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  8. "Kurganmashzavod BMP-3 100 mm turret (Russian Federation)". 2008-02-20. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  10. "Vesna-K Sighting system". Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  12. "Specifications: BMP-3 Tracked Infantry Combat Vehicle". Army Technology. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  13. ARG. "BMP-3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle". Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  14. "BMP-3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (Russia)". Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  15. John Pike (2010-05-13). "BMP-3 Fighting Vehicle". Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  16. "BREM-L Armoured recovery vehicle". Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  17. "Vikhr: Reborn as Robot. Russian UGV equipped with drones and a precision battle module". Retrieved 2018-10-19. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 Jane's Armour and Artillery 2003-2004[page needed]
  20. Kementerian Pertahanan Ri. "Tank BMP-3F Resmi Perkuat TNI AL" (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  21. "RI buys 37 amphibious tanks from Russia". May 11, 2012. 
  22. "BMP-3 | Russian Military Analysis". Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2
  24. Ground Forces Equipment - Ukraine inherited from the USSR.
  25. Jane's Sentinel: Turkmenistan (2011)

External links

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