Russian MoD signs a contract for the delivery of upgraded BMP-3 tracked armored IFV

According to information published by the Russian press agency TASS on August 19, 2020, the Russian Defense Ministry signed an additional deal to the contract for the supply of 168 BMP-3 IFV. The infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) will have reinforced protection against antitank missiles, modern optical and electronic devices, and laser light for night combat. The upgraded BMPs are to be delivered in 2020. Experts believe they will reinforce the ground troops in the south of the country, the Izvestia daily writes.
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Russian army BMP-3 tracked armored IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle. (Picture source Army Recognition)

Defense Ministry sources said the decision to procure upgraded BMP-3 was made in early 2020. The large-scale contract for BMP-3 was complemented in July. The vehicles will be mostly supplied to the Southern Military District.

The contract with KPB Company has been the biggest of late. The Russian ministry procured 168 BMP-3 worth over 14 billion rubles to be delivered in 2020-2021. In 2020, the troops will receive 53 vehicles and another 115 in 2021. It is sufficient to rearm five-six motorized rifle battalions. Each motorized rifle regiment or brigade has three battalions.

The BMP-3 contract is a part of the large-scale plan to rearm the Russian Ground Forces with modern hardware. The Defense Ministry said the share of upgraded arms increased from 15 to 51.6 percent in 2012-2019 due to massive procurement. The figure is to rise to 70 percent.

The Southern District is traditionally the first to receive the latest arms, expert Viktor Murakhovsky said. “The district is considered to be the most important because of threats close to Russian borders. Suffice it to recall Ukrainian developments, intensive NATO exercises in the Black Sea and in neighboring countries, Syrian developments, tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and Turkish efforts to develop the armed forces. It is a strategically important direction and our country has to ensure security there,” he said.

The Russian Ground Forces have been rearmed at a slower pace than the aviation and navy of late. Now the rearmament process has reached them, the expert said.

The procurement notification obtained by the daily shows that BMP-3 will differ from the basic option. They will get additional protection against antitank missiles and the latest optical-electronic devices with a laser projector.

Pod-type protection is the main feature of upgraded BMP-3. The vehicles have a set of dismountable screens and anti-cumulative bars. The design of the Research Institute of Steel has to reliably protect the hull and the turret. It destroys antitank grenades and missiles before they explode.

Additional dynamic armor is also possible. The producer has demonstrated soft armor for city fighting. It destroys the cumulative force by a blast of explosives in soft bags on the hull. The vehicles also have upgraded optics and electronics. The commander and the pointer will have modern thermal night sights.

Laser projector PL-1-01 has to increase combat capabilities at night. It illuminates targets in the infrared band. The illumination is invisible for the naked eye at a distance of 100 meters.

The Russian Defense Ministry received close to 200 new BMP-3 in 2015-2017 for the Ground Forces. A similar batch was produced in the subsequent two years. The vehicles were upgraded but had no additional protection.

A different combat module is considered for the modernization of old BMP-3. Epokha module is to replace the current turret. It is armed with a 57mm automatic gun and long-range Kornet antitank missiles, the Izvestia said.

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