IDEX 2021: Rosoboronexport and High-Precision Weapons unveil upgraded BMP-3


Russia’s companies Rosoboronexport and High-Precision Weapons (both are subsidiaries of state corporation Rostec) have unveiled the upgraded BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle at the IDEX 2021 defence show being held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) between February 21-25.


DSEI 2019 Fantastic opportunity to promote the British defence industry 925 001
BMP-3 IFV of UAE armed forces during de dynamic demonstration on the opening day of IDEX 2017 (Picture source: Army Recognition)


The upgraded land platform has received the AST-B automatic target tracker, the reinforced 2A70 100 mm main gun capable of firing 3UOF19 high-explosive fragmentation round, the Sodema combined sighting system with a laser rangefinder, the Grot-V navigation system, a video observation system, and an automatic gearbox. The upgraded BMP-3 has also received the KBM-3M2E air cooling unit.

Director General of High-Precision Weapons Alexander Denisov said some BMP-3 had already been upgraded. The modernized vehicle has retained its amphibious capabilities.

The BMP-3 is officially included in the portfolio of Rostec’s Rosoboronexport company. Russia has exported more than 1,000 BMP-3 infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) to its foreign partners. According to the official catalogue of the Kurgan Machine-building Plant (Kurganmashzavod, a subsidiary of Rostec’s holding High-Precision Weapons), since the commencement of the BMP-3’s mass production, more than 1,000 vehicles have been delivered to foreign customers, including the UAE, Kuwait, South Korea, the Republic of Cyprus, Azerbaijan, and Indonesia.

The BMP-3 has been fitted with a powerful armament suite combining 2A70 100 mm low-velocity main gun with an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system, a coaxial 2A72 30 mm automatic cannon, one coaxial turret mounting and two hull-mounted forward-firing Kalashnikov PKTM 7.62 mm general-purpose machinegun. The ICV’s ammunition load is built of 40 pcs. 100 mm rounds (including 22 ready-to-use projectiles in the autoloader), eight ATGMs, 500 pcs. 30 mm rounds, and 6,000 pcs. 7.62 mm cartridges.

Since its development, the original BMP-3 features a high proportion between weight and firepower. The BMP-3 is also a modular platform and can carry a large number of existing combat station, both manned and unmanned; however, it is the Russian modules produced by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that make the vehicle so effective. The installation of other combat station will definitely drop the firepower capacities of the system.

The BMP-3 has become one of the most renowned Russian-designed military machines. In 2015, the US-based RAND Corporation said the BMP-3 “has the highest power-to-weight ratio” of the vehicles examined by the entity. “It has low ground pressure and is also amphibious. It is also relatively unique among ICVs in its incorporation of a rear location of the power-pack compartment, which improves its ride quality and weight balance,” said the experts of the RAND Corporation. The specialists also praised the BMP-3’s armament suite. “This is the heaviest armament of any ICV, though the BMP-3’s primary anti-tank capability comes from its ATGM capability,” they added. The BMP-3 features open architecture and can be fitted with foreign-made subsystems.

The Marine Corps of the Indonesian Navy (Korps Marinir) is the only known operator of the BMP-3 °F marinized ICV. The Indonesian marines successfully use them during simulated shore assaults and support missions.

The modernization of the baseline BMP-3 allows increasing its firepower capacities and introducing the vehicle into a command control communication computer and intelligence (C4I) system. At that the updated ICV turns into a digitalized platform that requires operator to be trained with the use of modern simulators. It is noteworthy that Russia has integrated the BMP-3 with a cutting-edge simulator that allows training all operators of the platform.

At the IDEX 2021 defense show, the High-Precision Weapons also presented the newest Sprut-SDM1 self-propelled anti-tank gun.


DSEI 2019 Fantastic opportunity to promote the British defence industry 925 001
Sprut-SDM1 self-propelled anti-tank gun model presented at IDEX 2021  (Picture source: Army Recognition)

DSEI 2019 Fantastic opportunity to promote the British defence industry 925 001
Sprut-SDM1 displayed at Army 2019 Forum (Picture source: Army Recognition)


At the same time, the United Arab Emirates’ EDGE military-industrial consortium has developed a 3D model of the BMP-3 in order to ease its maintenance. The model was unveiled at IDEX 2019 defense show. It should be mentioned that the UAE remains the largest foreign user of the BMP-3, and a part of the UAE’s BMP-3 inventory has passed through upgrades.

The UAE has also fitted the turret of the BMP-3 to its advanced armored platforms for the Ground Troops, including Wahash, Patria, and Rabdan (Al-Jasoor).


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