Курганмашзавод БМП-2 боевая машина пехоты

Kurganmashzavod BMP-2 Infantry Combat Vehicle

by Tim Wing

The BMP-2 (Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty, Russian: Боевая Машина Пехоты; infantry combat vehicle) was a second-generation, amphibious infantry fighting vehicle introduced in the 1980s in the Soviet Union, following on from the BMP-1 of the 1960s. Though the BMP-2 was retired from service from the Soviet Army in 2025, it continued in use all the way up to the Invid Invasion with other members states of the Eastern Block Soviet Independent States (EBSIS). Even after the war, the BMP-2 continued to be in service with various Earth militaries well into the 2050’s. This was more a testament to the mechanical robustness of the BMP-2 and its ease of operation, than to the type’s combat effectiveness.

  • Type: Infantry fighting vehicle
  • Place of origin: Soviet Union

Service history

  • In service: Soviet Union 1980–2025 (continued in service with other EBSIS member states until 2033)
  • Production history
  • Manufacturer: Kurganmashzavod
  • Produced: 1980–2011

Specifications

  • Weight: 14.3 tons
  • Length: 6.735 meters
  • Width: 3.15 meters
  • Height: 2.45 meters
  • Crew: 3 (+7 passengers)
  • Armor: 33 millimeters (max)
  • Main armament: 30 mm automatic cannon 2A42, 9M113 Konkurs ATGM
  • Secondary armament: 7.62 mm machine gun (PKTM)
  • Engine: diesel UTD-20/3, 300 hp (225 kW)
  • Power/weight: 21 hp/tonne
  • Suspension: torsion bar
  • Operational range: 600 km
  • Speed: 65 km/h (road), 45 km/h (off-road), 7 km/h (water)

The BMP-2 was a Soviet tracked infantry fighting vehicle intended for transporting personnel to the front line, increasing mobility, armament and security on the combined arms battlefield and in Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) environments. The BMP-2 was based heavily on the BMP-1. The primary difference was a larger turret incorporating a 2A42 30mm autocannon in place of the original’s 73mm cannon, and the addition of the Konkurs Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM).

The BMP-2’s crew consisted of three people – a driver-mechanic, gunner and commander. Seven infantrymen could be carried. These infantrymen were provided special embrasures from which they could fire their personal weapons.

The engine was a 6-cylinder 4-stroke naturally aspirated UTD-20S1 liquid-cooled diesel with direct injection. The maximum power was 225 kW. The total weight of the engine was only about 700 kg. In addition to the Soviet produced “Barnaultransmash” diesel, the BMP-2s could also be found equipped with Czech manufactured engines of the same type. These motors were of higher quality and were less sensitive to coking during long idling.

The BMP-2 was constructed from rolled homogenous steel, with a thickness of 5 to 19mm for the hull and 23mm on the frontal arc of the turret. The armor of the BMP-2 was extremely inadequate even at its introduction. In its baseline form, the BMP-2 did not have any chance of withstanding a hit from even the smallest anti-tank weapons. The frontal armor good protection from 12.7mm machine gun rounds, fair protection from 23mm autocannon rounds and poor (if any) protection from 55mm rounds. The side armor provided poor protection from even 12.7mm machine gun rounds. The BMP-2 was also poorly protected from anti-tank mines. Because of this, infantrymen commonly road on top of, rather than inside the BMP.

The strengths of the BMP-2 included a small frontal profile. This made it easy to hide in cornfields, behind brush and even behind low mounds in open terrain. In operation, it was easy for the BMP-2 to make use of natural depressions and elevations with only a sprinkling of cover. Even without cover and concealment, its small size made it a difficult target.

In the Afghan War, more than 1,300 light armored vehicles were lost, of which the majority were BMP-1 and BMP-2. Loses against Western designs during the Global Civil War and Unification War were even more dire, with an estimated 60% attrition rate by the end of this period. After the end of the First Robotech War, the BMP-2 continued in service for over a decade with the Soviet Army. This was more down to the lack of manufacturing resources needed to fully replace it with the newer BMP-4. Even when it finally did retire from Soviet service in 2025, it continued on in service with EBSIS militaries in Africa and the Americas.

Variants

  • BMP-2 (BMP 1981): Baseline version.
  • BMP-2K: Command Track. Designed for the management of motorized rifle divisions. Additional short-wave radio and antenna mast for long-distance communication.
  • BMP 1975: Fire direction variant for artillery units. No 30mm cannon or ATGM. Turret houses a fire direction radar.
  • BMP 1976: Reconnaissance vehicle. No ATGM.
  • BMP-2D: Developed in 1981 specifically for fighting in Afghanistan. Main differences: reinforced armor, installed steel screens on the body and armor plate under the commander and driver. Increased weight resulted in the loss of the type’s amphibious capabilities. The letter “D” means – modified.
  • BMP-2 with BM “Bakhcha-U”: Experimental modification of BMP-2 with a “Bakhcha-U” turret. Developed in 1999 through 2000 with the aim of increasing the combat power of BMP-2 to the level of BMP-3. Increased armor and armament resulted in the total number of infantry carried being reduced to five, and the loss of its amphibious capability.
  • BMP-2M: 2005 upgrade of the BMP-2. Original turret replaced with the “Berezhok” weapons station. Independent commander’s panoramic sight was installed, the location of the AGS-17 was changed and a total of four ”Kornet” ATGMs were mounted. No additional armor was added over the baseline BMP-2, thus the type retained its amphibious capabilities. Approximately 40% of all BMP-2s were converted to this standard by 2010.
  • BVP-2: BMP-2 produced under license in 1984-1987 in Czechoslovakia at the Podpolyanske Stroyarna plant in Detva and ZTS plant in Dubnice nad Vagom. 344 copies were produced.
  • Sarath: BMP-2, manufactured under license in India.
  • BREM-4: Recovery vehicle.

 

Operators (Circa 2028)

  • Soviet Union: retired from military service, 1,500 of them in storage.
  • Democratic Republic of Afghanistan: 800 BMP-1 and BMP-2
  • Iranian Democratic Republic: 400 BMP-2
  • Iraqi Socialist Republic: 1200 BMP-2
  • Kuwaiti Democratic Republic: 120 BMP-2
  • Syrian Socialist Republic: 2450 BMP-1 and BMP-2
  • Czechoslovak Socialist Republic: 220 BMP-2
  • Polish People’s Republic: 50 BMP-2

 


 

Bibliography

  • Wikipedia (English): BMP-2

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Artwork – Graphic Training Aid 17-2-13 CH. 1 Armored Vehicle Recognition

Content by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2018 Tim Wing