Russians Got Disappointed With the BMP-3, Plan to Resume the BMP-2 Production

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The main requirement for armored vehicles is to protect, not fly / Illustrative photo from open sources
The main requirement for armored vehicles is to protect, not fly / Illustrative photo from open sources

BMP-3 aluminum armor and 100-mm ammunition are far from the best combination

The BMP-3, created before the collapse of the USSR, showed rather questionable effectiveness in real combat. Its built-in features, which should have turned it into an extremely effective combat machine, were left with critical shortcomings.

In particular, a powerful 100-mm gun also means that the crew and paratroopers are actually sitting on 100-mm shells, and the declared protection against heavy machine-gun calibers still does not protect against rocket-propelled grenade launchers, not to mention anti-tank missile complexes. At the same time, an attempt to reduce the combat mass by using aluminum armor leads to the complete destruction of the machine in case of fire.

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Russians Got Disappointed With the BMP-3, Plan to Resume the BMP-2 Production, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Remains of the BMP-3: the turret was torn off by the explosion of the munitions, the aluminum body got melted / Photo credits: @Arslon_Xudosi

At the same time, the russia made a bet on the BMP-3, starting to re-equip its motorized rifle units with this machine.

But now, as it turned out, the Ministry of Defense of the russian federation is trying to resume the production of the BMP-2 and ordered "Kurganmashzavod", which produces the BMP-3, to work on the production of infantry fighting vehicles of the "previous generation", said the director of this company Petr Tyukov. It is also interesting that the manufacturing plant is trying to abandon this.

"All proposals of the military regarding the resumption of the production of BMPs of an earlier generation or their overhaul with modernization elements are carefully processed. But it must be understood that the price of such products will be much higher than that of new mass-produced machines, such as BMP-3 and BMD-4M. Both "Kurganmashzavod", "Rostec" state corporation, and the Ministry of Defense of the russian federation are seeking a reasonable understanding in the approach to the formation of the army's needs in military equipment," he was quoted as saying by russia’s mass media.

Russians Got Disappointed With the BMP-3, Plan to Resume the BMP-2 Production, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
russia's BMP-3 / Open source photo

However, most likely, the point is not that the BMP-2 will be more expensive to produce than the BMP-3. On the contrary, one BMP-2 model of the 80s with minimal modernization will cost less than the BMP-3. But the redesign of production lines, reformatting of production and the scheme of suppliers is not beneficial either to the plant itself or to Rostec. Because precisely the production of BMP-2 is not profitable due to lower margins.

That is why, in the same interview, the head of "Kurganmashzavod" reports that "based on the experience of using" the BMP-3, it was decided to strengthen the machine with an additional protection complex, namely armored screens. Moreover, the installation of an active protection complex on the machine is being developed.

Russians Got Disappointed With the BMP-3, Plan to Resume the BMP-2 Production, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
BMP-3 with grills that will not save from NLAW or Javelin / Illustrative photo from open sources

The only problem that Pyotr Tyukov did not talk about is the lack of real serial samples of the active defense complex in russia. And its mass production in conditions of total sanctions looks more than doubtful. But if there were no sanctions, and the active defense complex would be ready for the series, its cost would throw the BMP-3 price tag much higher.

That is why the maximum that the russia’s military can count on is to get additional armor. Which eliminates the amphibious properties of the BMP-3, that was the reason why the vehicle was made of aluminum and generally sacrificed the level of armor.

Russians Got Disappointed With the BMP-3, Plan to Resume the BMP-2 Production, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
russia's BMP-3 / Open source photo

In addition, a solution with such modernization opens up wide opportunities for corruption. As if it is realistic to insert rubber instead of ceramic panels for dynamic protection, as it has already been done on Relict dynamic protection for tanks.

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