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​Modernized Ukrainian BMP Vehicle With New Turret Was Spotted in War Zone

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The new BMP infantry fighting vehicle in Ukraine / Screenshot credit: btvt.info
The new BMP infantry fighting vehicle in Ukraine / Screenshot credit: btvt.info

The new weapon station is different from all the options ever installed or proposed for the modernized BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle

Ukrainian Armed Forces have gotten a new type of IFV based on BMP-1 with a 30mm autocannon, as evidenced by a video filmed by a Ukrainian soldier and shared via several military-themed Telegram channels.

The time and place are not specified, though a few implicit details suggest that it is fresh footage.

Read more: Ukrainian Soldiers Show the Rare 2B16 Nona-K Hybrid Artillery Gun in Action (Video)

This specific turret has never been seen before, although we should note the visual similarity with the Spys weapon station which is installed on the BMP-1TS vehicle. Defense Express earlier reported a BMP-1TS was seen on the frontline, in service with the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces; and there's our aged but detailed article about this rare IFV.

Servicemen of the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces next to their BMP-1TS IFV / Screenshot credit: Air Assault Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

The BMP-1TS was also demonstrated during the 30th Independence Day anniversary in Ukraine in 2021.

BMP-1TS during the 30th Independence Day anniversary in Ukraine in 2021
BMP-1TS during the 30th Independence Day anniversary in Ukraine in 2021

However, the video shows a different combat vehicle. The most noticeable part is the absence of the Barier anti-tank missiles, although the reason for that might be that there's no need to install them for a training exercise — most likely, this video depicts one of them.

The key differences are the turret shape, sloped toward the front and flat in the rear, with smoke screen launchers placed beneath the main gun.

The BMP-1TS and the new BMP
The BMP-1TS and the new BMP / Open source images

This layout is conceptually unique compared to other turrets developed for the BMP vehicle in Ukraine, for example, here's the variant proposed for the BMP-1UMD.

In other words, here we see not some leftover prototype taken out from the dump of unrealized projects but a new development, which was identified by btvt.info as the turret patented by a Ukrainian private defense company in 2023.

The description says it is equipped with the KBA-2 30mm automatic cannon, a 7.62mm machine gun, a 30mm grenade launcher, and two Barier anti-tank missiles to the sides of the turret.

A picture from the patent
A picture from the patent / Image credit: btvt.info

The manufacturer (name omitted for security concerns) emphasizes that the turret is easier to maintain thanks to more convenient access to the subsystems and units, the improved gun mantlet and gun stabilization system, and a +25% increased precision of fire.

Important to note, modernization of BMP-1 has been and remains a crucial vector of development in the Ukrainian defense industry because the 2A28 Grom 73mm gun with its manual (partly mechanized) reloading and the obsolete sighting systems cannot meet the requirements of modern warfare.

Read more: ​Ukrainian Company Gives Up on Varta APC to Make Two New Armored Vehicles