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​Supply of "Partially Modernized" BMD-2 Vehicles to Airborne Forces Was Announced In russia - could it be BMD-2M?

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BMD-2M airborne infantry fighting vehicle / Open source illustrative photo
BMD-2M airborne infantry fighting vehicle / Open source illustrative photo

What can the statement about the supply of new armored vehicles for russian paratroopers indicate?

Back in 2018, the Ministry of Defense of the russian federation stated that the modernization of BMD-2 landing airborne infantry fighting vehicles to the BMD-2M standard should start in 2021. The main feature of this modernization was that the modernized vehicles should receive the Bereg one-man turret with updated weapons. In particular, in addition to the 2A42 30-mm automatic cannon and the PKT 7.62 mm machine gun, which are the standard armament of the BMD-2 vehicle, two launchers for the Kornet ATGM and the AGS-17 30 mm automatic grenade launcher are added.

In addition, such vehicles were to receive an updated sighting complex with a laser range finder, a thermal imaging channel and a target tracking function.

Read more: What's the African Mbombe 6x6 Vehicle and How its Copy Found its Way to Ukraine
Supply of Partially Modernized BMD-2 Vehicles to Airborne Forces Was Announced In russia, Defense Express
Parade demonstration of BMD-2M airborne infantry fighting vehicle, May 2021 / Open source illustrative photo

Regarding the volume of production of modernized BMD-2M, the russians cited different planned figures. In particular, according to information previously circulating in the russian mass media, 200 vehicles were to be delivered in 2020, as well as 600 vehicles in 2021. In practice, the matter was limited to the fact that two BMD-2M vehicles were shown during the parade on May 9, 2021 in Tula - nothing more about the implementation of this project can be found in the russian media.

This may be due to the fact that after the start of a large-scale aggression against Ukraine in February 2022, the russians could change their priorities for the production of armored combat vehicles, for example, in favor of the production of new BMP-3 IFVs to replace those that were lost on the battlefield in Ukraine.

Supply of Partially Modernized BMD-2 Vehicles to Airborne Forces Was Announced In russia, A column of russian army’s BMD-2 vehicles, Defense Express
A column of russian army’s BMD-2 vehicles / Open source illustrative photo

However, in March 2024, the russian corporation Rostec suddenly announced that the airborne units of the russian army received a batch of "partially modernized" BMD-2 airborne infantry fighting vehicles.

Then a hint of "partial modernization" was made public for the first time, and in this case it can be about two possible options. The first option - the russians mentioned their BMD-2M project, which involves only a partial update of the armament of this vehicle. The second option, most likely, can be more prosaic - the russians by "partial modernization" could mean the BMD-2 vehicle, which was overhauled with the replacement of components and spare parts that are no longer manufactured by russian industry.

Supply of Partially Modernized BMD-2 Vehicles to Airborne Forces Was Announced In russia, The announcement of the transfer of BMD-2 vehicles to russia’s Airborne Forces in March 2024 was accompanied by the photo, Defense Express
The announcement of the transfer of BMD-2 vehicles to russia’s Airborne Forces in March 2024 was accompanied by the photo

This announcement by the russians about the start of deliveries of modernized BMD-2 to the occupying forces is important. However, it should be noted that the russians' ability to implement these products may very much depend on the scale of damage that "Kurganmashzavod" - the main plant for their production - may receive against the background of the spring flood in russia.

Read more: ​russia Turns to Older Equipment: Instead of Boomerang and Kurganets Armored Vehicles They Using MT-LB and Desertcross