The state-owned company Rostec handed over the first batch of BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles equipped with a Sodema gunner’s main sight and additional protective sets (armored screens and grids) to the Ministry of Defense of Russia. The company slightly changes the functionality of the vehicle. On January 23, Rostec included in its catalog BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle with a new remote-controlled weapon station. This modernization is a consequence of an assessment of the infantry fighting vehicles in the war with Ukraine. This is despite committing a large part of the defense budget to the war.
The BMP-3 is a Soviet and Russian infantry fighting vehicle, successor to the BMP-1 and BMP-2 (Boevaya Mashina Pehoty; infantry combat vehicle). The original version has a turret fitted with a low-velocity 2A70 100mm rifled gun which can fire conventional shells or 9M117 Bastion anti-tank guided missile system (AT-10 Stabber). It carries 40 100mm rounds and 8 ATGMs. A 2A72 30mm dual feed autocannon with 500 (300 HEI and 200 AP-T) rounds and a rate of fire of 350 to 400 RPM and a 7.62mm PKT machine gun with 2,000 rounds are mounted coaxially in the turret. There are also two 7.62mm PKT bow machine guns, again with 2,000 rounds each.
The BMP-3 is one of the most heavily armed infantry combat vehicles in service. KBP and Kurganmashzavod have upgraded the vehicle with a new engine and turret with a new anti-tank guided missile system 9K116-3 Basnya. The upgraded BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle is called the BMP-3M and the new Bakhcha-U turret includes a new automatic fire control system with ballistic computer, new Sodema gunner’s sight with laser rangefinder and an anti-tank guided missile system guidance channel, thermal imager, TKN-AI commander’s vision device with laser illuminator and new ammunition loading system for anti-tank guided missile system.
The BMP-3M is also able to fire various ammunition types, including new 100 mm laser-guided projectiles, new 100 mm HE-FRAG (high explosive fragmentation) rounds and new 30 mm APDS (armour piercing discarding sabot) rounds. Its additional auxiliary armour shields are effective against 12.7 mm armour-piercing rounds from a range of 50 m. Since November 2022 all upgraded vehicles have Kaktus ERA. The new uprated engine is the UTD-32, which is rated at 660 hp. There are actually several different M models, some fitted with additional armour, “Arena-E” or “Shtora-1” active protection systems, air conditioner etc.