The Ukrainian stated-owned arms manufacture and exporter, Ukroboronprom, reported that Ukraine has imported a large batch of Czech-made BVP-1 (Bojove vozidlo pechoty 1) infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs). A technical inspection of the new units was carried out by officials on 2 April. The state company Ukrspetsexport, a subsidiary of Ukroboronprom, has begun delivering 37 BMP-1 IFVs to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Ukroboronprom has not detailed the supplier of the BMP-1 IFVs. The armored vehicles may have been exported by the Czechoslovak Group (CSG), the largest arms exporter of the Czech Republic.
Aivaras Abromavicius, general manager of Ukrspecexport, said in a statement: “The Supplier and Defence Ministry have made the greatest contribution to the fulfilment of this contractually important defence state. Without the synergy of joint action, it is difficult to execute such orders under the current conditions. Markets where military equipment and weapons have traditionally been sold are unstable due to the closure of the borders of most countries of the world. The issue of physical international supplies is also much more complicated.”
The BVP-1 (Bojové Vozidlo Pěchot) is a Czechoslovak, amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicle based on the Soviet BMP-1, the world’s first mass-produced infantry fighting vehicle. Aside from the general layout which remains the same as the original vehicle, the BVP-1 addresses a number of drawbacks from the original BMP-1; namely improved ergonomics for both the crew and passengers. It is armed with a 73 mm low-pressure smoothbore short-recoil semi-automatic gun, 7.62 mm coaxial machinegun and a Malyutka guided missile launcher. The vehicle is powered by the UTD-20 diesel engine, producing a top road/off-road speed of 65/45 km/h, a top swimming speed of 7 km/h, and a range of 600 km.