BMP-3 Infantry fighting vehicle © Konstantinos Panitsidis

Photos from the personal collection of Konstantinos Panitsidis 

 Technical specifications      Photos      Video



One of the most demonstrative examples of the Russian defence industry achievements is BMP-3 armoured infantry fighting vehicle, which gained worldwide recognition on the armament market. Russian designers and engineers managed to produce a vehicle that combines outstanding mobility, unsurpassed firepower, and reliable protection. 
The vehicle was designed and put in full-scale production at Kurganmashzavod JSC in late 1980s, but even now it remains one of the best infantry fighting vehicles, well suited both for special operations and all-out combat. 

More than a thousand of vehicles have been already delivered to different countries of the world, including UAE, Kuwait, South Korea,Cyprus. 
Transportation of the BMP-3 vehicle by cargo planes and landing crafts ensures its strategic mobility. The vehicle can enter and leave landing crafts unaided. Tactical mobility is ensured by adequate cruising range, perfect cross-country performance, high maximum and average movement speeds. It takes no extra timefor the vehicle to be adapted to the changes in combat theatre. 

Impressive fire power is ensured by the unique armament system (a 100-mm gun-launcher, a 30-mm automatic cannon, three 7.62-mm machine guns), advanced fire control system, and highly effective ammunition. The BMP-3 IFV with broad capabilities of its armament system and variety of ammunition is able to deliver equally effective fire against diverse targets at daytime or at night when afloat or when coming ashore. 
The BMP-3 armoured hull and turret are made of aluminium alloys. The most vulnerable areas are additionally protected by spaced armour, which provides ballistic protection of the vehicle in compliance with modern requirements to the vehicles of this class. The vehicle is fitted with NBC protection system ensuring protection against radiation and other destructive effects of mass destruction weapons. To provide camouflage smoke setting the vehicle is fitted with SGE smoke generating equipment and smoke grenade launching system. BMP-3 is equipped with two fire fighting systems providing fire extinguishing inside the vehicle. 

The BMP-3 IFV features rear location of the engine-transmission compartment. It enables to reinforce armour protection in the front section of the hull and to enlarge operating space in the manned compartments.The troopers and the crew are transferred to a more comfortable front and medium sections of the hull. 
The UTD-29 multifuel diesel engine rated at 500 h.p. ensures excellent mobility and manoeuvrability of the BMP-3 IFV. In combination with the transmission of original design it enables the vehicle to develop up to 70 km/h speed. 

Due to introduction of original small-size water jets the BMP-3 features excellent amphibious capability. 10 km/h speed afloat and perfect manoeuvrability enable the vehicle to negotiate water obstacles in wave-beating conditions and to stay in waterfor a long time without additional preparation. 
Alongside with high combat performance, the BMP-3 vehicle features relatively low operation costs, simple design, easy serviceability and repairability.Thus, it provides for fast and effective crew training in the vehicle operation and repair. 

With its high characteristics of fire power, mobility, and protection, extraordinary performance and serviceability, the BMP-3 IFVappears to be the best choice for the army of any country in the world. 
The BMP-3 chassis can be used for mounting various weapon systems either of Russian or of foreign manufacture, such as artillery systems, air-defence systems, multipurpose missile systems, etc.




Combat loaded weight, max, kg 5000
Consumed power, max, kW 6
100-mm gun-launcher 2A70
Maximum range of aimed fire, m 4000
Rate of fire, rounds/mm 10
Ammunition allowance, pcs.  
HEF 22 (in conveyor)
30-mrn automatic cannon 2A72
Maximum range of aimed fire, m 4000
Rate of fire, rounds/mm 300
Ammunition allowance, pcs double-belt, separate
FT, HEF-T 305
AP-T 195
7.62-mm machine gun PKTM
Rate of fire, rounds/min 700-800
Number of cartridges, pcs. 2000
Fields of fire (2A70, 2A72, PKTM)
Azimuth traverse 360o
Elevation 62o ± 30o
Depression 4o ± 15o
Armament stabilizer 2E52-2
Electromechanical, 2-pla
Fire control system  
Gunner-s sight - guiding device (main) SOZH-M day, active-passive night, with 2-plane independent field of view stabilization, built-in rangefinder
Gunner's sight (auxiliary) PPB-2 monocular, periscope
Sighting system Vesna-K with thermal imaging camera, periscope, stabilized field of view, monitors at gunner's and commander's working stations
Commander's sight Vesna-K with thermal imaging camera, periscope, stabilized field of view, monitors at gunner's and commander's working stations
Commander's sight 1P3-10 / monocular, periscope
Commander's panoramic sight With TI and TV channels
Ballistic computer DBC 88 (digital)


Today more than thousand infantry fighting vehicles adopted by the armies of various countries are fitted with the unique BMP-3 two-men turret of Kurganmashzavod JSC design and manufacture. Original technical solutions introduced into the turret design ensure its high combat efficiency. 
The unique BMP-3 turret is equipped with powerful combined armament system which ensures fighting against various types of ground and aerial targets, similar-type vehicles and successful engagement of enemy manpower. 
100-mm gun-launcher for firing with guided and unguided missiles, 30-mm automatic cannon and 7.62-mm machine gun are mounted coaxially and combined in one weapon cluster. 

The armament system stabilized in 2 planes ensures aimed firing when the vehicle is at halt, moves over rugged terrain or afloat. 
Advanced fire control system comprises main gunner's sight SOZH-M with laser range finder, VESNA-K sighting system with thermal imaging camera, digital ballistic computer. It can also include commander's panoramic sight. The turret PCS ensures round-the-clock observation of terrain: search, detection, identification and tracking of the targets. 

The crew of the BMP-3 turret comprises two persons: a commander (to the right) and a gunner (to the left). Either the commander or the gunner can operate the turret independently if required. 
The ATGM loading mechanism installed in the BMP-3 turret facilitates considerably the gunner's work, increases its safety and decreases ATGM loading time down to 12 seconds. The loading is performed in semiautomatic mode when the vehicle is either at halt or on the move at any traversing angle of the turret with roll and trim up to 15Β°. 

With low silhouette of the turret effective level of protection is ensured due to employment of aluminum armor and auxiliary steel armor elements. 120Β° front protection of the turret against 30-mm discarding sabot projectiles, protection of the wholeturret against 14.5-mm bullets isensured. 
At customer's request the BMP-3 turret can be equipped with electronic assistant for gunner, which collects and stores data on current state of turret equipment, failures, emergency situations, number of shots produced by 100-mm and 30-mm guns, also prevents missile launching with faulty equipment or improper range measurement. 
To improve working conditions for the crew the BMP-3 turret is fitted with smoke extraction system, which reduces smoke concentration in the fighting compartment when 100-mm or 30-mm guns are fired. 

There is a possibility provided for installation of an extra basket at the turret rear for any additional stowage of up to 200 kg. 
The BMP-3 turret is intended for installation on tracked chassis of either light armored vehicles or main battle tanks in case heavy IFVs with high protection level are devised. 
The turret is designed to operate in any climate - desert, tropics, deep snow, mountainous or urban areas within the temperature rangefrom -50 up to + 50 degrees. 



Type tracked, armoured, amphibious
Combat loaded weight, t 18.7
Crew, persons 3 (commander, gunner, driver)
Troopers, persons 7
Specific power, kW/t (hp/t) 18.7 (25)
Transportability The vehicle can be transported by rail, trailer, cargo aircraft or vessel
Main overall dimensions  
Length (over hull), mm 6715
Width (over tracks), mm 3150
Height (over turret top), mm 2300
Ground clearance, mm 450
Type UTD-29, four-stroke, multi-fuel, liquid-cooled 368
Gross power, kW (hp) 368 (500)
Movement speed  
Maximum movement speed on highway, krn/h:  
Forward 70
Reverse 20
Average movement speed on dry unpaved road, km/h 45
Maximum speed afloat, km/h 10
Cruising range, km 600
Negotiable obstacles  
Gradient, deg. 35
Side slope, deg. 20
Trench, m 2.5
Vertical obstacle, m 0.8
Water approach angle, deg. 30
Water departure angle, deg. 25
Type Rifled, semiautomatic
Model 2A70
Calibre, mm 100
Rate of fire, rounds/min 10
Maximum firing range, m 4000
Type Automatic
Model 2A72
Calibre, mm 30
Rate of fire, rounds/min 300
Range of aimed fire at ground targets, m  
HEI projectiles 4000
APT projectiles 2500
Machine gun  
Number, pcs 3
Model PKTM
Calibre, mm 7.62
Rate of fire, rounds/min 800
Maximum range of aimed fire, m 2000
Ammunition allowance  
Rounds for 2A70 gun-launcher, pcs. 22 (in loading mechanism conveyor)
Rounds for 2A72 cannon, pcs. 500
Cartridges for PKTM machine guns, pcs. 6000
Number of ATGMs, pcs. 8
Armament stabilizer 2E52-2, electric, 2-plane
Main gunner's sight SOZH-M, day, active-passive night, with independent field-of-view stabilization in two planes, with integrated rangefinder