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Russian infantry fighting vehicles will receive new protection and a powerful laser

MOSCOW, (BM) – The Southern Military District will strengthen the “supertails”. The Ministry of Defense signed an additional agreement to the contract for the supply of 168 BMP-3. It was decided that they will go to the troops in a version with enhanced protection against anti-tank missiles, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Izvestia.

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The vehicle will also receive modern optoelectronic observation devices and an advanced laser searchlight for night combat. It is planned that the updated BMPs will go into service this year. According to experts, they will seriously strengthen the land group in the south of the country.

Major contract

The decision to purchase new BMP-3s with enhanced protection and updated electronic systems was made at the beginning of this year, sources told Izvestia in the military-industrial complex and the military department.

Therefore, in July, changes were made to the ongoing large-scale state contract for the purchase of BMP-3 (the documents are at the disposal of the publication). These combat vehicles will be delivered primarily to units of the Southern Military District (YuVO).

The contract between the Ministry of Defense and KBP JSC for the purchase of armored vehicles has become one of the largest in recent years. The military department has purchased 168 BMP-3 for more than 14 billion rubles with a delivery date in 2020-2021.

The agreement is already being implemented. This year, the troops will receive 53 combat vehicles. In the next – 115 more. This is enough to re-equip from five to six motorized rifle battalions: in each motorized rifle regiment or brigade in the state of three such units.

The contract for the BMP-3 became part of a large-scale plan of the military department to re-equip the Ground Forces with modern technology. According to the Ministry of Defense, thanks to massive purchases from 2012 to 2019, the share of new and modernized weapons in them increased from 15% to 51.6%. It is planned to increase this figure to 70%.

Traditionally, it is the Southern Military District that is the first to receive all the most modern weapons, military expert Viktor Murakhovsky told Izvestia.

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“The district is considered one of the most important in terms of dangers near the borders of Russia,” – explained the specialist. – “Suffice it to recall the well-known events in Ukraine, the increase in the intensity and scale of NATO exercises in the Black Sea and on the territory of neighboring countries, the events in Syria, the increase in tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Turkey’s significant efforts to develop its armed forces. This is a strategically important area where it is necessary to ensure the security of our country.”

Parts of the Ground Forces in recent years have been renewed at a slower pace than aviation and navy. But now the process of rearmament with the latest technology has reached them, the expert added.

Transparent armor

According to the purchase notice (available to Izvestia), the BMP-3 will go to the troops in a configuration that is very different from the basic one. The vehicles will receive additional protection against anti-tank missiles and the latest optoelectronic observation devices with a laser searchlight.

“The BMP-3 is a fairly modern machine,” said Viktor Murakhovsky. And if you implement existing ideas to increase firepower and security, then this technique will be at a completely modern level. It will seriously strengthen the potential of the Southern Military District.

It should be understood that when the troops of the district have modern T-90A and T-72B3 tanks, and BMPs remain obsolete, this does not contribute to the effective use of other types of equipment. Everything must be balanced. Even if you have the most modern artillery systems and other weapons, the lag in the development of BMPs will drag the entire grouping back.

The most striking change on the new infantry fighting vehicles will be the mounted hinged protection. The machines are equipped with a set of removable screens and anti-cumulative grids. The development of the Scientific Research Institute of Steel should reliably cover not only the hull, but also the tower. This “transparent armor” destroys anti-tank grenades and missiles that hit the vehicle before they can explode and harm it.

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It will be possible to install additional explosive reactive armor on the BMP-3. The manufacturer has previously demonstrated a version of the vehicle with hinged “soft” armor for operations in cities. It allows you to destroy the cumulative jet by detonating explosives placed in soft covers on the body of armored vehicles.

The cars produced under the state contract will also receive optics and electronics updated compared to the original version. Modern thermal imaging devices for night vision will appear not only for the gunner, but also for the commander.

The PL-1-01 laser searchlight should also increase its combat effectiveness at night. It brightly illuminates targets in the infrared range for night vision devices. At the same time, its radiation remains almost invisible to the naked eye even from a distance of 100 m.

Popular weapons

To re-equip the Ground Forces, the Ministry of Defense received about 200 new BMP-3s in 2015-2017. In the next two years, a contract was executed for the production of a batch of comparable volumes. They had improvements compared to Soviet models, but were purchased without additional protection kits.

To modernize older versions of the BMP-3, the possibility of equipping them with a fundamentally different combat module (BM) is being considered. The existing tower is planned to be replaced with a universal BM “Epoch”.

Its armament includes an automatic cannon with a caliber of 57 mm and long-range anti-tank guided missiles “Kornet”. In terms of their armor penetration, they are almost double the standard Arkan ATGM, fired through a 100-mm cannon. The module also includes effective modern observation devices.

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Serial production of the heavily armed infantry fighting vehicle began in 1987. In the post-Soviet era, the newest and most powerful BMP-3 at that time quickly became the most popular export product. Over 1.5 thousand of them were delivered abroad. In the 1990s, the United Arab Emirates received 815 units under several contracts. Another 122 cars were purchased by Kuwait. Armored vehicles were also purchased by Cyprus and South Korea.

Already in the 2000s, contracts were signed for the BMP-3 with Azerbaijan, Venezuela and Indonesia. But Iraq became the record holder, immediately ordering 500 combat vehicles to revive the national army and fight terrorists.

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