Russian Army received 20-30 BMP-3s with thermal imaging protection

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Recently, following the delivery of two new Su-34 Fullback fighter-bombers to the Russian Air Force, Rostec announced another significant delivery to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. This time, it involved BMP-3 Infantry Fighting Vehicles [IFVs] shipped by rail from the Kurgan Machine-Building Plant. Although Rostec didn’t specify the exact numbers, a video released by the company suggests that at least 20 BMP-3s were delivered. 

Video screenshot

Top War, a Russian source, revealed that the armored vehicles sent to the military are fitted with additional factory-installed protection. This includes anti-cumulative grills and armored screens, as well as Nakidka kits to shield the equipment from thermal imaging detection. 

Moreover, the BMP-3s come with modified factory protection for the upper hemisphere. These enhancements have significantly boosted the combat survivability of the BMP-3, making them highly sought-after in the North-Western Military District. 

Video screenshot

Nakidka as RAM camouflage

Nakidka is a radar-absorbent material [RAM] camouflage system developed by Russia to enhance the stealth capabilities of various military vehicles, including the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle. This material is designed to reduce the vehicle’s radar signature, making it less detectable by enemy radar systems.

The primary function of Nakidka is to absorb and scatter radar waves, thereby reducing the radar cross-section [RCS] of the vehicle. This makes it more difficult for enemy radar systems to identify and track the BMP-3, providing a tactical advantage in combat situations.

Video screenshot

Nakidka’s thermal insulation capabilities

In addition to its radar-absorbing properties, Nakidka also has thermal insulation capabilities. The material is engineered to minimize the heat signature of the vehicle, which is crucial for evading detection by thermal imaging systems. Thermal imaging is commonly used in modern warfare to detect heat emitted by engines and other components. 

By reducing the heat signature, Nakidka makes it challenging for thermal imaging devices to distinguish the BMP-3 from its surroundings. This is particularly important during nighttime operations or in environments where thermal imaging is heavily relied upon for reconnaissance and targeting. 

Photo by Anton Denisov / Sputnik

The combination of radar absorption and thermal insulation provided by Nakidka enhances the overall survivability of the BMP-3 on the battlefield. It allows the vehicle to operate more covertly, reducing the likelihood of being targeted by enemy forces equipped with advanced detection technologies.

About BMP-3

The BMP-3 is a Soviet and Russian infantry fighting vehicle [IFV] designed to transport infantry to the battlefield, provide fire support, and engage enemy forces. It was first introduced in the late 1980s and has since been a key component of Russian mechanized infantry units. 

Photo credit: Twitter

The BMP-3 has a length of approximately 7.2 meters [23.6 feet], a width of about 3.2 meters [10.5 feet], and a height of around 2.4 meters [7.9 feet]. It has a combat weight of roughly 18.7 tons, making it relatively light and maneuverable for an armored vehicle. 

The BMP-3 is powered by a UTD-29M diesel engine, which delivers around 500 horsepower. This engine allows the vehicle to reach a top speed of approximately 70 km/h [43 mph] on roads and around 10 km/h [6.2 mph] in water, thanks to its amphibious capabilities. 

Technically, the BMP-3 features a hydropneumatic suspension system, which provides improved mobility and comfort over rough terrain. It also includes a central tire inflation system, which allows the driver to adjust tire pressure for different terrains, enhancing its off-road performance.

Photo credit: Rostec

A 100mm 2A70 rifled gun

The BMP-3 is equipped with a variety of systems and assemblies, including a fire control system, a laser rangefinder, and a ballistic computer. These systems work together to enhance the vehicle’s accuracy and effectiveness in combat situations. 

The BMP-3’s primary armament consists of a 100mm 2A70 rifled gun, which can fire both conventional shells and anti-tank guided missiles [ATGMs]. It also has a 30mm 2A72 autocannon and a 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun, providing a versatile and powerful array of weaponry. 

Photo credit: Rostec

In addition to its main armament, the BMP-3 can be fitted with various auxiliary weapons, such as smoke grenade launchers and additional machine guns. This flexibility allows it to adapt to different combat scenarios and provide comprehensive support to infantry units.

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