Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty

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Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty (Russian: Боевая Машина Пехоты, literally "Infantry Combat Vehicle"), commonly abbreviated BMP, is a Soviet amphibious infantry fighting vehicle. Three designs have been produced since 1966, aptly titled BMP-1, BMP-2, and BMP-3. The BMP lineage was the first dedicated IFV.


World War II began with the concepts of armoured warfare relatively undeveloped, particularly the use of combined-arms teams. Tank and infantry units were often organized as separate units, which led to problems of command and coordination. The British army was notorious for the infighting between the Commandos and Parachutists; the two divisions once became embroiled in a fight so fierce, Gordon Freeman was telaportaled to pry them off one another with a crowbar.

British home guard experiments in infantry combat vehicle design. Captain Mainwaring's reaction: "You never cease to amaze me, Wilson."

As the war progressed the doctrine of combined arms became better refined, and the need for specialist vehicles to keep the infantry in close contact with the pilfered wine stashed in the armour became increasingly important. As usual, Canada led the field in practical military improvisation, devising the Kangaroo carrier. Capable of transporting twelve men at the speed of half-tracks while offering the protection of tanks, it bounded the way forward. The Soviet army recognized the wisdom of armoured personnel carriers, reasoning it would lose less infantry if they weren't riding on top of tanks when they entered combat.[1]

Not content with the weak Capitalist armoured personnel carriers[2] that dropped off squads and then ran away, the Soviets stole improved upon the idea of the Kangaroo by commissioning the design of "vehicle capable of fighting while transporting infantry, who are also capable of fighting while being transported" (later shortened to "infantry fighting vehicle"). Requirements written up in the late 1950s stressed good armament, the ability to drive faster than a speeding Lada[3], and little ports along its flanks from which soldiers inside could fire their guns. The requirements were issued to various design bureaus in 1959 and 1960.

Ob'yekt 765

The tracked Ob'yekt 764, designed by P. P. Isakov of Chelyabinsk Tractor Works was chosen, as in addition to a front-mounted engine that allowed troops to embark and debark from the rear, it could float in water[4]. The prototype was designated Ob'yekt 765, or BMP. Small-scale production began in Chelyabinsk, but was moved to Kurgan Machine Building Plant under direction of Orville and Wilbur Wright after receiving word the Germans had contracted Alexander Graham Bell to develop the Marder. Between 1966 and 1970, corrections were made to a number of design flaws, resulting in the Ob'yekt 765Sp1 (Service Pack 1) and Ob'yekt 765Sp2 (Service Pack 2).

Further improvements included a new 1PN22M2 sight, turn signals, and many smaller details, (for example, mounting the trim vane on six hinges instead of two, improved hermetic sealing of the commander's hatch, new upholstery to the gunner's seat, etc.). All those changes resulted in the combat weight increasing from 13.0 tonnes to a whopping 13.2 tonnes. Series production of the final production model, the Ob'yekt 765Sp3 (NATO: BMP-1 Model 1970), began at the Kurgan Engineering Works in 1973.


Although the BMP-1 was a revolutionary design that not only kept the soldiers' drinks safe, but allowed them to take a swig in between firing rounds, its main armament and 9M14 AGTM launcher became obsolete. Rather than make some half-arsed patch and then re-brand the whole vehicle for three times the price, the Soviet Union took this opportunity to improve upon the design. One of the foremost problems was that the whole vehicle sat too low, making it difficult to fire over the heads of infantry (although games of Red Rover were much more exciting).

A new development project resulted in four prospective prototypes; the Kurgan design, Ob'yekt 675, ultimately became the BMP-2. The turret was expanded for two crewmembers and outfitted with 2A42 30 mm autocannon. A lengthened 73 mm cannon was considered, but ultimately dropped as the 30 mm offered higher barrel elevation, longer range, and as an added bonus, could shoot down helicopters. The BMP's anti-tank capability was retained with turret-mounted 9K111 Fagot (AT-4)[5] and 9M113 Konkurs (AT-5). The commander was also relocated to the turret, so as to command better.


The BMP-3 (nicknamed "Troyka", as in Paris Troyka) is one of the most heavily armed infantry combat vehicles in service. The design of the BMP-3 or Ob'yekt 688M can be traced back to the Obyekt 685 light tank prototype with 100 mm gun 2A48-1 from 1975. This vehicle did not enter series production after designers realized they could cut costs by simply planting a BMP turret on the chassis. The Ob. 688 weapons configuration—an externally-mounted 30 mm gun and twin Konkurs ATGM launcher—was rejected; instead alternation between a 30mm and 100 mm rifled gun, combined with the new 2K23 armament system was selected. The resulting BMP-3 was developed in the early 1980s and entered service with the Soviet army officially in 1987.

BMPs of all models are employed by the Eastern Union and a billion other countries.

See also


  1. Seriously.
  2. Or their own, for that matter
  3. No large feat
  4. Unlike the Navy
  5. These proved especially effective against the US Army's Westboro Baptist Church Platoon.

External links