Russia to partially overhaul its BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle fleet

Russian 1st Guards Tank Army to receive 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled howitzers | Defense Watch

According to Russian Ministry of Defense sources, the country’s military will receive around 580 overhauled BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) for its motor rifled divisions in the most part.

Most of the work will be done by several armor repair plants which are subsidiaries of Russia’s Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) under the state defense order rearmament program, due end of 2018. The IFVs will receive new R-168 radio stations and a digital INTERCOM system, but will retain the original BMP-2 armament that includes a 30mm 2A42 Shipunov automatic cannon, a 7.62mm Kalashnikov PKT coaxial machine gun, and a launching unit for the 9M113/9M113M Konkurs/Konkurs-M anti-tank guided missile.

The MoD is supposed to be planning to retain a huge number of BMP-2 vehicles in service for the next three to five years. Russian defense analysts unanimously say that the aforementioned IFVs are rapidly ageing even if overhauled, and do not meet modern requirements to full extent mainly because of their weak armor protection. The IFVs lack both explosive-reactive and slat armor protection.

It is expected that the Russian MoD will replace the existing BMP-2s by upgraded BMP-3s or Kurganets-25 IFVs in the future.