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Airborne Combat Vehicle


BMD-3 airborne combat vehicle

Entered service in 1990
Crew 2
Personnel 5 + 3
Dimensions and weight 
Total weight in combat order 12.9 - 13.2 t
Overall length 6 360 mm
Chassis length 6 100 mm
Width 3 114 mm
Height 2 450 mm
Main gun 30-mm cannon
Machine guns 1 x 5.45-mm, 1 x 7.62-mm
Combat load
Main gun 500 + 360 rounds
ATGW 4 missiles
Machine guns 2 160 x 5.45; 2 000 x 7.62 rounds
Engine 2V-06 diesel
Engine power 450 hp
Maximum road speed 70 km/h
Maximum amphibious speed on water 10 km/h
Autonomy on roads 500 km
Ford Amphibious

The BMD-3 is the successor to the BMD-1 and BMD-2 airborne combat vehicles. It entered service with the Soviet Army in 1990.

Vehicle is of all-welded construction which provides the crew with protection from small arms fire and shell splinters.

The BMD-3 received a redeveloped chassis fitted with a complete two-man turret similar to the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle. Vehicle has a significant increase in firepower. Maximum effective range firing AP-T (armor piercing-tracer) ammunition is 2000 m, and firing HE-I (High Explosive-Incendiary) ammunition - 4000 m against area targets. A coaxial 7.62-mm PKT machine gun is mounted with the main gun. On the roof of the turret there is an AT-4 Spigot or an AT-5 Spandrel anti-tank missile launcher with 4 reload missiles carried internally. The BMD-3 is also fitted with an AG-17 30-mm automatic grenade launcher and a 5.45-mm light machine gun. All weapons are operated from the inside of the vehicle.

Despite increase in weight the BMD-3 has a much better amphibious capability than its predecessors. On water it is propelled by two water jets mounted on either side at the rear of the vehicle. There is also more room inside the vehicle. The BMD-3 has a crew of two and normally carries five troops, however three more troops can be carried in case of emergency.

BMD-3 airborne combat vehicle The BMD-3 airborne combat vehicle is powered by a 2V-06 water-cooled diesel developing 450 horsepower, which gives a very high power-to-weight ratio of 34 hp/ton. Engine is located at the rear of the hull. The hydroneumatic suspension of the BMD-3 is adjustable to give a ground clearance of between 130-mm and 530-mm, although for normal road clearance is 450-mm.

The BMD-3 can be airdropped from any medium transport aircraft with the complete crew of seven men remaining inside the vehicle. Previous airborne combat vehicles were dropped separately from their crew and it usually took time to reach the vehicle after landing. In this case with the BMD-3 the element of surprise associated with airborne operations is enhanced.

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