BMP-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle
Gary's Combat Vehicle Reference Guide

Alternative DesignationsBMP M1981, Yozh (Russia), Sarath (India)
Country of OriginCIS (formerly USSR)
RoleInfantry fighting vehicle
Date Of Introduction1980
Crew3 (commander, gunner, driver) + 7 passengers
Combat Weight15.76 tons (14.3 mt)
Ground Pressure8.96 psi (0.63 kg/cm²)
Length, Overall 22.05 ft (6.72 m)
Width, Overall 10.33 ft (3.15 m)
Height, Overall 8.04 ft (2.45 m)
Ground Clearance18 in (480 mm)
Engine300 hp (224 kw) UTD-20 V-6 diesel
Range373 miles (600 km)
Fuel Capacity122 gal (460 l)
Road Speed40 mph (65 km/h)
Cross Country Speed22 mph (35 km/h)
Swim Speed4 mph (7 km/h)
Fording DepthAmphibious
Side Slope30%
Trench Crossing8.2 ft (2.5 m)
Vertical Wall Climb2.3 ft (0.7 m)
ArmorTurret front: 0.9 in (23 mm)         Turret sides: 0.75 in (19 mm)
Hull sides: 0.63 - 0.71 in (16 - 18 mm)
Applique ArmorOn BMP-2D
Explosive Reactive ArmorAvailable
Active Protective SystemN/A
NBC Protection SystemCollective
Smoke EquipmentVehicle engine exhaust smoke system. Six smoke grenade launchers.
Type Mount Typical Ammo Load
30mm 2A42 automatic gun Turret; dual-belt feed 500.
7.62mm PKT machine gun Coaxial to main gun 2,000
9P135M1/M3 AT-4/AT-5 ATGM launcher.
SACLOS; wire-guided
Tube-launched; dismountable 5.
AT-4, AT-4B, AT-5, AT-5B
Firing ports: 4 on left side, 3 on right side, 1 in left rear door
Fire Control SystemBPK-1-42 or BPK-2-42
Main Gun Stabilization2-plane
Infrared SearchlightYes


The BMP-2 (Boyevaya Mashina Pyekhoty-2) has an all-welded hull and a three-man crew with the driver seated at the front left, the commander to his rear and the gunner at the turret. The vehicle is amphibious, being propelled through the water by its tracks.

The elevation and ballistic characteristics of the BMP-2's 30mm, dual-purpose automatic gun enable it to engage helicopters and low-flying, subsonic fixed-wing aircraft at an effective range of 3,000 meters. The gun's suppressive fire range can be extended to 4,000 meters, depending on the type of ammunition used. An antitank guided missile launcher atop the turret can employ AT-4 Spigot or AT-5 Spandrel missiles to engage slow-flying or stationary aircraft. The launcher can be removed from the vehicle and employed while dismounted.

The BMP-2 can use engine exhaust or the six 81mm smoke grenade projectors mounted on the turret to generate screening smoke.

The BMP-2 has thin armor that protects it from .50 caliber armor-piercing rounds only over the 60° frontal arc and 23mm ballistic protection within the turret. It is extremely vulnerable to antitank guided missile, 30mm, and tank fire. The engine compartment and ammunition storage area, fuel cells, and troop compartment are located so that penetration anywhere on the vehicle will result in a mobility, firepower, or personnel kill.

The BMP-2 was first seen in April 1981 with Soviet forces in Afghanistan. It also appeared in the Zapad-81 exercise in the Soviet Union in September 1981. Initially identified with the STANAG designator BMP M1981, the vehicle has the actual Soviet designator of BMP-2.
FM 1-101: BMP-2


A French SNPE explosive reactive armor (ERA) kit and others are available for use on the BMP-2. However, during dismounted troop movement, ERA would be a hazard. Thus, passive armor is more likely and ERA application is doubtful. For amphibious use, additional armor application is unlikely. Other options are spall liners, air conditioning, and a more powerful engine.

Russian AG-17 30mm automatic grenade launcher modification is offered for BMP-2.

Russian KBP offers a drop-in one-man turret, called Kliver, with a stabilized 2A72 30mm gun, a 4 Kornet ATGM launcher, thermal sights, a coaxial 7.62mm MG and improved fire control system.

French-German Flame-V adaptor kit permits the BMP-2 system to launch Milan, Milan-2, and Milan-3 ATGMs.

Thermal sights are available. The Russian SANOET-1 thermal gunner's sight is available. The Russian Trakt/1PN65 thermal imaging (TI) ATGM night sight is optional. Acquisition range is 2,500 m (NFI). For the launcher in dismount configuration, the Slovenian TS-F ATGM night sight is available and has a detection range of 4,500 m and recognition range of 2,000 m. The Russian Mulat/1PN86 lightweight TI ATGM thermal sight has 3,600 m detection range and 2,000 m identification range.
1980. Original production model. See data above.

ATGM load consists of one ready on the launcher and four stowed. They are readily accessible, but require hand loading from an open hatch. The AT-5 and AT-5B are more likely than AT-4 and AT-4B.

Recognition features:
  • Tracked vehicle.
  • Six road wheels.
  • Low circular turret with long, thin gun.
  • Low silhouette with pointed nose.
  • Ribbed area on front of vehicle.
  • Two rear hatches on top decking.
  • Two doors in rear hull.
  • Three smoke dischargers on turret side.
  • Vision ports on hull.
  • Amphibious.

Finnish Defence Forces: BMP-2
800x533, 92K, JPEG
Finnish Defence Forces: BMP-2
800x533, 107K, JPEG
Finnish Defence Forces: BMP-2
800x533, 118K, JPEG
Finnish Defence Forces Photos
Finnish Defence Forces: BMP-2
Firing exercise Paiste 07
Finnish Defence Forces Photo
1024x716, 197K, JPEG
Variant with add-on plate armor, but which cannot swim.
Variant with 6mm steel plates added and track skirts.
Command variant with additional radio.