From Academic Kids

General characteristics
Crew 3 (+7 passengers) 3 (+8 passengers)
Length 6.74 m 6.72 m
Width 2.94 m 3.15 m
Height 2.15 m 2.45 m
Armour 33 mm (max)  ?
Weight 13.5 t 14.3 t
Primary armament 73 mm smoothbore gun (2A28)
AT-3/4/5 ATGM
30 mm cannon (2A42)
Secondary armament 7.62 mm machine gun (PKT)
Power plant 300 hp (225 kW) diesel
Speed 65 km/h (road)
45 km/h (off-road)
7 km/h (water)
Range 600 km

The BMP-1 is a Soviet infantry fighting vehicle which was first introduced in the early 1960s. BMP stands for Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty (Боевая Машина Пехоты, literally "Combat Vehicle of Infantry")  ( In the 1980s an improved version called the BMP-2 was introduced. The BMP is amphibious.


Production history

The BMP-1 was first seen by the West in November 1967 and is considered the world's first infantry fighting vehicle. Its steeply-sloped front armour was proof against the .50-calibre machine guns carried by NATO armoured personnel carriers, while its smoothbore gun and AT-3 Sagger ATGM were a threat to NATO APCs and even main battle tanks. It replaced the BTR-50 in motorized infantry units. In the early 1980s a new version, the BMP-2, was produced. It had a new two man turret with a 30 mm automatic gun and mounted AT-4 Spigot or AT-5 Spandrel ATGMs.


The BMP series of infantry fighting vehicles is designed to assist in rapid maneuvers during the assault. With armament consisting of gun and anti-tank guided missiles, the BMP series is a valuable component of mechanized infantry. Its 73 mm smoothbore gun fires a low velocity HEAT round, and as such the main gun is unreliable in windy conditions. The original BMP series had the AT-3 Sagger ATGM mounted above the gun. The AT-3 was known to fall off its mount, and thus BMP crews kept the missiles stowed when not in combat. The missile is reloaded by hand, through a small loading hatch.

The BMP is amphibious without preparation.

The BMP's front and side armour is effective against .50-calibre and light cannon fire. The rear doors of the BMP-1 and -2 series are filled with diesel fuel, offering some risk to incendiary rounds.

The BMP-2 armament consists of a 30 mm autocannon and ATGMs. The cannon's antipersonnel capability is a good complement to the BMP-1's smoothbore for use against armour and strongpoints, and the vehicles are often deployed together. The newer BMP-3 combines the best of both, with coaxial 100 mm gun, capable of firing ATGMs, and 30 mm cannon in its turret.


In the Soviet Army, BMPs were typically issued to the motor rifle battalions of tank regiments. In a typical motor-rifle division, one motor-rifle regiment had BMPs, the other two had BTRs.

Proliferation varied greatly among the rest of the Warsaw Pact nations. For example, at least some East German motor-rifle divisions were recorded to have all three motor-rifle regiments with BMPs, ranging down to the Rumanian and Bulgarian Armies, some of whose divisions had no BMPs at all.

External link: Warsaw Pact OOB as of June 1989 (


  • BMP-1 - Original version with 73 mm smoothbore.
  • BRM-1 or BMP-R - Reconnaissance variant, with ground surveillance radar
  • BRM-1K - Reconnaissance command vehicle
  • BMP KShM - Command variant.
  • BMP-1P - AT-4 Spigot ATGM.
  • BMP-1PK - Command variant of BMP-1P.
  • BMP-2 - (early 1980s) Improved model with 30 mm cannon.
  • BMP-3 - longer version with coaxial 100 mm gun and 30 mm cannon.

National versions

  • BWP-1 - Polish designation for BMP-1
  • M-80 - Yugoslav version of BMP-1
  • MLI-84 - Romanian modified version of BMP-1
  • BVP-1 - Czech produced version of BMP-1
  • BPzV - Czech reconnaissance variant
  • BVP-1 - Czech produced version of BMP-2

Combat history

See also


Tsouras P.G. Changing Orders: The evolution of the World's Armies, 1945 to the Present Facts On File, Inc, 1994. ISBN 0816031223ja:BMP-1


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