Content of the article: "BMD-2 Airborne Combat Vehicle"
The BMD-2 is a Soviet IFV first introduced in 1985, armed with the 30mm 2A42 autocannon, a 7.62mm machine gun, and for anti-tank use, a 9M111 or 9M113 ATGM. Its armor is about what one might expect of a vehicle made from welded aluminum alloy, with the front plate being 15 mm at a 78° angle. However, this combined with the 240 hp engine gives it an excellent hp to ton ratio of 29.2 hp/ton when fully combat loaded.
During the Soviet-Afghan War, the Soviet Union used the BMP-1 and BMD-1 IFVs, which used the 73mm 2A28 smoothbore gun, along with 9M14 Malyutka ATGMs. While this armament was sufficient for fighting tanks, the enemy the Soviets were up against had nothing of the sort. The Mujahideen often used fortified positions and unarmored vehicles, and in the mountains, the 73mm "Grom" was even less useful due to its low elevation angles.
In 1981, the Soviet Army began receiving the BMP-2, which used a new 30mm 2A42 autocannon. Not only did this allow for suppressive fire, but it also had much better elevation angles, able to shoot at low flying aircraft or infantry in valley divides or in the mountains.
Seeing the effectiveness of the BMP-2, the Soviet Airborne Forces decided to equip their units with something similar. They already had the BMD-1, an air transportable and lighter version of the BMP-1, but the issue was the BMD-1's hull was much too small for the BMP-2 turret. It was decided to design a vehicle to fulfill the need for a new airborne IFV while another one, later called the BMD-3, was designed. After passing trials in 1985, the BMD-2 entered production. However, despite being better at suppressive fire, the 73mm 2A28 still has almost 15 times more explosive power than a shell from the 30mm 2A42, making it better for demolition purposes. As a result, the BMD-2 supplemented the BMD-1, rather than replacing it.
The BMD-2 has since seen service with the VDV in the Russo-Georgian War, as well as with Ukrainian Airmobile Forces in the War in Donbass.
- Crew: 4
- Mass: 8.225 tons fully loaded
- Length: 7.85 m
- Width: 2.94 m
- Height: 2.45 m
- Main armament: 30 mm 2A42 autocannon ,300 rounds (180 AP and 120 HE)
- ATGM: 9P135M-1 ATGM launcher, can fire 9M111 "Fagot" or 9M113 "Konkurs"
- Secondary armament: 2x 7.62 mm PKT machine gun, one in turret, one in bow, 2,940 rounds
- Engine: 5D-20 6-cylinder 4-stroke V-shaped liquid cooled 15.9 liter diesel240 hp (180 kW) at 2,600 rpm
- Suspension: Torsion-bar
- Fuel capacity: 300 l
- Operational range: 450 km (road)
- Maximum speed: 60 km/h
- Gradient: 60%
- Side slope: 30%
- Vertical step: 0.8 m
- Trench: 1.6 m
- Fording: Amphibious
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