Land Weapons

IFV (1980)




The BMP-2 is a major upgrade of the BMP-1, the world’s first infantry fighting vehicle, incorporating lessons learned during the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the Soviet-Afghanistan War. During the former conflict, Egyptian and Syrian BMP-1s proved highly vulnerable to attacks on the sides and rear (where fuel tanks were located), and visibility was compromised by the fact that the commander was seated behind the driver. In the latter war, the BMP-1 the tandem driver and commander compartments proved vulnerable to mines. As a result, the BMP-2 emerged with a revised crew layout in which the commander and gunner are seated in a larger, rounded turret. Aside from that, the hull shape was broadly similar and incorporated additional armor protection (notably to the driver compartment), although the new layout resulted in a reduction of troop capacity to seven. This mounts a 30-mm 2A42 autocannon with selectable rate of fire between 200-300 rounds to minutes on low mode and 500 on high. It was also able to fire the more advanced 9K111 (AT-4) or 9M113 (AT-5) ATGMs, in light of the innacuracy of the BMP-1s AT-3s. The BMP-2 also retained its predecessor's amphibious capability, being able to be propelled through its tracks. Despite appearing in the final decade of the Cold War, the BMP-2 was built in numbers similar to those of the BMP-1 although it largely complemented it rather than fully replaced it among Soviet (later Russian) motor rifle divisions. The BMP-2 has been heavily exported to Soviet client states, with Czechoslovakia, India and Poland license producing them as well. Israel is also known to have operated captured units with local upgrades. Combat history has been extensive, including in Afghanistan, Angola, Chechnya in addition to the numerous wars in the Middle East. More recently, the BMP-2 has seen extensive service during the Russian invasion of Ukraine on both sides, with Russian units suffering particularly heavy losses of around 700 in 2022, more than any other BMP model.

The BMP-2 was selected for development and production in 1970, entering service a decade later and being observed in the West for the first time in 1982. Numerous refinements were made early in its career, notably additional spaced armor in the BMP-2D along with provision for a mine-clearing system under the nose. Due to the added weight, this variant had its amphibious capability removed. A command variant is known as the BMP-2K. Modernized versions with improved armament, armor and equipment are known as the BMP-2M but so far have only been offered for export. A flamethrower troop transport is known as the BMO-1. Czech and Polish variants are known as the BVP-2 and BWP-2 respectively and feature local refinements. An Indian-produced version is designated BMP-2K Sarath and are complemented by numerous sub-variants including an armored ambulance, engineer reconnaissance vehicle, mortar and missile carriers, air-defence missile systems, and a 105-mm self-propelled gun.

Preceded by:

BMP-1 (1966)

Succeeded by:

BMP-3 (1987)


Length (w/Gun)6.74 m
Width3.150 m
Height2.450 m
Ground Clearance0.420 m
Track2.550 m
Track Width300 mm
Track on Ground3.600 m
Combat14,300 kg
Ground Pressure0.65 kg/cm²
SuspensionTorsion bar
Speed (Off-Road)65 km/h (45 km/h)
Range (Off-Road)550-600 km
AmphibiousYes (7 km/h)
Vertical Obstacle0.70 m
Trench2.50 m
Side Slope30%
Engine1 x 300-hp
FuelDiesel: 462 L
Power/Weight20.98 hp/t
Main1 x 30-mm L/80.5

↑ 75° / ↓ -5° / ↔ 360°
1 x 7.62-mm
Ammo7.62-mm: 2,000
Thickness23 - 33 mm
Max Effective23 - 33 mm RHAe