The issue of upgrading BMP-1 combat vehicles, which have not the best fighting compartment, arose several decades ago, and over time has managed to get several solutions at once. At various times, various organizations have proposed different options for the modernization of armored vehicles with the use of certain units. In this case, almost always it was a question of using completely new equipment. Not so long ago, another modernization project was created, providing for some savings.
The topic of future modernization of the BMP-1 has again become the subject of News and discussions earlier this year. According to the media, in the foreseeable future, the industry was to offer the military department a new project of this kind. The updated armored vehicle had a chance to enter service: it was expected that the Ministry of Defense would launch a massive modernization of combat vehicles.
Until a certain time, precise information about the principles of modernization was not disclosed. Only in the middle of spring did the media find out that the BMP-1 would receive an existing combat module in the framework of a future project. This system, having machine-gun and cannon armament, was proposed to be borrowed from the BTR-82А serial armored personnel carrier. Subsequently, this information received official confirmation.
In the framework of the international military-technical forum "Army-2018", held at the end of August, the Rubtsovsk branch of the Uralvagonzavod research and production corporation for the first time showed a full-fledged armored vehicle. By this time, it became known that the modernization project is called BPM-1AM and “Basurmanin”. It is curious that the technique of the new model was demonstrated in several ways: it was present in the static exposition, and also participated in a dynamic display at the test site.
According to the April reports, over the next few months, one of the enterprises from the Uralvagonzavod research and production complex was supposed to complete the repair and restructuring of the new BMP-1 combat aircraft. These works were planned to be completed by the end of the summer. Subsequently, it was supposed to update several more lots of equipment taken from parts of the ground forces.
The Basurmanin project, like the previous versions of the modernization of the BMP-1, provides for the replacement of only individual units while retaining all other structural elements. So, without special changes, the existing armored corps remains with a part of its equipment. The layout of internal volumes is not expected to change. The BMP-1AM project, as mentioned earlier, involves an armament complex. In this case, according to later reports, provides for the modernization of the power plant.
The BTR-82A armored personnel carrier is a source of components for the Basurmanin. Photo "Rosoboronexport" / roe.ru
In its basic configuration, the BMP-1 is equipped with a UTD-20 diesel engine with an HP 300 power. In the AM project, it is replaced with the UTD-20C1 product. It has the same power, but differs in a number of operational characteristics. Replacing the engine is supposed to ease the work of the driver and technicians. In addition, the joint operation of different types of armored vehicles will be simplified, since the Basurmanin on the engine is unified with the BMP-2.
Initially, the BMP-1 is equipped with an armored turret with an installation that carries an 73-mm 2-28 gun and a PKT machine gun. Such a system for a long time proved to be not the best way, and therefore almost all modern projects of modernization of armored vehicles refuse it. The project BMP-1AM is no exception. It provides for the dismantling of the original tower with all the turret devices. In addition, together with the tower, the car loses a large section of the roof of the building, on which the old shoulder strap is located.
The new roof element with a shoulder strap of a different diameter is designed to install a combat module from an armored personnel carrier BTR-82А. This product is a low turret with anti-bullet reservation, which is openly placed swinging unit with the main armament. Weapon mounted outside the main dome of the tower, next to it is ammunition. The workplace of the shooter is located under the tower, while the shooter itself remains almost completely protected by the hull.
The main weapon of "Basurmanin" is 30-mm automatic gun 2А72. The gun is capable of using shells of various types and shows the rate of fire of the order of 330-350 shots per minute. The effective range of fire depends on the type of target and reaches 3-4 km. PKTM machine gun paired with a gun. On the case of the tower are installed several launchers of the type "Cloud". The automatic gun has ammunition in the form of 300 shells. For a machine gun designed 2000 cartridges in one tape.
Together with the weapon, the tower carries fire controls. The gunner has a combined (day-night) sight TKN-4GA. The field of view of the sight is stabilized. Navigation is carried out using a remote control. Electric drives are connected with a two-plane stabilizer. Means of fire control provide high accuracy and accuracy of fire when working at any time of day and in different weather conditions.
The design of the tower installation provides shooting in any direction in azimuth. Vertical targeting ranges from -5 ° to + 70 °. For comparison, the standard weapon BMP-1 of the basic version could only go up to 30 °.
Despite significant changes and the installation of new units, the BMP-1AM is almost the same in size and weight as the existing equipment. Installation of a new combat module leads to a slight increase in vehicle height. Combat weight at the same time increases to 14,3 t. Driving characteristics, mobility and maneuverability remain at the level of the base sample.
Advantages and disadvantages
The list of shortcomings of the infantry fighting vehicle BMP-1 in general and its weapons in particular has been well known for a long time. The main tool 2А28 has not the highest characteristics, which may be insufficient to solve the problem. In addition, the actual capabilities of the machine are seriously limited by the gun mount with limited pickup angles.
All these shortcomings were taken into account when developing the next infantry fighting vehicle. The BMP-2 retained the existing chassis, but received a completely new combat module with fundamentally different weapons. In the mid-seventies, comparative tests were conducted, during which the new BMP-2 showed the most serious advantages over the older model. The higher efficiency of the 30-mm automatic cannon has been proven in practice.
It should be noted that the serial BMP-2 equipped with a weapon 2А42, whereas in the project BMP-1Аm used other weapons of the same caliber - 2А72. However, this fact is unlikely to have a serious impact on the real balance of capabilities of “Basurmanin” and the base BMP-1. A turret with an automatic cannon from an armored personnel carrier should also have obvious advantages over an 2A28 turret.
It should be noted that “Basurmanin”, unlike the base machine, does not carry a regular anti-tank missile system, and this to a certain extent reduces its combat potential. It is possible that in the near future, the BMP-1AM project will introduce the necessary new means, thanks to which the infantry fighting vehicle will be able to use not only barreled, but also rocket armament.
An important advantage is the unification of the upgraded BMP-1AM with the existing BMP-2 in the power plant units. Thanks to this, “Basurmanin” can effectively work in some combat formations with other equipment, and also the joint operation of machines of different models is simplified.
A characteristic and interesting feature of the BMP-1AM project is the proposed composition of the aggregates. This armored vehicle consists of an existing serial chassis, a serial engine and a finished turret installation. The newly developed only individual parts, ensuring the connection of other components of the machine.
This architecture of the armored vehicle greatly simplifies its production, and also reduces the cost of upgrading individual cars or entire batches. It is also possible to simplify the process of training crews or speed up the re-training of a specialist in the transition from one type of equipment to another. Perhaps the BMP-1AM doesn’t attract attention with its technical appearance, but it is he who gives it a serious production and operational potential.
According to known data, at least 500-1000 infantry combat vehicles BMP-1 remain in service in the Russian army at the present time. Another 7 thousand units of such equipment is in storage, pending the return to service or cutting. In terms of their capabilities, front-line and reserve armored vehicles are noticeably inferior to the newer BMP-2, not to mention the BMP-3 or the promising Kurgan-25. Nevertheless, it is possible to correct the existing state of affairs in a short time and without particularly large expenditures.
Despite the presence of certain shortcomings and the emergence of newer models, the BMP-2 with an automatic gun is still of interest to the army, which affects the prospects of the Basurmanin. The proposed version of the modernization of technology will continue the operation of existing machines, improve their basic characteristics, but at the same time do without the construction of new models. Moreover, it is not even necessary to launch the production of new units.
How many BMP-1AM may be necessary for the Russian army is not yet specified. At its disposal there are several thousand of these machines, each of which has a chance to get on the repair and modernization. How many BMP-1 will eventually receive additional letters "AM" - will be known later. According to the available data and reports of the past months, the principal decision on conducting a mass modernization has already been made.
It must be recalled that in addition to Russia, infantry combat vehicles BMP-1 in various quantities are exploited by almost four dozen foreign countries from several regions of the world. Their fleet is much more modest than the Russian, but in this case, the armored vehicles may need to be repaired and updated. A simple and cheap modernization project should interest the foreign military, who would like to update their material part, but are not able to buy modern expensive samples.
We should not expect any foreign state to order the modernization of hundreds of infantry fighting vehicles. At the same time, the appearance of several international contracts for more modest quantities of equipment is possible. Judging by the available data, Basurmanin is able to interest potential customers from third countries.
Often, modernization projects of existing armored vehicles are characterized by excessive novelty and wide use of promising units that are not yet in the series. The new Russian project BMP-1AM "Basurmanin" can not be attributed to this category. Unlike other domestic and foreign developments of its kind, one of its goals was to maximally simplify modernization and reduce the cost of work.
The result was a utilitarian-looking armored vehicle, consisting entirely of prefabricated components. Despite this architecture, it has advantages, at least, over the base sample, and for a number of characteristics it can be compared with later technology. A practical approach gave remarkable results.
As you can see, the tasks assigned to the project were successfully solved, thanks to which a rather remarkable sample of a combat armored vehicle appeared. According to known data, there are already several BMP-1AM of the first batch. In the near future, the necessary restructuring will be several next cars. What will happen next - time will tell. There is every reason to expect that in the medium term, a significant amount of Basurman will appear in the arsenals of Russia and some foreign countries.
Pasternak G. Why are our BMP just like that? CH 1 // Technique and armament, 2018. No.8.