"Cardboard armor": For what purpose was the BMP-1 radically lightened by sacrificing protection

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"Cardboard armor": For what purpose was the BMP-1 radically lightened by sacrificing protection

A lot of criticism was expressed about the security of the BMP-1, which entered service with the USSR army in 1966. Many experts even call her armor “cardboard”, as it is unable to protect against anti-tank systems, RPGs and even 12,7-mm machine guns, and is also extremely vulnerable to explosions.

By the way, about the latter. That is why, during the Chechen and Afghan wars, Russian paratroopers tried to move around in this vehicle, so to speak, “on horseback”. However, even this technique did not always save the fighters from injury in the event of a "collision" of a combat vehicle with a mine.



At the same time, other characteristics of the BMP-1 turned out to be quite balanced and successful for fulfilling the assigned tasks. So what is the reason for installing such "weak" armor on the car?

Many believe that this is directly related to "buoyancy". Allegedly for this reason, the mass of the car was “squeezed” into 13 tons, because of which armor had to be sacrificed.

At the same time, the newest Kurganets-25 weighs about 25 tons and can also swim. Thus, the version with the rejection of more powerful armor in favor of "buoyancy" has the right to life, but is hardly the main reason for the decision of Soviet designers.

The main factor in favor of the "cardboard armor" was the banal "cheapening" of the product. The thing is that in the mid-60s, at the height of the Cold War and the arms race, the warring parties were preparing for a nuclear confrontation.

According to the Soviet military leadership, in such a conflict it is necessary to have the largest possible fleet of infantry fighting vehicles so that at least some of them can survive and break through to the established lines. No wonder it was nicknamed the “doomsday machine”.

As a matter of fact, in the USSR this task was carried out with "enviable enthusiasm". In total, about 20 thousand BMP-1s were produced. For comparison, the Americans were able to "pull" the production of 6 thousand BMP "Bradley" of various modifications, and the FRG about 2 thousand BMP "Marder".

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  1. -2
    24 March 2023 18: 06
    Comrades, I am not an expert in this matter and I know that there are specialists here - I would like to hear their opinion. Thank you in advance.
  2. 0
    24 March 2023 18: 07
    How much can you chew the same thing? Only the lazy about the poor BMP-1 did not say a word.
  3. 0
    24 March 2023 18: 21
    Now such production capacities would not interfere with us. Although, even now, everything that is produced and on what it is produced, one way or another, is the legacy of the USSR.
  4. +5
    24 March 2023 18: 33
    For its time - a great car. And it was clearly not created for use in mountainous and mountainous desert areas ... because the "probable enemy" was not there at all. If we recall the basics of A.V. Suvorov, set forth in "The Science of Victory", they consist in three basic principles: eye, speed, onslaught. And all this is about our first infantry fighting vehicle - high-speed, maneuverable, well-armed and fairly easy to maintain. Yes, definitely vulnerable, but something had to be sacrificed for the sake of other characteristics...
    At one time in the reconnaissance platoon, I had 6 of these. First, Czech ... after half a year, everything was sent according to a complaint. Well, then - OUR! Nothing bad is remembered about these machines ... 113 Orb 57 Guards. msd 8 guards OA GSVG.
    1. 0
      26 March 2023 11: 11
      You didn’t have BRM-1K, in the ORB? Or were you sharpened for other tasks?
  5. 0
    25 March 2023 15: 33
    There was already an article about the BMP-1, where they also discussed why it has a minimum weight and protection. There is only one answer - to ensure the ability to swim !!! Everything else is secondary. Anyone who does not understand this does not understand anything at all in armored vehicles.
  6. 0
    26 March 2023 19: 54
    Magnificent car ... Served 76-78. GSVG. He graduated from training in Chebarkul .. Unpretentious Repairable. He mounted a goose alone. I changed the salary of 25 marks for a trifle and poured it out on the bottom in the engine room. You won’t see the salary engine until you remove it. So before demobilization, I removed and installed the engine in 4 hours. True, before the demobilization, I was a grandfather. I plowed the entire crew
  7. 0
    27 March 2023 06: 12
    Our Department of Defense, as usual, does not think about anything. Warehouses are empty with shells. BMPs are tin cans that are scary to ride. Plus, cars of the 50s are being removed from conservation, instead of increasing the production of new products earlier. In 20 years, many of the technology of the USSR will be 100 years old
    For shells, in general, it is necessary to develop automated, robotic production lines in order to increase production dozens of times at the right time. As long as you are a strong country, no one will climb on you.
  8. 0
    13 May 2023 09: 13
    Many believe that this is directly related to "buoyancy". Allegedly for this reason, the mass of the car was “squeezed” into 13 tons, because of which armor had to be sacrificed.

    At the same time, the newest Kurganets-25 weighs about 25 tons and can also swim. Thus, the version with the rejection of more powerful armor in favor of "buoyancy" has the right to life, but is hardly the main reason for the decision of Soviet designers.


    Due to the remote sensing modules having positive buoyancy. How many cars with such an engineering solution were there in the days of the BMP-1? I don't know any of it.

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