This year will begin research work on a new combat vehicle for the Marine Corps (BMMP). Such a machine is objectively necessary, especially given the increased role of the marines in the development plans of the Armed Forces.
It is worth noting that the problem of armored vehicles for the Marine Corps (MP) is no less acute than the problem of equipping airborne units. And, if the commander-in-chief of the Airborne Forces nevertheless managed to secure the adoption of a new combat vehicle (BMD-4M), the MP units still have to make do with wheeled and tracked armored personnel carriers. And this is despite the fact that the need for a combat vehicle with more serious weapons has not been challenged for a long time.
Naval and airborne landing operations have the same features: units have to operate at a distance from their bases and use a limited set of fire support equipment. Of course, the Marine Corps is less limited in weight and dimensions of its armored vehicles than the Airborne Forces. Armed with Tanks (one battalion in the Northern Fleet and Pacific Fleet). But in general, the firepower of the MP does not correspond to the tasks that face it.
A machine that had serious firepower was needed for a long time, since the “boat with a cannon” - the PT-76 amphibious tank was withdrawn from the MP states in 1989 year. And such a machine was even created - BMP-3F, naval modification of the BMP-3. However, the marines did not receive this vehicle. In the opinion of the leadership of the Armed Forces, it did not meet modern requirements, although the marines participated in the creation of this vehicle, tested it, was satisfied and spoke in favor of its early adoption. Already assembled cars, the Ministry of Defense refused to buy. And they, together with the built ones, were additionally sold to Indonesia - the car was considered quite modern and even necessary for the state located on the islands.
It is difficult to say how the assessment of the BMP-3F was objective. On a prolonged epic with an airborne assault vehicle and the abandonment of the BMP-3F was affected by several circumstances. And above all - the desire to get a common car for all the armed forces, as unified as possible, and possessing better characteristics compared to what was available at that time. Such a machine is being created now in the framework of the ROC Kurganets. But to make a car truly universal is difficult.
One of the main requirements for a promising machine, is to improve the quality of its security. This can be achieved in three ways: design features, increase in armor protection and the use of technical means of protection (dynamic protection - DZ, active protection complexes - KAZ, optoelectronic suppression complexes - COEP, masking, etc.). The last two ways inevitably entail an increase in the mass of the machine, which is in conflict with the requirements of the Airborne Forces and the MP. The Airborne Forces have mass limitations associated with air transportation of equipment; for MPs, a vehicle needs not just a “floating” machine, but a good floating one. And this quality also directly depends on the mass of the machine. It is possible to make the car better protected constructively without increasing the mass. For example, the engine compartment (MTO), located in front, increases the protection of the crew from firing into the front projection of the vehicle and allows the troops to dismount behind the vehicle, rather than through the upper hatches. This layout was used on the BMP-1 and BMP-2, this layout is adopted for the new "Kurgan". However, it affects the distribution of weight and loads in different positions of the machine: a heavy “nose” does not have the best effect on the ride quality on the water, and also affects some properties of the machine on the road.
The BMP-3 MTO is located behind the combat and airborne units. And the center of its mass is as close as possible to the lower point of the body. Therefore, the car has excellent driving performance at different locations and confidently behaves afloat. This arrangement is quite comfortable with the Airborne Forces and the MP, since their driving performance is more important than security. This is the most mobile kind of troops that require mobile and most transportable equipment.
The main requirement for them is high firepower. And with this, the BMD-4M and BMP-3F armament complex is all right. The famous "triad", consisting of a machine gun, 30-mm automatic cannon and 100-mm rifled guns, capable of firing both conventional shells and guided missiles, has long been the hallmark of domestic military vehicles. For firepower and versatility with this complex for a long time can not match the best examples of foreign technology. It can be easily upgraded by creating improved ammunition and improving the control system. weapons (FCS), which will allow it to remain quite modern for a very long time. And the Airborne Forces succeeded in obtaining a combat vehicle, which they consider optimal for themselves.
As for the BMP-3F, it is most suitable for conducting combat operations in the coastal zone, on the coast and during the landing of the amphibious assault. It is capable of driving at a sea of three points, conducting aimed fire from the water at a wave of two points, staying afloat for a long time, towing a machine of the same type through the water, loading itself from the water onto landing craft and landing craft, and even move behind them in tow. I want to note that this is not just a vehicle designed to get the marine corps ashore or to transport it by land — it is a complete combat vehicle. The BMP-3F can also be called a “boat with a gun,” like the good old PT-76. In general, you can be happy for the Indonesian marines.
It should be said that the adoption of the BMD-4М by the Airborne Forces has already brought some frustration to the unification of the average tracked platform by type of troops. Perhaps this, like the not perfect layout of the Kurgants for the requirements of the MP, has led to the fact that a new machine is being created for the marines. In terms of the procurement of the MoD for 2013, the research project is called “Platform-BMMP” - a study to create a promising BMMP platform for the units of the Marine Corps. The word “platform” means that a whole range of combat vehicles will be created on a common base. And this base will differ from the BMP-3 (on which the BMD-4М was created) and from the Kurgan. This is probably correct, since it will allow better to take into account the peculiarities of the combat missions of the MP and to get a machine that has really better characteristics than what it is now. Here are just a few years to wait for her appearance, as the paratroopers were waiting for at one time.
It should also be added that the new BMPP should not be confused with the machine, which had the same name, but was created simultaneously with the BMP-3F Kurganmashzavod. Then it was a "budget" version of the same machine on the BMP-3 platform, but with lightweight armament - a turret with an 30-mm gun from the BMP-2. Now we are talking about a new platform. Probably, it will have the best seaworthiness not at the expense of security. As for the weapons complex, it can be any of the existing or only being created - the possibility of deploying various weapons on a common platform is now provided at the technical assignment stage.
And further. In some publications, the beginning of work on BMMP was referred to as “floating infantry fighting vehicles for the Mistral.” In some ways this is true, since the Mistral class DVKD is also intended for the marines (and therefore for its combat equipment). But one should not assume that this combat vehicle is created specifically for a particular ship or, moreover, is its functional part. It will be a combat vehicle for the Marine Corps, which has been waiting for a long time and which has long been needed.
By popular demand: in Russia, a new combat vehicle for the Marine Corps is being created
- Alexander Gorbenko