Very few people know that in the yellow building behind the Kremlin wall, closer to the Spasskaya Tower, the Commission of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers of the USSR on military-industrial issues, which the military-industrial complex was used in everyday life, was located. From 1967 to 1987 Yu.P. worked in the military-industrial complex as deputy head of department Kostenko, dealing with the development of domestic armored vehicles. In 1953 he graduated from the Moscow Technical University and was sent to the design bureau of Uralvagonzavod. From 1962 to 1967 works at the head institute tank branches - VNIITransmash (Leningrad). In 2000, he published a pamphlet  on the development of armored vehicles, which, due to the small circulation (500 copies), did not become the property of specialists and interested readers. Let's try to comment on the views of this highly qualified and high-ranking official on the development features of our infantry fighting vehicles.
Our BMP - tracked armored personnel carriers
In December, the Soviet motorized rifle units equipped with BMP-1979s, a large number of which were incapacitated using rifle guns, entered 1 in Afghanistan. weapons the enemy, which for the command of all levels came as a surprise. A scandalous situation arose: the BMP-1 was not provided with anti-bullet protection. Armor-piercing bullets, even of 7,62 mm caliber, pierced the side, the stern and the hull roof, resulting in the death of the crew and the landing party.
In order to understand what are the domestic BMP, consider the combat characteristics of the BMP-1. Machine weight - 13 t. Armament: 73-mm gun "Thunder"; ATGM - "Baby"; paired with a gun 7,62-mm machine gun. In the sides of the hull there are seven embrasures for firing from machine guns and two front ones for firing from light machine guns. Reservations - bulletproof: armor thickness - from 6 to 26 mm. At the same time, the sides, the stern and the roof of the hull are pierced with an 7,62 mm armor-piercing bullet at a distance of up to 50 m. guns. The machine has a system of anti-nuclear protection of personnel.
If we consider the infantry fighting vehicle BMP-1 as combat, then the infantry should be able to fight the enemy infantry without leaving the combat vehicle. But the design of domestic BMP does not provide this. Firstly, it does not protect the enemy’s infantry from the most ordinary small arms. Secondly, initially the main weapon of the BMP-1 was anti-tank, not anti-personnel, which made this machine defenseless when attacking a prepared enemy defense line. The debris shot was introduced into the BMP-1 ammunition unit only 7 years after the start of production of this vehicle, although this should have been done back in 1966 when it was put into service.
And, thirdly, the commander of the motorized infantry unit (he is the machine commander) was “blind”. Being in the hull and not having a circular view, he saw that the driver was less than the gunner-operator, to whom he gave fire command. Note that the error with the placement of the commander in the building was corrected through 13 for years on the BMP-2, which was equipped with a double turret.
Thus, the BMP (1, 2, 3) in their technical capabilities do not correspond to their formidable name, but represent a model of a heavy BTR capable of carrying out fire support for infantry directly during the battle. Accordingly, the MoD has long been time to revise the tactics of combat use of the BMP.
This situation was the result of a weak study by the Ministry of Defense in conjunction with the MOPTX for the development of BMP-1 and others. If we formulate the TTX for the development of BMP, the infantry of which must be able to fight the enemy’s infantry without getting out of the car, then the main requirement should be to protect against small arms of the enemy when firing "point blank". In this case, the question - whether such a machine may or may not float - is of secondary importance. The main objective of the BTR is to deliver manpower to the area of the planned military operation in conditions of overcoming water obstacles by swimming. For this type of cars the level of armor protection is of secondary importance. In this situation, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Defense Industry did not understand.
At the beginning of 1980, Mr. V.M. Shabanov, reporting on the results of his trip to Afghanistan to the military-industrial complex, said the following words: “Who needs this“ tin can ”- BMP-1, which does not even protect against small arms!”
"Can" under the fire of anti-tank weapons
The process of creating models of weapons and military equipment from the development of tactical and technical requirements, design, testing to the adoption of weapons is in its essence a compromise. In relation to domestic BMPs, there was always a desire to create machines with good firepower, high road performance under the conditions of a sharp limitation on the overall mass characteristics, which was carried out due to the protection characteristics that unacceptably reduce the survival of the crew and the landing force. At the same time, the development of high-precision weapons and the improvement of previously known anti-tank weapons led to a sharp decrease in the combat properties of lightly armored vehicles in the conditions of modern and future military conflicts.
In the well-known reference books  it is mentioned that domestic BMP are intended to increase the mobility, armament and security of the infantry operating on the battlefield. As for security, it is somehow strange that the events of Afghanistan and Chechnya did not allow the authors of this publication to adjust the protection parameters to the reality that took place. The paratroopers and the crew, being in the BMP, are practically not protected. The state of protection from the effects of small arms can be assessed by comparing the characteristics of armor protection (armor thickness - 6-26 mm) with the armor penetration of regular ammunition  small arms (see table).
Armored penetration ammunition regular small arms
The result of the comparison of the parameters of the BMP-1 armor protection with the armor penetration capacity of the standard infantry weapons indicates that the enemy can safely allow the BMPs to their positions, and then shoot them at an emphasis from conventional small arms.
It is a pity that the military educational institutions do not disclose the actual parameters of the protection of infantry fighting vehicles, and in various publications there is continued disorientation and misinformation on this issue.
But not only small arms ammunition will operate on the BMP battlefield, but also other more effective anti-tank weapons: artillery shells, grenade launchers, anti-tank missiles, unguided cumulative cluster elements, homing and self-aiming ammunition delivered aviation, MLRS and various engineering mines. Under these conditions, the fate of the BMP crew and landing forces is especially aggravated by enemy attacks in line with tanks. In this case, anti-tank weapons will effectively hit the crew, cause an explosion of ammunition and fuel combustion. Numerous cases of defeat of lightly armored vehicles during hostilities cause a negative moral and psychological reaction in the military. Such a reaction has already occurred with the use of our infantry fighting vehicles in Afghanistan and Chechnya. Paratroopers even on the march try to be on top of the armored car. This is caused, first of all, by the fact that during a mine explosion, firing by grenade launchers, the probability of death inside an infantry fighting vehicle is much higher than when placed on the roof.
But the BMP before the approach to the zone of hostilities will be hit by various anti-tank ammunition delivered by various carriers. The action of these munitions will be very effective. The most dangerous is hitting the strike core self-aiming ammunition (Skeet). The shock core (mass of the order of 0,5 kg, speed - 2 km / s, armor penetration - 120 mm) after penetration of the body armor forms a powerful fragmentation stream with a mass of several kilograms, which effectively hits the landing force, causes the fuel tanks and gunpowder charges of the shells to ignite. The damage is compounded by the rebound of a piece of shards, which cause additional damage. The BMPs of self-guided mines (Merlin, Griffin, Strix) with 500-700 mm armor penetration will be very effective against the BMP. The cumulative jet of such ammunition has a great depth of armor.
Unfortunately, from the given examples of the defeat of domestic infantry fighting vehicles the conclusion is drawn about the weak protection of these machines, the creators of which paid attention primarily to driving performance and weaponry.
Ways to improve the protection parameters of BMP
But is the whole arsenal of methods and materials used to create BMP protection? After all, there is a fairly wide range of materials (armor steel, titanium, aluminum, ceramics, fiberglass, armored nylon and Kevlar, etc.), which is not yet fully used. From this set only armor steel was widely used. The aluminum “armor” was used in the construction of the BMP-3, BMD-3, which made it possible to somewhat reduce the parameters of the armored fragmentation flows. The use of nylon, kevlar and other similar materials as a tamping (from the inside of the hull) allows localizing the armor fragmentation effect of a number of ammunition.
The internal components of the car (transmission, engine, etc.) can contribute to the protection of ammunition, fuel and crew. The placement of the engine compartment in the stern of the BMP-3 is not indicative of attempts to improve crew and landing protection. On the contrary, on foreign BMPs “Marder” and “Bradley” the engine and transmission are installed in the forward part of the corps and, acting as a “thick” screen, protect personnel, which is very important in an offensive operation.
There is information on the delivery of Kurganmashzavod and NIIStali UAE dynamic protection kits for the BMP-3 BMP-3 in service in this country. But something similar to DZ is not visible on our BMP, which simultaneously increases the resistance of protection against small arms. The DZ installation increased the length of the BMP-6,7 from 7,1 to 3,3 m, the width of the screens - from 4 to 19,4 m. The mass of the machine increased from 23,4 to 4 t. The increase in mass on 3 t was due to the significant weight of non-metallic damping devices localizing the explosive effect DZ on a slim body BMP-XNUMX.
In connection with the development abroad of guided anti-tank weapons to destroy armored vehicles, not only at the forefront of the defense, but also the main thing - in the rear of our troops, it is necessary to actively develop means of countering the detection and guidance systems of these munitions.
The development of protection for light armored vehicles should be based on the results of in-depth studies of the interaction processes of promising weapons with new variants of protection structures. Protection developers should take into account that the shock cores are actively destroyed by steel screens (3-5 mm thick). In the role of the screen, you can use the DZ, which can protect not only from the cumulative jet, but also destroy the shock core.
Since lightly armored vehicles will always be part of the Ground Forces, the air defense system can significantly reduce the loss of infantry fighting vehicles by fighting against carriers of guided guided weapons.
To date, the issue of creating a family of machines capable of performing the combat tasks of modern and future military conflicts has already become overripe. The substantiation of the composition of this family and the parameters of the samples should be the primary task of the Ministry of Defense. Ongoing work related to the modernization of old machines, only allow you to gain time, but no more. But in the new cars, the protection of the crew and the landing should not be in the last place.
Disadvantages of the BMP personnel technical training system
The essence of these shortcomings lies in the fact that we have a tacit premise in the basis of the technical study system - a person who knows the weaknesses and shortcomings of his weapon, in combat conditions, can chicken out and not complete the task. At the same time, there is a provision according to which the design documentation of a new type of weapon entering the armament and mass production is declassified, and the specimen performance characteristics remain secret. Therefore, the focus in the educational process is on studying the design and operating conditions of the sample, and the performance characteristics are given in general form with an emphasis on merit. For example, when studying the material part of an infantry fighting vehicle, personnel learn that a reservation is well protected from small arms, from a shock wave, penetrating radiation, and light radiation from a nuclear explosion. But a soldier who underwent such training, an officer, a general, doesn’t know what kind of rifle ammunition and from what range the armor of our infantry fighting vehicles is affected and what should be expected from other destructive weapons.
Thus, the personnel have the false impression that for these machines the usual small arms are not dangerous. What this leads to is clearly seen in the examples of Afghanistan and Chechnya, where the commanders on the battlefield familiarized themselves with the actual performance characteristics, paying for it with lives and losses of military equipment. To send a modern complex machine into battle, knowing in advance that its crew does not have the necessary knowledge and management skills, is to consciously commit a crime, condemning equipment and people to death.
Tactics lagged behind technology
In 1968, in the military industrial complex there was an opinion that after the BMP-1 entered the troops, its shortcomings would appear, and in the command of the Ground Forces, and in the General Staff they would understand that it should not be used as a combat vehicle, but should be used as an armored troop-carrier and at the same time as an infantry fire support vehicle. In this assumption, the MIC was mistaken. In the Ground Forces, no one was in a hurry to engage in tactics of using BMPs and it seems that they are not engaged to this day. For 10 years after the adoption of the BMP-1 into service, there were no relevant training programs in the MO training centers.
On the "achievements" tactics of the use of BMP in combat can be a dialogue between Yu.P. Kostenko and Deputy Head of the Academy. Mv Frunze on science (Colonel-General, Doctor of Military Sciences, Professor), with the help of which they hoped to sort out this difficult question.
Colonel-General (GP): - Where do we start?
Yu.P. Kostenko (UP): - Let's start with the simplest: a motorized rifle squad in attack. BMP has reached the initial line for the landing of troops. In this case, the commander goes into battle with the landing force or remains to command in the car?
GP: - Of course, there is a battle with the troops.
UP: - And who in this case remains the commander of the BMP: driver or gunner?
GP: - This is decided by the squad leader himself. Obviously, he will leave the older in the car of the one who is witting.
UP: - So what? After all, it is necessary to teach a person to drive a car in a battle in advance.
The professor thought for a moment, but left the question unanswered.
UP: - Well, the infantry went forward. In this case, should the BMP follow its motorized riflemen?
GP: - Yes.
UP: - And what is the distance provided by the charter between the infantry and the BMP?
GP: - 100 m.
UP: - Suppose that the infantry came under the fire of a machine gun and lay down. How, in this case, the squad leader will transfer the command to the BMP to the gunner to suppress the enemy’s machine-gun point?
GP: - He will whistle and give the corresponding hand sign.
UP: - Excuse me, but this is happening on the battlefield, where bullets whistle and projectiles explode. How in such conditions at a distance of 100 can you hear a regular whistle or see a swinging hand ?!
The self-confidence of the general began to decline markedly.
GP: - Well ... he can give a signal with a red flag.
Gradually the face, neck, hands of the general began to blush.
UP: - Well, here the situation is more or less clear. But tell me, in a motorized rifle platoon at the disposal of the platoon commander there is an 5 BMP, therefore, he has 5 artillery shells and 200 shots to them. Do the statutes provide for the platoon commander to centrally control the fire of all this artillery?
GP: - No, the platoon commander in battle does not have such an opportunity, he does not have an offensive.
UP: - The battalion commander may have the BMN-50 before the 1, therefore, he has the 50 Thunder and 50 guns of the Malyutka ATGM launchers. But it is abundantly clear that one person - the commander of the battalion - at the same time cannot physically control the combat operations of motorized infantry units and fire BMPs. Does the staffing list include the post of deputy commander of a motorized rifle battalion on artillery?
GP: - No. There is no such position in the staff list.
Before me sat a confused man.
GP: - Yury Petrovich, sign me a pass and release me to the Academy. There now we have a commission from the General Staff, checks the educational process. If the commission has any remarks, then the Academy will have troubles, - and confidentially sincerely added: - And nobody asks for tactics from us.
This example clearly demonstrates that such generals should not be allowed to solve the most important tactical tasks.
How the General Staff stripped the country
In 1967, the General Staff informed the Council of Ministers and the State Planning Committee that, according to his calculations, for the staffing of troops with a new type of infantry weaponry, the Ministry of Defense required 70 thousand BMP-1! The Council of Ministers (MIC) and the State Planning Commission adopted it for execution. In economic terms, for the country it was a huge burden. Note that in the sixth year of mass production, the BMP-1 cost 70 thousand rubles. 29 November 1968 marshals Grechko and Zakharov signed an application for 1971-1975, in which the need of the Ministry of Defense for the BMP-1 for the five-year plan was indicated for all 27250 pieces. But even the industry of the country was unable to accept such an application. Moreover, the entire industry of the Warsaw Pact member countries was not able to cope with such an application. The USSR government instructed the State Planning Committee and the State Committee for Foreign Economic Relations to conduct negotiations with the Polish People's Republic and Czechoslovakia on the possibility of organizing production of BMP-1 in these countries specifically for the USSR. It was envisaged that in 1971-1975 years. The USSR is ready to buy in Poland 2500, and Czechoslovakia - 2250 BMP-1. The Czechs accepted the offer, the Poles refused. As a result, capacities were created in Czechoslovakia and deliveries to the USSR on the 500 BMP-1 were started annually.
The Government Resolution on 3 of September 1968 provided for the creation of production capacities of BMP-1 at two plants of the Ministry of Defense Industry in the cities of Kurgan and Rubtsovsk. Almost factories were built anew. Finally, the fifth five-year plan for 1971-1975. it was planned to manufacture 12061 BMP-1, which accounted for 44% of the stated needs of the Ministry of Defense. Application for 1976-1980 It was planned to manufacture 21500 BMP. The figures indicate the following. Starting almost from scratch, the Ministry of Defense placed the army for 10 20 thousands of BMPs for years. The main supplier was Kurgan Machine-Building Plant.
The previous procedure for making high-level decisions on the creation of weapons is very interesting. As a rule, the decision was worked out by the Ministry of Defense Industry, the Ministry of Defense, the State Planning Committee, and the military-industrial complex and the CPSU Central Committee gave them only their "good". Such a system, firstly, was cumbersome and clumsy, and secondly, it created an atmosphere of irresponsibility when making decisions. At the same time, with such a system, defense planning was torn into two parts: the military strategic plans were in the General Staff, and the strategic plans for their material and technical support were in the State Planning Committee. This gap led to gross miscalculations that did not bypass the domestic lightly armored vehicles.
In general, as follows from the main provisions of the Yu.P. Kostenko, in the military industrial complex, the state of Russian BMPs was realistic, but the Ministry of Defense ordered the music. In that state structure, even officials of the rank of Yu.P. Kostenko was not easy to fight with a cumbersome state machine. Between the lines there are words of repentance and regret for what he did not have time to do.
1. Yu.P. Kostenko, Some issues of the development of domestic armored vehicles in 1967-1987. (memoirs and reflections), UNIAR-Print LLC, Moscow, 2000
2. Weapons of Russia 2000, Military Parade Publishing House, Moscow, 2000