US Marines land from their BMN M2A3 Bradley
Armed with guns BMP, created for motorized combat, are an integral part of the modern ground forces. Consider the latest developments in this area, conducted in the armies of NATO.
During a ceremony held on June 24, 2015 at the Unterlus test site, PSM Projekt System & Management officially handed over the first production Puma vehicle to the German army. For the army, this event became significant, since the third-generation BMP was adopted.
In the German army, the BMP Puma will replace the Marder 1 tracked vehicle manufactured by Rheinmetall Landsysteme, which entered service in the 1971 year. With the adoption of the Schutzenpanzer SPz 12-3 tracked in 1958, Germany became the first NATO country to develop and deliver a typical BMP to the troops. The German army was not entirely convinced of the correctness of the American concept of an armored personnel carrier as a “combat taxi”, which would land its infantry squad and hide in a shelter until the need to move the squad again arose.
Armed with an 20-mm cannon, the SPz 12-3 infantry fighting vehicle was perceived as a machine that could be used by an infantry unit rather as a standard weapon system than just a vehicle. The German army made a compromise here, as it needed heavier weapons and additional reservations to participate in direct combat clashes. As a result, the SPz 12-3 infantry combat vehicle could accept a detachment of just five foot soldiers. This machine was also tormented by problems with mechanics and, in the end, the German Ministry of Defense issued a contract for the development of its successor in 1960.
Requirements for the future machine designation Marder 1 included: 20-mm cannon, the ability to carry 12 people (crew - commander, gunner and driver, and 9 infantry infantry unit), the ability for troops to fire from inside the machine. And again the German army was forced to compromise and accept that only six infantry could be accommodated in the aft troop compartment.
BMP Marder 1
Initially, the car had four loopholes, two on each side of the troop compartment; this allowed the landing party in the car to fire from personal weapons. But, starting from 1989, on the upgraded versions of Marder 1A3, these embrasures began to be closed with additional armor screens.
The Marder 1 BMP was never used in high-intensity combat operations, for which it was actually created, although it was deployed by the German contingent in the former Yugoslavia in the 90s and in Afghanistan in the 2000s, where improvised explosive devices became the main threat to this machine. (IED).
The Army upgraded the Marder 74A1 machines to the A3 standard in 5 – 2003 years by installing additional armor to protect against mines and IEDs and rearranging the armored space to reduce injuries and contusions from the explosion and shock wave. Some machines in the 2004-2010 years were upgraded to the A2011A5 standard by installing an IED silencer, air conditioning system and multispectral camouflage. Germany sold out of the presence of its army 1 BMP Marder 280 in Chile and 1 machines to Indonesia; no doubt there will be other buyers for these cars.
The German army officially received the first 350 BMP Puma 24 June 2015
PSM (a joint venture company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall) was awarded the contract to develop the Puma tracked vehicle in 2004. The initial need was determined in 405 machines, but in June 2012, Berlin reduced their number to 350 units, which was a consequence of the reduction in the number of the army; The last batch will be delivered in 2020 year. The cost of the contract today is 4,3 billion euros.
According to representatives of the company PSM, the main thing for the army was to develop a BMP "with levels of protection that machines of this class do not have." Other key requirements included strategic and tactical mobility, firepower, situational awareness, network-centric military operations and management within the international coalition, combat readiness in extreme weather conditions with a minimum logistics base, and, finally, interfaces with the friend-foe recognition system , the German information and control network FuInfoSyS C4I, with combat equipment IdZ and active protection complexes.
The Puma BMP, like the Marder BMP, accommodates a crew of three people plus six paratroopers. The installation of a remotely controlled turret allows all crew members to be accommodated in the vehicle body. The turret is armed with a 30 mm Mauser MK 30-2 / ABM (Air Burst Munition) selective feed cannon and a coaxial 5,56 mm MG4 H&K machine gun (Heckler & Koch). The cannon can fire with armor-piercing sub-caliber projectiles and air blast ammunition with a remote fuse.
The German army plans to replace the MG4 with a new 7,62mm HK121 H&K machine gun, which allows the shooter to select a rate of fire of 600, 700 or 800 rounds per minute. On the left side of the tower are two launchers (PU) ATGM EuroSpike-LR.
The Puma BMP weighs 31,45 tons in the basic configuration of the Protection Class A, which allows the aircraft to be transferred using an Airbus A400M transport aircraft, which is currently being used by the German army. The Protection Class C kit adds 9 tons to the vehicle’s bulk and consists of additional turret armor, armor plates on the roof, and side panels that cover most of the sides and work like tracked screens. The complementary protection kit is a combination of composite armor and dynamic protection units.
In accordance with the German military doctrine, Panzergrenadier motorized infantry battalions, which will receive the Puma infantry fighting vehicle, together with the battalions tanks Leopard 2 are equipped with armored divisions and undergo joint training at the tank training center in Munster. Three infantry companies of the battalion will receive 14 Puma vehicles, two more vehicles will be given to the headquarters of the battalion, therefore, each battalion will be armed with 44 infantry fighting vehicles. The companies will receive their cars at the training center, undergo three-month training there, and then return to their locations with the new Puma machines. The first of eight such battalions, Panzergrenadierbataillon 33, is due to be fully operational in 2016.
The LAV III Canadian Army manufactured by GDLS Canada is one of several BMPs based on the Piranha chassis.
Popular in Europe
The most widespread tracked BMP in Europe is the CV90 manufactured by BAE Systems Haglunds, which will soon be in service with seven countries. Its development began in 1984 year with the aim of satisfying the Swedish army’s BMP, which combines mobility, protection and firepower with a modular design in order to use this machine for other tasks, such as air defense. Deliveries of the first 509 machines for Sweden began in the 1993 year. Almost 700 BMPs were sold, including to Denmark (45), Finland (102), the Netherlands (193), Norway (146) and Switzerland (186). Most recently, in December 2014, Estonia bought from the presence of the 44 Dutch army BMP CV9035NL. Danish, Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish vehicles were deployed in hostilities in Afghanistan.
The Swedish CV9040 BMPs are armed with a 40-mm Bofors cannon, but all foreign customers have chosen the 30- or 35-mm cannon. The latest standard CV9035 Mk III allowed to significantly increase the combat capabilities of the machine. An Orbital ATK Bushmaster III 35 gun, an independent commander's sight with search and percussion capabilities, third-generation thermal imagers for the gunner and commander were installed, high-level protection was integrated, including protection against mines and cluster munitions, a battle management system, protection complexes and a tire were installed high-speed data transmission, also increased payload capacity for future upgrades.
In June, 2012, Norway signed a contract with BAE Systems worth 750 million dollars to upgrade 103 machines CV90 and manufacture 41 new machines. Ultimately, the park will consist of: 74 BMP; 21 reconnaissance vehicle with an optoelectronic monitoring station on the mast; 15 control points; 16 engineering vehicles; 16 multipurpose machines that can be configured for various tasks, such as a mortar complex or logistics, and two training machines.
Dutch BMP CV90
Norwegian upgrades include higher-level armor protection, a digital electronic architecture, a refined situational awareness system, the installation of a Kongsberg remotely controlled combat module (SDM) with an 12,7-mm M2HB machine gun on the roof on all versions with 30-mm guns. This MFD can be used in the search-and-shock mode and as an aiming system for the 30-mm cannon, as well as firing from the troop compartment. Two pre-production vehicles were delivered in February 2014 for extended testing, and the first production vehicle was handed over to the troops in February 2015.
The Swedish organization of defense procurement is also engaged in an extensive modernization of the entire fleet of Swedish CV90 infantry fighting vehicles, which will consist in installing a new battle management system, which will extend the life of the vehicles to 2030 of the year.
The project of the modular armored vehicle AMV (Armored Modular Vehicle) 8x8 Finnish company Patria became popular, this machine is often chosen as a BMP. In April, 2013, the Polish Ministry of Defense signed a contract that provides for the joint production of 570 AMV machines 8x8 in Poland; there these machines received the designation Rosomak. This number includes 313 BMP, equipped with OTO Melara HITFIST-30P turret, armed with MK30 Bushmaster II 44 gun. Rosomak machines from 2007 have been deployed in Afghanistan. In October, 2013 Poland also ordered 307 machines with a total value of 544 million dollars with deliveries planned before 2019, and issued separate contracts for the modernization of 99 existing machines.
These contracts included the 122 BMP, equipped with an uninhabited turret developed by Polish companies HSW and WB Electronics and armed with a 30-mm cannon and two Rafael Spike ATGM launchers. According to the schedule, the development of this tower should be completed this year. The two battalions of the mechanized brigade, which according to the plans are scheduled to be given to the joint operational group of NATO high readiness, will be the first units to receive new infantry fighting vehicles.
The terms of the Polish contract with Patria allow Rosomak to be offered for export to other countries. In July, 2015, Slovakia announced the purchase of an 31 Rosomak 8x8 chassis worth 31 million dollars, on which the uninhabited TURRA 30 towers developed by local EVPU and DMD Group will be installed. In this configuration, the machines will receive the designation Scipio. As expected, Slovakia will buy 66 vehicles for arming two battalions.
A demonstration sample under the designation Rosomak-Scipio 8x8 was shown at the IDET defense exhibition, which took place in May 2015 in the Czech Republic. The TURRA 30 turret can take on Russian armaments, including the 30-mm 2A42 cannon, the PKT 7,62-mm machine gun and two PTN 9K111 launchers Bassoon or 9K113 Competition. At IDET, the TURRA 30 turret was demonstrated with a Western armament complex consisting of the MK44 Mod 1 Bushmaster II cannon and the 12,7-mm M2HB machine gun.
The South African Army also chose AMV to meet its needs for infantry fighting vehicles. In September, Denel Land Systems received a contract worth approximately 2014 million dollars for the supply of Badger 900 machines in four versions, including BMPs equipped with a Denel LCT238 twin-turret with a GI-30 selective gun and a paired 30- mm machine gun. In addition to the crew of three, eight paratroopers are located on the energy-absorbing seats in the aft compartment of this BMP. The first Badger 30 enclosures are supplied by Patria, and the rest will be manufactured at a local factory.
Pumped BMP BRADLEY
The Bradley combat vehicle from BAE Systems has been at the forefront of almost all US Army operations since its entry into service in 1983. The MXN tracked infantry combat vehicle in the M2 version is armed with a motorized infantry battalion, and the M3 variant is used by reconnaissance units as part of the ABCT armored brigade groups. The M2 version is equipped with a twin turret armed with a 25-mm M242 Bushmaster cannon, an 7,62-mm M240C machine gun paired with it and two TOW anti-tank guided missiles. In addition to the commander, gunner and driver in the aft troop compartment housed seven people.
Bradley has received numerous enhancements over its lifetime. The latest version of A3 has digital electronic equipment that raises the level of information awareness and provides the ability to connect to the network and exchange data within ABCT. The Bradley A2 ODS-SA version includes enhancements such as splinter proofs and attachment points for hinged armored screens introduced after the Desert Storm operation in 1990-1991 years, plus the same features as the A3 version, including a laser range finder, GPS and navigation system.
Bradley A2 ODS-SA Option
Two initiatives by the US Army to replace Bradley in recent years have come to nothing. The first project was the Future Combat Systems FCS (Future Combat Systems) program, according to which the Manned Ground Vehicle (MGV) ground combat vehicle was to be deployed, including the XM1206 armored personnel carrier, which was supposed to be armed with a MK44 gun and an 7,62-mm machine gun, to transport two crew members and nine paratroopers. The budget cuts in 2009 led to the cancellation of the FCS program, without answering the question “could MGV provide sufficient protection against IEDs?”
Later, a project was launched on the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) ground combat vehicle, according to which, to replace the M2 Bradley, it was planned to deploy an 2018 BMP starting from 1874. The goal of this program was to develop a BMP with better lethality and ballistic protection than Bradley, better protection from mines and IEDs than MRAP vehicles and off-road traffic comparable to that of the M1 Abrams tank. For this project, a key requirement was put for accommodation in the troop compartment of nine people.
The army in 2011 issued a two-year technology development contract to BAE Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS). Facing cuts that would not allow the army to finance immediately the development of a new GCV machine worth 29 billions of dollars and proposals for constructive changes for existing machines, the army decided to abandon the first project in February 2014 of the year.
The Army is funding a phased modernization of the Bradley BMP in accordance with several proposals for structural changes, the first of which is to restore the volume, mass and power and install a new suspension system and lightweight tracks. The second proposal is a more powerful engine, new transmission and new electrical equipment.
In May 2015, the army issued contracts to the companies BAE Systems (28,87 million dollars) and GDLS (28,27 million dollars) to develop the concept of a promising combat vehicle technology for a period up to November 2016. The report of the Deputy Minister of the Army Colonel Michael Williamson to the Senate Armed Forces Committee notes that “the army is investing in science and technology in order to clarify the concepts and ready-made technologies that will develop the requirements for the combat vehicle and reduce the risks of technology integration. This work will support promising infantry fighting vehicles and at the same time maximize the possibilities for translating these technologies into current and future combat vehicles. ”
GDELS company developments
ASCOD infantry fighting vehicle (Austrian-Spanish Cooperative Development - Austrian-Spanish joint development) was developed to meet the common needs of the armies of the two countries in a medium-weight tracked vehicle that combines good durability, mobility, reliability and firepower. Steyr-Daimler-Puch (currently part of General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS)) has manufactured Ulan 112 machines for the Austrian army. In turn, in 1992, Spain issued the Santa Barbara Sistemas contract (now also part of GDELS) for manufacturing the first batch of 123 BMP Pizzaro and 21 control points. The BMP version has a twin turret with an 30-mm Mauser MK30-2 cannon and a twin 7,62-mm machine gun, eight paratroopers are accommodated in the car.
In September, 2003, the company GDELS received a contract for the supply of improved machines Pizarro, including 106 BMP, as well as new options for observation, evacuation and engineering. The latest machines of the 2 Stage are supposed to be delivered in the 2016 year. The upgrade includes an improved hull design, full digitization, a new power unit, advanced sensors, and improved stabilization and automatic target tracking.
In the BMP configuration, the Piranha 8x8 machines manufactured by GDELS-Mowag and its related LAV model manufactured by GDLS Canada have been purchased by many countries. The newest generation machine Piranha 5 (the first in the weight category 30 tons) has significantly increased vitality, mobility and firepower compared to previous generations. On this machine several towers were installed. As part of a Canadian melee vehicle project, GDLS installed a modular tower, Rheinmetall Lance, armed with 30-mm MK30-2 / ABM. At IDEX in February 2015, the company GDELS showed the Desert Piranha variant, optimized for the desert and equipped with the X-NUMX / 30-mm Cockerill 40 / 3030 twin-seat tower.
Modernization of the British WARRIOR BMP
The goal of the Warrior WCSP (Warrior Capability Sustainment Program) BMP extension program is to extend the life of the Warrior tracked BMP in the British Army to 2040. Another step forward was made in July, when the Ministry of Defense signed a contract worth 236 million dollars with CTA International on 515 40-mm cannons with Cased Telescoped Armament System (CTAS) telescopic ammunition for the WCSP program and the new scout SV reconnaissance vehicle. Since 1987, the army has received Warrior 789 machines in several versions; relatively recently, they were intensively exploited in Iraq and Afghanistan. The BMP houses three crew members and seven paratroopers in the aft compartment, the vehicle is armed with an unstabilized, reloading 30-mm L21 RARDEN cannon.
The Warrior infantry combat vehicle upgraded as part of the WCSP program
In October 2011, Lockheed Martin UK received a contract worth 225 million pounds for the WCSP demonstration phase, but the Department of Defense still has to issue a contract to upgrade 380 vehicles to recruit six motorized infantry battalions. The company abandoned its original plan to upgrade the existing tower in favor of developing new towers armed with CTAS. The upgraded BMP Warrior is scheduled to go into service at the start of the 2020.
Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems offer Kuwait to upgrade its Desert Warrior 254 machines, which are equipped with a twin tower with a Bushmaster 25 gun.
BMP Freccia 8x8 was developed by a consortium of CIO to meet the needs of the Italian army in the BMP, which could go into service with the motorized infantry units. In turn, armored brigades are armed with tracked infantry fighting vehicles Dardo. In 2006, the Italian army ordered the 172 BMP Freccia, 36 anti-tank installations, 20 commanding and 21 mortar sets. Shipments starting in 2009 must be completed in 2015.
On the Freccia BMP, the HITFIST Plus turret was installed, armed with a selective-powered Xeri X-gun with Oerlikon KBA gun with selective power and an 25-mm machine gun paired with it. In 7,62, Rome approved the financing of the second batch of 2014 Freccia vehicles, including the 381 BMP, which are expected to receive upgraded undercarriage and power unit developed by the CIO for the Centauro 261 artillery mounts.
Nexter will soon complete the production of the 550 BMP VBCI 8x8 (Véhicule blind de combat d'infanterie) and 150 commander versions for the French army. This configuration 8x8 was chosen in order to get a machine with good mobility and maneuverability, which could operate in the same battle formations with the Leclerc tank, but which would be cheaper compared to tracked BMP, for example AMX-10P (VBCI replaced it ). The VBCI BMP is equipped with a single Dragar turret with an 25-mm cannon, a crew consisting of a driver and an arrow, and a nine-person infantry unit are housed in the car. A modular set of sheets of titanium-steel alloy is mounted to the body of armored aluminum. Earlier this year, the army received the first 95 VBCI vehicles with enhanced armor and additional protection from mines and IEDs. But such an increase in protection did not pass without a trace, this modernization kit increased the mass of the machine from 29 to 32 tons. The French BMP passed military service in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Mali. At IDEX 2015, Nexter showed a VBCI car with a new twin-turret T40 armed with a CTAS 40-mm cannon and a paired 7,62-mm machine gun, which has an anti-tank launcher on each side.
Nexter installed its new twin-turret T40, equipped with CTAS 40-mm gun, on the VBCI BMP