In the next two years, the Ministry of Defense will receive more than 120 newest BMP-2M with the Berezhok module. This is enough to arm at least four motorized rifle battalions. It is expected that all vehicles will be sent to the Western Military District, sources in the military department and the military-industrial complex told Izvestia. The novelty is equipped with a whole arsenal of weapons – the Kornet anti-tank missile system, a machine gun, a 30-mm cannon and even an automatic grenade launcher. Also, the updated combat vehicle is equipped with the most modern optoelectronic systems, on-board computers and digital sensors. According to experts, now the BMP-2M with the “Berezhk” is the most powerful infantry fighting vehicle in the Russian Armed Forces.
According to the parameters of the contract, which Izvestia got acquainted with, by the end of 2022, the military department plans to receive 124 BMP-2M with the Berezhok module. The first batch of updated combat vehicles may arrive as early as 2020.
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Formally, the BMP-2M is considered a deep modernization of the main infantry fighting vehicle of the Russian army, the BMP-2. But in fact, this is a completely new technique. In the course of the work, in addition to the Berezhok module (military designation BM B05Ya01), new turbocharged engines will be installed on the updated machines, the suspension will be strengthened and the armor will be increased.
The modernization will be carried out by the Tula enterprise Shcheglovsky Val, which recently successfully fulfilled the contract for equipping 360 Algerian BMP-1 and BMP-2 with Berezhkom and built a separate workshop for the execution of orders from the Russian Armed Forces.
So far, the army has a batch of several dozen BMP-2M vehicles with the Berezhok module. Since 2018, their experimental military operation and final tests have been carried out. It was this technique that was demonstrated at the parade in Moscow on June 24.
In May, the Ministry of Defense announced that the BMP-2M with the “Berezhok” fighting compartment was planned to enter the troops by the end of the year, but did not specify the number of vehicles ordered.
The combat characteristics of the BMP-2M have significantly increased, military expert Alexei Khlopotov told Izvestia. New sighting systems and thermal imaging devices have appeared. Installed more modern and powerful missiles.
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– Before the battle, it was necessary to get a guided missile out of the fighting compartment, stick out and install it on the guide, – the specialist explained. – During the battle, the ammunition, being in a plastic container, was quite vulnerable. The modified version of the vehicle contains four installations of the latest Kornet missile with a tandem warhead. They penetrate vehicles equipped with reactive armor. The ammunition is protected from bullets and shrapnel by armored shields. And most importantly, they are associated with a fire control system. The updated BMP-2 received a kind of long arm and can now knock out tanks at a distance of 5 km. She has improved search capabilities. A 30-mm automatic cannon was equipped with an all-weather sighting system.
Armed and very dangerous
According to the developers, the modernized BMP-2M is twice as effective as the American Bradley, and the basic version of the BMP-2 is four times superior.
The Berezhok combat module, developed on the basis of a conventional BMP-2 turret, made it possible to achieve such an improvement. In addition to a 30-millimeter cannon and a tank machine gun, it is now equipped with four missiles of the newest anti-tank complex Kornet-E. In addition, an automatic grenade launcher has been added, capable of firing along mounted trajectories.
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Controlled “Kornets”, depending on the modification, can hit ground and air targets at a distance of 5 to 10 km. Their armor penetration of 1200 mm of armor is enough to destroy any modern tank, even “head-on”, where its protection is the strongest. It is also possible to overcome the latest active protection systems that shoot down ammunition on the way. For this “Berezhok” is able to shoot two missiles at one target with a second interval. Even if the first is intercepted, the second will hit the target.
Unlike the Konkurs anti-tank missile system, which is standard for the BMP-2, the new missiles can be fired on the move. They are no longer limited to wires and are guided by a laser beam. If necessary, “Kornets” are also capable of hitting low-speed air targets at low altitudes – helicopters and drones, as well as buildings. For this, the arsenal contains not only armor-piercing, but also powerful thermobaric ammunition.
The 30mm automatic grenade launcher is much more effective than the BMP cannon for firing at infantry hiding in trenches or behind cover. With new grenades, its maximum range reaches 2 km.
The commander and gunner have separate sights with night and thermal imaging observation channels. Weapons and observation devices are stabilized and can automatically keep the target in sight during the day and at night, as well as in motion. A modern laser rangefinder determines the distance to it at a distance of 10 km.
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At the Army-2020 forum, the BMP-2M with the “Berezhk” was exhibited with a set of additional protection installed. On it were mounted lattice screens and hinged armor, developed at the Research Institute of Steel. They protect the body of the vehicle from bullets from large-caliber machine guns and allow you to reflect the hit of RPG-7 grenades. The weight of such a kit is about one ton. It can be installed and dismantled by the crew.
The new diesel engine UTD-23 with turbocharging is one third stronger than that installed on the version before modernization. Its power reaches 400 hp. Hydraulic shock absorbers of increased energy consumption and reinforced road wheels allow you to cope with the increased weight of the better protected BMP-2M. Rubber tracks last longer and are less damaging to the road.
The communication equipment has also been updated. The vehicles will receive a modern digital radio station R-168 “Aqueduct” with an increased range and improved communication quality. An important feature will be the ability to connect the BMP to modern automated combat control systems.
The contract for the BMP-2M with the BM “Berezhok” is only part of the large-scale work on the renovation of the Ground Forces. In December last year, it was announced the intention to supply 565 armored vehicles to the Ground Forces, the Airborne Forces and the coastal forces in 2020. Among them are more than three hundred tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers. In the near future, it is planned to increase the number of modern and modernized equipment in the Ground Forces to 70%. According to the military department in 2019, this figure was 50%.