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Steel Aces Play for free
the highly anticipated MMO tactical tank shooter for 2024.


The BMD-1 Infantry Fighting Vehicle was developed specifically for the former Soviet Airborne Forces, to provide them with the same level of mobility and firepower as the Armoured Infantry had with the BMP-1, which was something (at the time) no other Airborne Forced had.

The BMD-1 allowed the Soviet Airborne Force to rapidly expand its sphere of influence in any global conflict in comparison to other Soviet armoured and mechanised forces thanks to its light weight making it easily deployable by parachute in the some 1200+ AN-12 medium cargo aircraft the SAF had in service.

Despite lacking the same levels of protection (in order to reduce its weight) the BMD-1 has been developed into a series of Airborne IFV, almost in parallel with the BMP series, in order to utilise the same weapons. As of 2024, the most up to date model is the BMP-4M.


Development of the BMD (Боевая Машина Десанта, in English “Combat Vehicle of the Airborne”) started in the 1960’s, with trials starting in 1967 and mass production in 1970 at the Volgograd Tractor Plant, which was eventually replaced with the improved model, the BMD-2.



The BMD-1 is a compact size and is almost half a meter narrower in width and a meter shorter in length when compared to the BMP-1. These dimensions were required to fit inside in a variety of different Soviet cargo planes.

The layout is actually more similar to the later BMP-3 than the BMP-1. The Driver sits centrally in the front of the hull, to his left the Commander and to his right an infantryman. Both men operate a bow mounted machine gun and have their own roof hatches.

Behind them on the left is the Gunner. He is also responsible for loading the main gun with the same ammunition storage as the BMP-1.

Behind the Gunner are seats for the rest of the 3 – 4 paratroopers who embark/disembark through a large roof hatch that opens up to a slip way over the engine compartment, which is located at the very rear of the hull.


Despite using an identical turret with the same 73mm smoothbore main gun and coaxial 7.62mm machine gun, the BMD-1 had two additional Bow Mounted machine guns operated by the commander and an infantryman.

The Gunner was responsible for detecting, engaging the enemy and reloading the main gun manually.

Its anti-tank capability came in the form of both the storage of RPG-7 launchers and missiles for the paratroopers to use as well as an 9M14 Malyutka wire-guided missile launcher above the main gun, which was operated by the Gunner.


The BMD-1 is lightly armoured, even in comparison to the BMP-1. Constructed of an aluminium mix, at best it offers protection against 7.62mm machine gun.

It also offers the added benefit of protecting its paratroopers against NBC fallout should they enter a contaminated battlefield.

The vehicle also has a self-trenching device, enabling it to dig a scrape that it can drive into leaving just the turret above ground level.


General Characteristics

The BMD-1 has hydropneumatic suspension, allowing it to adjust and lower its hull. Its powered by a 270hp engine and can reach top road speeds in the region of 80 km/h.

Air-Drop Capability

The vehicle is dropped on a reinforced pallet. Initially parachutes are deployed to lower the vehicle descent, with a set of rockets fired just above the ground prior to touch down.

The crew and paratroopers parachute separately from the vehicle to avoid any injury the crew could sustain from the rough landing inside the vehicle.

Amphibious Capability

The BMD-1 is fully amphibious and can cross both rivers and lakes thanks to its water-jets set in the hulls rear and a small trim vein to stabilise the vehicle.

Variants and Marks


Replacement of the AT-3 ATGM launcher with a roof mounted 9K111 Fagot (AT-4 Spigot) ATGM launcher.


Rework of the vehicle with new main gun and other modifications from lessons learn’t in the Russian Afghanistan War. READ MORE

BTR-RD Robot:

Turret less ATGM Tank Destroyer


Turret less Armoured Personnel Carrier. Has an extended hull and an additional road wheel.


Armoured Recovery Vehicle variant.


Janes Guide states the following countries were using the BMD-1 as of 2006: Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, India, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.

Combat History

Soviet–Afghan War 1979 to 1989

Deployed through out the invasion with Russian Airborne Forces. The vehicle proved equally susceptible to anti-tank weapons as the BMP-1.

Kosovo War (Peace Keeping) 1999

Russia contributed to the UN Peace Keeping Force (KFOR) and the vehicle was deployed with Russian Airborne Forces.

Invasion Of Iraq 2003

The Iraq Army operated the vehicle in defence against Coalition Forces.

Georgia–Russia War 2008

Deployed with Russian Airborne Forces.

Russo-Ukrainian War 2014

BMD-1 vehicles displaying Ukrainian Flags have been photographed. Its not clear if these are post-2022, but the soldiers riding on the vehicles lack the Yellow or Blue tape armbands.

Russian Invasion Of Ukraine 2022

At least one BMD-1 was requisitioned from the National Museum of History of Ukraine in World War II exhibition for defence of Kyiv in 2022.


Main Gun
73mm 2A28 Grom gun
ATGM Capability
9M14 Malyutka
Secondary Weapons
Coaxial 7.62mm Machine Gun, Commanders Machine Gun
Ammunition Storage
x40 73mm / x2000 7.62mm / x3 ATGM
5D-20 6-cylinder diesel
Manual x5 Forward
Top Road Speed
Road Range
320 km
Fuel Capacity
300 Litres
Vertical Obstacle
Water Capability
Amphibious 10km/h
Trench Crossing
Side Slope
Length Gun Forward
Length Hull
Ground Clearance
0.1m to 0.45m
7.5 Tonnes Combat
NBC Protected
Standard Armor(s) Type
Optional Add-on Armor(s) Type
Active Protection Systems
Commander, Gunner, Driver