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BMD-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle



A soldier with the Ukrainian army fires and demonstrates movement maneuver while utilizing a Boyevaya Mashina Desanta tank Apr. 1, 2016, during a section live-fire exercise at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center near Yavoriv, Ukraine as part of Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine. Each JMTG-U rotation will consist of nine weeks of training where Ukrainian soldiers will learn defensive combat skills needed to increase Ukraine's capacity for self-defense. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Adriana M. Diaz-Brown, 10th Press Camp Headquarters)
Unveiled / Entered Service
BMD-2 Image #3
In Service
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The BMD-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle was developed and manufactured for the former Soviet Airborne Forces and passed on to the Russian Airborne Forces following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The BMD-2 was a stop gap vehicle until a new, larger vehicle could be built capable of being married to the new (at the time) BMP-2 turret, now known as the BMD-3.


The BMD-1 shared the same turret design and weapons as the BMP-1, but the similarities pretty much ended there until the Russian Afghanistan War (1979 – 1989).

Both vehicles 73mm main gun lacked the necessary “punch” range and elevation to to engage Afghan mujahideen fighters in the high mountain ranges they fought from.

The Soviet Army had already started development of a replacement to the BMP-1 that would also later address the 73mm main guns shortcoming’s in the War, during the 1970’s and would eventually enter service as the BMP-2 in 1980.

The BMP-2 featured a new, large x2 man turret armed with a 30mm chain gun featuring a dual feed for HE and AP rounds as well as a much higher elevation for engaging low flying helicopters, which proved ideal for fighting Afghan mujahideen fighters in the high mountain ranges.

The Soviet Airborne Forces were desperate for the the BMP-2’s firepower for their BMD-1, but quickly realised that the new x2 man turret was too large for the BMD-1 hull.

To meet immediate operational requirements, the BMD-1 turret was modified to take the BMP-2’s 30mm Chain Gun, Coaxial machine gun and Gunners sight. The vehicle was quickly pressed into service for 1985, whilst development of the BMD-3 started.

The BMD-2 retained the BMD-1 hull and there was no other changes to its internal layout for the crew and infantry, nor any improvements to its overall mobility or protection. Production ended around 1989 when the BMD-3 was accepted into service and entered production.

Variants and Marks

BMD-2 Modernisation

At the 2010 International Forum Engineering Technologies expo in Russia, a modernised BMD-2 was presented. Its turret was updated with the fire control and sighting systems from the Upgraded BMP-2 turret, Berezhok. It also featured a Kornet-M ATGM launcher on the right side with x2 missile tubes.

BMD-2 Command Variant

Features additional antennas and radio communications.

Gsh-23-2 Experimental

BMD-2 Gsh-23-2
BMD-2 Gsh-23-2

The BMD-2 was tested with a modified turret housing the 23mm twin barrelled Gsh-23-2 chain gun, commonly used on Soviet aircraft at the time.



Nearly 2,500 were manufactured for the former Soviet Airborne Forces and passed on to the Russian Airborne Forces following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. A large number are/where held in reserve.

The vehicle was used by the former Soviet Airborne Forces during the Soviet–Afghan War and later in the 2022 Russian Invasion Of Ukraine. Oryx has visually confirmed the loss of 250 Russian BMD-2s (178 destroyed, 7 damaged, 9 abandoned and 56 captured).


Less than 100 vehicles were in service/reserve prior to the 2022 Russian Invasion and over 50 Russian deployed vehicles have since been captured.


Main Gun
30mm 2042 Chain Gun
ATGM Capability
Single ATGM Launcher that can fire both 9M111 / 9M113 Konkurs
Secondary Weapons
Coaxial 7.62mm Machine Gun, Commanders Machine Gun
Ammunition Storage
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
1.62m +
Ground Clearance
0.1m to 0.45m
11.5 Tonne Combat
NBC Protected
Standard Armor(s) Type
Optional Add-on Armor(s) Type
Active Protection Systems
Commander, Gunner, Driver