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BMD-3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle



BMD-3 with Berezhok turret image #2
Unveiled / Entered Service
BMD-3 Image #6
In Service
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The BMD-3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle was developed as a replacement of the earlier BMD-1. It was born out of a requirement to supply the former Soviet Airborne Forces with an IFV that was air-deployable, amphibious and big enough to be married to the BMP-2 IFV's turret.


The Russian BMD and BMP series of tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles have a symbiotic relationship in terms of shared firepower. The BMP series has seen two major upgrades in its firepower capabilities and this has then been implemented as upgraded models of the BMD series for the former Soviet Airborne Forces and (now) Russian Airborne Forces.

The BMP-2 had a new x2 man turret armed with the 30mm 2042 Chain Gun, coaxial machine gun and ATGM launcher on the turret roof. However, the BMD-1 hull was too small to be married to the turret.

A temporary stop gap was the BMD-2, which entered service in 1985, but there was still a requirement for a BMD with the BMP-2 turret.

Developed and manufactured at the Volgograd Tractor Plant (like all BMD), the BMD-3 was over a meter longer and half  a meter wider than the BMD-1, which resulted in an increase in over six tonnes in weight.

The front and rear of the vehicle was changed, as was the internal layout. The Commander and Gunner were moved to the turret, whilst the Driver remained in the front of the vehicle (centre). The number of troopers carried increased to seven. The bow machine guns were relocated to the front of the new hull, with one replaced by a grenade launcher. Both weapons are operated by the troopers (one sitting on either side of the driver). The engine compartment and hatches remained in the same locations.

With production starting in 1989, the intended number of vehicles to be ordered in the 1990’s was dramatically slashed due to the collapse of the USSR and a limited number were produced in order to keep the factory open, with barely over a hundred manufactured for the new Russian Airborne Force.

Variants and Marks

BTR-MD “Rakushka”

A proposed variant based on the BMD-3 chassis. It featured an enlarged superstructure that could be used for multiple roles, such as Command and Control, Ambulance, Supplies and Armoured Personnel Carrier. This vehicle appears to have only been manufactured for marketing. The Russian Airborne Forces have selected the BTR-MDM “Rakushka” which is based on on the BMD-4.


This vehicle was initially a prototype utilising the BMP-3 IFV turret, which is armed with an ATGM firing 100mm main gun and coaxial 30mm chain gun. This vehicle was further developed into the BMD-4 IFV, which entered service in 2004, with over 340 vehicles delivered so far.

2S25 Sprut-SD

Described as an amphibious Light Tank, development of this vehicle has been lengthy, starting in 2001 at the Volgograd Tractor Plant (now part of Rostec). Development of the BMD-4 was still under way at this time and its assumed that a BMD-3 hull was used initially in the early prototypes and tech demonstrators. What is clear is that Rostec have stated that the vehicle in its upgraded form uses the BMD-4 hull.

BMD-3 “Berezhok”

The Berezhok is a modular turret system designed to replace older Infantry Fighting Vehicle turrets with up dated fire control systems and sights as well as improved Anti-Tank capability. The turret has been seen on BMP-2, BMP-3 and in 2010, the BMD-3 at the 2010 International Forum Engineering Technologies expo as a tech demonstrator.



BMD-3 Russian Troops War in Ukraine
BMD-3 Russian Troops War in Ukraine

With only a small fleet of 130+ vehicles, the BMD-3 was retired and put into storage as they proved to costly to maintain in comparison to the much larger fleet of BMD-2.

However, in 2023 footage started to emerge on social media of Russian paratroopers operating the vehicle. Forbes reported that due to the high levels of BMD-2 destroyed by Ukrainian forces in the 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine, Russia had had to take the vehicles out of storage to replenish vehicle losses.


Main Gun
30mm 2042 Chain Gun / Bow mounted 5.45mm MG & 30mm Grenade Launcher
ATGM Capability
Single ATGM Launcher that can fire both 9M111 / 9M113 Konkurs
Secondary Weapons
Coaxial 7.62mm Machine Gun, Commanders Machine Gun
Ammunition Storage
x860 30mm / x2000 7.62mm / x2160 5.45mm / x551 30mm Grenades / x4 ATGM
Water cooled, 450hp Diesel
Manual x5 Forward
Top Road Speed
71 km/h
Road Range
Fuel Capacity
450 Litres
Vertical Obstacle
Water Capability
Amphibious 10km/h
Trench Crossing
Side Slope
Length Gun Forward
Length Hull
Ground Clearance
0.1m to 0.45m
13.2 Tonne Combat
NBC Protected
Standard Armor(s) Type
Optional Add-on Armor(s) Type
Active Protection Systems
Commander, Gunner, Driver