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BMD-4M Image #1

Russia

BMD-4M

BMD-4M Infantry Fighting Vehicle
Unveiled / Entered Service
2016
BMD-4M Image #3
Status
In Service
Steel Aces Play for free
the highly anticipated MMO tactical tank shooter for 2024.

Table of Contents

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

Introduction

The BMD-4M Infantry Fighting Vehicle is the principal manufactured model of the original BMD-4. Accepted into service in 2016 with the Russian Airborne Forces after a prolonged development period, the BMD-4M (Modernisation/Modernised) has been used to develop a number of variants to meet the needs of the Russian Airborne Forces, which has never been done with previous BMD vehicles.

Background

The BMD series and BMP Series have had a symbiotic relationship in terms of their firepower capability. The BMD-1 had the same armaments as the BMP-1 and when the BMP-2 was unveiled with a new turret and replacement chain gun, a requirement for a new BMD vehicle capable of being married to the new (at the time) BMP-2 turret resulted in the BMD-3.

The BMD-3 was a much larger vehicle and capable of being fitted with the BMP-2 turret. However, the vehicle was only ordered in limited numbers due to the financial constraints from the break-up of the USSR, which drove up their maintenance costs, resulting in all 130+ vehicles being placed in storage, with the Russian Airborne Forces opting to use their BMD-2 (a stop gap vehicle featuring a small turret with BMP-2 armaments).

The BMD series was developed and manufactured by the Volgograd Tractor Plant. The exact development date of the BMD-4 isn’t publicly known. The project initially started as an upgraded BMD-3 aka BMD-3M.

VTP initially married a BMD-3 hull with a turret developed in the late 1990’s by KBP Instrument Design Bureau, now known as the Bakhcha-U, which had the same weapons (100mm and 30mm main guns) as the BMP-3 IFV, but had updated sighting technology as well.

This vehicle was accepted into service as the BMD-4 in 2004. It’s not clear the exact number of BMD-4 that were manufactured for the Russian Airborne Forces, but its believed to have been roughly 60 vehicles. Some publications think some BMD-3 in storage were upgraded to the BMD-4. The vehicle was criticised over its price, operating costs and reliability.

By this stage Volgograd Tractor Plant was declared bankrupt and production of the vehicle was taken over by the BMP-3’s manufacturer, Kurganmashzavod.

From 2004 to 2008, Kurganmashzavod started to replace many components of the BMD-4, including the faulty ones with those used in the BMP-3. This standardisation of both vehicles meant a greater demand for parts, which then had to be ordered in greater volume, which in turn drives down their price, making both vehicles cheaper to build and run as well as eliminate any reliability issues by using tried and tested parts.

This updated BMD-4 was designated the BMD-4M and was presented for trials in 2008, which were protracted until 2014, with acceptance into service in 2016. The vehicle is still physically built at the Volgograd Tractor Plant, but under state-owned holding company Rostec.

Visible differences between the original BMD-4 and BMD-4M

Whilst both the BMD-4 and BMD-4M look almost identical, there are a few obvious and subtle changes in their appearance. Whilst retaining the same layout of other BMD (Commander & Gunner in the turret, Driver front centre, one troop either side and others in the rear) you can see from the yellow lines that the hull shape has slightly changed, as have the fenders (pink) the exhaust is relocated and identical to the BMP-s (green) and the road wheels have changed (blue).

Firepower

Bakhcha-U combat turret

The BMD-4M features the two-man Bakhcha-U turret, which is mounted with the same main guns as the BMP-3 IFV. The principal main gun is the low-pressure 100mm rifled 2A70, which fires the 9M117 Bastion ATGM for its anti-tank capability. It also fires HE-FRAG rounds for anti-personnel and fortifications.

The first coaxial gun is the 30mm 2A72 chain gun. A medium calibre weapon, it has a dual feed for AP rounds and HE-I rounds.

The second coaxial gun is a 7.62mm Machine Gun.

The fire control systems include a dual channel gunners sight and fixed day sight for the commander. The updated Sinitsa turret (not in service) features a new panoramic Commanders Independent Sight with a thermal channel for a hunter killer capability.

Protection

The BMD-4M is constructed of an aluminium alloy offerings protection against machine gun fire. Footage of an up-armoured BDM-4M shows the vehicle covered in add-on plates constructed of an unknown material. Rostec have stated that the vehicle has received Bar Armour for the 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine.

The vehicle has an unspecified NBC protection and also features smoke grenade launchers on the front of the turret. These are not connected to any type of soft kill Active Protection System.

Mobility

The BMD-4M and the BMP-3 use the same series of engines and transmission. The suspension is hydropneumatic, allowing the vehicle to adjust its ground clearance.

The vehicle is fully amphibious, using water jets to achieve a top speed of 10 km/h and a trim vein for stability in the water which is erected just before entering the water.

The vehicle can can be transported via most types of Russian aircraft and can be air dropped on a pallet that has several chutes. Rostec have been developing a new parachute system since 2018 called “Bakhcha-U-PDS”. Unlike previous BMD vehicles, the vehicle can be air dropped with the crew and troopers inside the vehicle.

Variants and Marks

BTR-MDM Rakushka

Designed as a multi-role vehicle, it has a x3 crew and can accommodate up to 12 troops in the Armoured Personnel Carrier role. It can also be used for command and control, ambulance, logistics and engineer roles.

Kornet D Tank Destroyer

In development since 2019, there is not a lot known about the vehicle other than its launcher has a central sighting device and x4 missile tubes.

BMD-4M2

Unveiled in 2017, it features the new Sinitsa turret. Similar in appearance, it has retained the original weapon systems but now features a Commanders Panoramic Sight, which also has a thermal channel, giving the vehicle a hunter killer capability, just like a 3rd generation Main Battle Tank.

2S42 Lotus

Featuring a 120mm mortar in a traversable turret mounted on a BMD-4M hull, the vehicle successfully passed trials in 2022 and is expected to enter service at some point.

BMD-4MK

Standard BMD-4M vehicle with additional radio and antenna.

2S25 Sprut-SD

Described as an amphibious Light Tank, a limited production run of vehicles entered service with the Russian Airborne Force in 2009 using either the BMD-3 or BMD-4 hull. The turret features a 125mm main gun and aims to provide firepower equal to the T-90 Tank series. Production has since ceased.

Sprut-SDM1

An improved version of the 2S25, the vehicle features a BMD-4M hull and updated turret system similar to the 2S25 in appearance. It has seen improvements in its firepower, with a new 125mm main gun, Commanders Independent Sight and Remote Weapon Station. Rostec reported in 2021 that the vehicle had passed sea trials and was due to under go climate trials. The vehicle was actively being marketed at 2023 Russian defence expo’s.

Operators

Russia –

Both the BMD-4M and BTR-MDM Rakushk are being delivered in Battalion size batches of x40 – x50 vehicles at a time to the Russian Airborne Forces. Crews and troopers receive two months training with the new vehicles.

During a ceremony held in April 2017 for the handing over of another batch of vehicles, Colonel General Andrei Serdyukov announced that the Russian Airborne Forces were too receive 300 BMD-4M and BTR-MDM Rakushk by 2020. Additional orders were completed in 2022.

The website Oryx has documented (April 2024) x118 BMD-4M and x37 BTR-MDM as being lost during the ongoing Russian Invasion of Ukraine. The loss of so many vehicles has seen the BMD-3 taken out of storage to make up for losses.

Export –

The BMD-4M has been put on display at a number of Russian Defence Expo, with some live demonstrations for foreign dignitaries.

Specifications

characteristic
Result
Main Gun
100mm 2A70 / 30mm 2A72 chain gun
ATGM Capability
9M117 Bastion
Secondary Weapons
Coaxial 7.62mm Machine Gun, commanders 50 cal machine gun
Ammunition Storage
100mm x34 / ATGM x4 / 30mm x464 / 7.62mm x2000
Engine
500hp Multi-fuelled, liquid cooled UTD 29
Transmission
x4 Speed Hydromechanical
Top Road Speed
70 km/h
Road Range
500 km
Fuel Capacity
470 litres
Vertical Obstacle
?
Water Capability
Fully Amphibious – 10km/h
Trench Crossing
?
Gradient
60%
Side Slope
30%
Length Gun Forward
6.36m
Length Hull
6.1m
Width
3.11m
Height
2.45m
Ground Clearance
0.10m – 1.50m (adjustable)
Weight
14 Tonnes
NBC Protected
yes
Standard Armor(s) Type
Steel
Optional Add-on Armor(s) Type
Laminated, Bar
Active Protection Systems
no
Crew
Commander, Gunner, Driver
Infantry
7