Apr 30, 2021
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“Jet division” will be strengthened by the latest BMP-3

The Ministry of Defense has decided to re-equip the legendary 4th Guards Tank Kantemirovskaya Division, which is stationed near Moscow. The “jet division” will be reinforced with the most powerful BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles. They have more firepower and protection than their predecessors, and besides, they have better running characteristics. At the same time, in terms of maneuverability, experts say, the new equipment is not inferior to the T-80 tanks with gas turbine engines in service with the division.

“Treshka” for “eighties”

BMP-3 will begin to enter the “rocket division” from next year, sources told Izvestia in the military department. Today, the 4th Guards Tank Kantemirovskaya Division includes two tank regiments – the 12th and 13th Guards, as well as the 423rd Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment of Yampolsk. Now this regiment, as well as motorized rifle battalions of tank units, are equipped with BMP-2. According to the interlocutors of the publication, it is expected that first the newest combat vehicles will join the 423rd regiment. In the future, “treshki” should strengthen the composition of other divisions of the division.

Earlier, the commander of the formation, Major General Vladimir Zavadsky, said that within the framework of the state defense order, BMP-3, BTR-82A and other types of weapons will arrive in the formation.

BTR-82A / Photo: Izvestia / Nikolay Sidenkov

Today, the Kantemirovsk division remains the most powerful military formation west of the Urals. And the only unit in the European direction, armed with more than two hundred T-80 tanks with gas turbine engines. Because of this, the troops call it a “jet division”. Such tanks are capable of moving over rough terrain and off-road at a speed unattainable for any other ground vehicles.

Due to the design features of gas turbine engines, their operation is practically inaudible if you are in front of the tank. Therefore, for the enemy, the T-80s attacking him approach silently, which has a certain demoralizing effect. But when they pass by, a person hears a roar comparable to that of an airplane or helicopter. In total, more than 10 thousand “eighties” of various modifications were produced at Soviet factories, the first samples were created at the Kirov plant in Leningrad. Currently, there are 3,000 T-80BVs in army warehouses.

T-80BV / Photo: Izvestia / Alexey Maishev

In recent years, the Ministry of Defense has followed the concept according to which T-80s of various modifications are sent to units and formations in the Far East, as well as in the Arctic – unlike diesel vehicles of the T-72 family, equipment with gas turbine engines is capable of starting and functioning even at ultra-low temperatures … The T-72 of the latest modifications, as well as the T-90, are supplied to the European theater. With one exception – the Kantemirovsk division remains armed with “eighties”. The tank regiments of this unit are equipped with the T-80U modification. And the motorized rifle regiment used to be armed with the T-72. But as reported by Izvestia, it is currently planned to re-equip it with the latest T-80BVM.

No barriers

The BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle is the most powerful and protected armament system for motorized riflemen today. In terms of its characteristics, it is closer to light tanks. The vehicle carries on board an impressive arsenal – a 100 mm 2A40 cannon, which also serves as an ATGM launcher, a 30 mm 2A42 automatic cannon, as well as three 7.62 mm machine guns: two course and one coaxial. Its predecessor, the BMP-2, which is now in the division’s fleet, is armed only with a 30mm automatic cannon and machine gun.

According to a military expert, reserve colonel Sergei Suvorov, the BMP-3 has a significant advantage over the BMP-2, especially in its ability to overcome water obstacles.

– Firstly, the BMP-3 has more powerful artillery weapons – two cannons, there is a modern fire control system, the modernized versions are equipped with the Vesna-K thermal imaging sight, – the expert noted. – This has significantly increased the firepower. As for the improved BMP-2 with the Berezhok combat module, they have an advantage in the anti-tank complex – four Kornet missiles are installed there. Due to this, the firing characteristics have improved, but the total weight of the vehicle has also increased. And this reduced the ability to overcome water barriers. The BMP-2 was, therefore, at the limit of its capabilities afloat. As for the BMP-3, it also has an advantage in speed, not only on the water, but also on the ground.

BMP-3 / Photo: Izvestia / Alexander Kazakov

Earlier, Izvestia reported that 115 BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles should be delivered to the troops in 2021. They are produced with enhanced anti-tank missile protection. The vehicle also received modern optoelectronic observation devices and an advanced laser searchlight for night combat. The cars produced under the state contract will receive optics and electronics updated in comparison with the original version. Modern thermal night vision devices will appear not only for the gunner, but also for the commander.

The PL-1-01 laser searchlight should also increase its combat effectiveness at night. It brilliantly illuminates targets in the infrared range for night vision devices. At the same time, its radiation remains almost invisible to the naked eye already from a distance of 100 m.

Also, the new “three rubles” will have significantly increased protection. New hinged armor elements will reliably cover not only the hull, but also the turret. This “transparent armor” destroys anti-tank grenades and missiles that hit the vehicle before they can explode and harm it. The possibility of installing additional reactive armor on the BMP-3 will also be implemented.

Roman Kretsul, Anna Cherepanova

Photo: Izvestia / Zurab Javakhadze

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