Two marine battalions will be equipped with BMP-3F infantry fighting vehicles (IFV). Pacific Fleet marines will be the first to get them. A battalion will be equipped in each of the two brigades. Previously, IFV modification was exported only. The equipment will increase the firepower and mobility of marines in the Far East, writes the daily Izvestia.
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BMP-3F IFV (Image source: Army Recognition)
Deliveries of the new vehicles will begin in 2021. They will initially be supplied to the 40th Marine Brigade in Kamchatka. The acting commander of the 155th brigade in Primorye, Captain 2nd Rank Igor Tatarchenko, said earlier that his unit will also receive BMP-3F shortly.
The vehicles were first landed from an amphibious assault ship in Opuk during the Caucasus-2020 strategic staff exercise in September 2020. The experiment was a success.
Much attention is paid to maritime rearmament. Troops recently received BTR-82A APCs, T-80BV improved tanks and BMP-2Ms. The equipment was engaged in an exercise in the Far East in August 2020. The Marines landed on the Chukotka Peninsula for the first time from the sea and the air. The brigade’s bilateral maneuvers involved nearly 4,000 men and more than 800 material units.
“In Soviet times, the 55th Marine Division in Primorye began to receive the base BMP-3 modification, ”said expert Dmitry Boltenkov. “One battalion was re-equipped, but the process stopped in the 1990s. Modern naval options have powerful weapons – two cannons and several machine guns. The firepower is several times greater than that of the BTR-82. They also have better armor. This is important for amphibious assault vehicles. Tracked vehicles have better cross-country ability. This is important for the Pacific coast which is unsuitable for rolling stock,” he said.
Marines receive tanks and self-propelled guns for new missions. “The marines are part of the quick reaction force. Units can board a warship and sail to any location in the world. Heavy weapons help to independently complete any mission, ”Boltenkov said.
The Russian marines number between 12,000 and 13,000 men. Three fleets have one brigade each and the Pacific Fleet has two brigades. The Caspian Flotilla has a regiment created in 2018. The Ministry of Defense said that the supply of equipment to the marines is maintained at 100% level. All units are constantly ready for action and form the backbone of the Russian rapid reaction force together with the airborne troops.
Each brigade has two to three marine battalions and one assault battalion. Some soldiers practice parachute jumps. However, marines have a heavier build against paratroopers, as they use more armor. Many units have tanks, self-propelled artillery guns and anti-aircraft missiles. Some brigades operate Diploma MLRS.
The means of delivery for the marines must be modernized. It was planned to deploy Mistral universal amphibious assault ships in the Pacific Ocean. The necessary infrastructure has been created for them.
An ordinary BMP-3 for ground forces can float, which allows it to cross only rivers and small water reservoirs. The designers had to improve the vehicle. The air intake was installed on an extendable telescopic pipe. Wave resistant shields were fitted to the hull and turret to increase floating stability. The vehicle can now be engaged in sea force 3. It can float for seven hours at a speed of 10 km/h. The tracked vehicle can reach 70 km/h on road and 45 km/h off road.
Self-rooting gear has been removed to reduce weight. The vehicle did not receive any additional armor designed for the BMP-3 ground. However, the naval modification retained the firepower of the land option. The 100mm low ballistic gun can fire at close range and high trajectory. The cannon can also launch anti-tank missiles. There is also a 30mm autocannon and machine guns.
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