The Russian Ministry of Defense has planned to arm the Russian marines with BMP-3F infantry fighting vehicles for coastal and landing operations, including fire from water. Experts believe that the new vehicles will increase the firepower of the marines several times. They will be able to engage in local conflicts and clashes with modern armies. The final decision will follow the tests of the BMP-3F during the current Caucasus-2020 exercise, writes the daily Izvestia.
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BMP-3F Amphibious IFV (Image source: Army Recognition)
BMP-3F is a modification of the BMP-3. It has better buoyancy, a lighter water shield, a telescoping water inlet pipe and a water shield on the turret. It can sail in force 3 seas with one meter high waves and conduct precision shooting in force 2 seas with 50 cm high waves. The maximum road speed is 70 km/h and the floating speed is 10 km/h. The amphibious vehicle can sail for seven hours.
It is armed with a 100 mm cannon that can also launch anti-tank guided missiles, a 30 mm 2A42 automatic cannon, three 7.63 machine guns, one of which is coaxial with the cannon. The BMP-3 has the strongest armor of any vehicle operated by Motorized Rifles, Paratroopers, and Marines. The front armor can withstand a hit from a 30 mm shell. Side armor protects against bullets and shrapnel
In Soviet times, marine brigades were armed with BTR-80 APCs and PT-76 amphibious tanks. After the decommissioning of the latter, the marines operated only armored personnel carriers. Today they have BTR-82is armed with a 30 mm automatic pistol. In 2018, the Ministry of Defense decided to reinforce the marines with armored fighting vehicles. Thus, their brigades received tank units. However, these heavy vehicles cannot be used in the early stage of the amphibious assault when it is necessary to land on opponent-controlled coasts and gain a foothold: “Main battle tanks can be used when a foot was taken”, mentioned expert Viktor Murakhovsky. “The Marines badly need a floating airworthy vehicle with powerful weapons. The BMP-3 performed well in combat and its 100 mm gun destroyed covered targets. There are guided missiles to fight armored vehicles. Compared to an APC, a tracked BMP-3 has superior all-terrain capability,” he said.
The new vehicles will increase the firepower of the marines several times, said expert Dmitry Boltenkov. “The BMP-3 is actually a light tank. An armored personnel carrier cannot be compared to it, since it cannot fight the opponent’s heavy weapons. But the new combat vehicles will make marines capable of fighting tanks,” he said.
The BMP-3 naval modification was designed more than ten years ago, but it was not supplied to the troops. Indonesia was the only country to operate the BMP-3F with its Mariners. The first contract for a development batch of 17 vehicles for the marines was signed in 2009. Another 37 vehicles were purchased in 2012. The Indonesian marines noted the BMP-3F’s high firepower, low silhouette, jet water efficiency, reliability and ease of maintenance. “Indonesia has at least two battalions with the vehicles,” Murakhovsky said. “It’s an island country and the Indonesian marines tested all the capabilities of the BMP-3F. They landed from warships and navigated the vehicles between the islands,” he said.
Russian marine formations have recently been strengthened and their missions expanded. Russia currently has five marine brigades and one regiment, Izvestia said.
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