Greece confirms donation of BMP-1 tracked armored IFVs to Ukraine in exchange for German-made IFVs

During an interview with the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis published on the Greek newspaper "Proto Thema" website, the Greek government has confirmed the delivery of 20 to 30 Soviet-made armored vehicles that will be replaced by German-made modern combat vehicles. The armored vehicles promised to Ukraine by Greece are probably Soviet-made BMP-1s in service with the Greek army.
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Greek army BMP-1 tracked armored IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle. (Picture source

On 5 June 2022, the Army Recognition editorial team reported that Greece was ready to provide Ukraine with BMP-1 tracked armored IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles) in exchange for German-made Marder IFVs 1A3 or 1A5 variants. The BMP-1 is already in service with the Ukrainian armed forces. 

According to the Military Balance 2021, the Greek army has a total of 169 BMP-1P IFVs which are an improved version of the Soviet-made BMP-1 that was developed in the middle of the 1970s. The BMP-1 was the first tracked armored IFV armed with a 73 mm cannon and anti-tank guided missile. The BMP-1 is one of the most popular IFVs in service all over the world and continues to be used by many countries.

The hull and the turret of the BMP-1 IFV are made of all-welded steel which provides the crew with protection from small arms fire and shell splinters. However, the BMP-1 was developed in the 1960s and no longer has sufficient armor to withstand new ballistic and mine threats such as IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), which are the greatest threat on the modern battlefield.

In 1993, Greece had ordered about 500 BMP-1s from the stocks of the former East German army. Around 200 remain today of which 140 are estimated to be fully operational. Another 44 were converted to ZU-23-2 carriers. The BMP-1 used by the Greek army was modernized to respond to the NATO standard. The Soviet-made missile launcher system was removed and one 12.7mm .50 machine gun is mounted on the roof of the turret.

The Greek version of the BMP-1, called BMP-1A1 keeps the original one-man turret armed with a 73 mm Model 2A28 smoothbore, low-pressure, short-recoil gun which weighs 115 kg. This is fed from a 40-round magazine to the right rear of the gunner.

The troop compartment of the BMP-1A1 is located at the rear of the hull and can accommodate up to eight infantrymen seated back-to-back, four down each side of the hull. They enter and leave through two doors in the rear of the hull which have integral fuel tanks (60 liters in the left door and 70 liters in the right) and are hinged on the outside.

The BMP-1A1 is powered by a type UTD-20 6-cylinder in-line water-cooled diesel developing 300 hp at 2,000 rpm coupled to a manual transmission with 5 forward and 1 reverse gears. It can run at a maximum road speed of 65 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 600 km.