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Russian forces in Ukraine use BMD-4M its latest generation of tracked airborne IFV

Russian armed forces deployed in Ukraine use its latest generation of airborne IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) called BMD-4M. The airborne vehicle entered into service with the Russian armed forces in April 2016.
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Russia has deployed its latest generation of airborne tracked armored IFV in Ukraine, called BMD-4M. (Picture source Russian MoD)

The BMD is a series of airborne IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) specially designed to be used by airborne troops. The BMD family includes BMD-1, BMD-2, BMD-3, BMD-4 also called BMD-3M, and the BMD-4M. All these vehicles are air-portable and can be dropped by parachute.

The BMD-4M is considered the most modern airborne IFV in the world offering incredible firepower for a vehicle in its class. No European country or the United States has a vehicle of this type.

The BMD-4M is fitted with a two-man turret armed with a 2A70 100mm semi-automatic gun and a 30mm cannon is coupled to the main gun. The 100mm cannon is able to fire standard ammunition such as the AP-T (Armour-Piercing Tracer) and HE-I (High-Explosive Incendiary) as well as the 100mm laser-guided ammunition Arkan Tandem 9M117M1 which can be used against modern main battle tanks at a maximum range of 5,500 m and against sheltered and exposed personnel and fortifications at a maximum range of 7,000 m.

The second armament of the BMD-4M includes a 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun. A bank of three smoke grenade dischargers is mounted on each side at the front of the turret.

The hull and the turret of the BMD-4M BMD-3 are of all-welded aluminum construction providing the crew with protection against the firing of small arms and artillery shell splinters. The hull of the BMD-4M features a more spacious hull compared to its predecessor. The vehicle has a crew of three including a driver, commander, and gunner, and can accommodate up to 6 paratroopers.

The BMD-4M is motorized with a UTD-29 diesel engine developing 500 hp coupled to a hydro-mechanical transmission with 5 forward and 5 reverse gears. It can run at a maximum road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 500 km. The vehicle is based on a tracked chassis consisting of five dual rubber-tired road wheels with the idler at the front, a drive sprocket at the rear, and four track-return rollers. The BMD-4M is also fully amphibious being propelled in the water by two water jets mounted on either side at the rear of the vehicle.

The BMD-4M is fitted with the latest generation of fire control providing the BMD-4M to track and engage the targets while on the move. The fire control system incorporates a gunner’s sight to identify the targets during both day and night, a commander’s panoramic TV-aimed sight, and an automatic target tracker.

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