Thou some critics the Russian Ground Forces, for example the lack of support helicopters of their Main Battle Tanks, they have to be commended for their decision to provide their airborne services with an air deployable IFV, the BMD – Boyevaya Mashina Desanta AKA Боевая Машина Десанта, “Combat Vehicle of the Airborne”.
The most recent model of this series is the BMD-4. The Russian BMD-4 Infantry Fighting Vehicle entered service in 2005 in limited production numbers and upgrading of BMD-3’s.
The vehicle has seen the addition of a new 2A70 100mm main gun which is coaxial mounted with an improved 30mm auto cannon, the 2A72. The new main gun fires the 9M117 Bastion laser-guided anti-tank missiles, which has an effective range of 5.5km and can be loaded via the guns autoloader. This is all housed in a new turret, with a new Fire control System. Its equipped with a further coaxial 7.62mm. These weapons are the same used on the BMP-3.
So thou rightly the Russian BMP series is the 1st IFV & the BMD is the first Airborne IFV, both the BMP-3 & BMD-4 are the mostly heavily armed IFV’s in the world and more than capable of taking on Main Battle Tanks.
The light aluminium armour, which is rated for heavy MG & artillery splinters, uses a new aluminium material. The vehicle also has an NBC protection and 3 smoke grenade launchers either side of the main guns on the turret.
The vehicle uses the 2V-60-2 diesel engine, which develops 450hp. The vehicle is also fully amphibious and can fire the main 100mm main gun whilst in water (pending weather conditions).
The vehicle uses a 3 man crew, driver, gunner & commander. It carries 5 fully equipped airborne troops and the vehicle can be air deployed with crew and troops inside.
The most recent update is the BMD-4M (Modernised), which in short is an attempt to integrate the automotive components of the BMP-3 in order to reduce operational and manufacturing costs. The crew have reduced to 2 and an increase of airborne troops to 6. A new FCS has also been added. It’s believed that this model is now in production.