The BMD-2 is a Soviet airborne infantry fighting vehicle, introduced in 1985. It is a variant of BMD-1 with a new turret and some changes done to the hull. BMD stands for Boyevaya Mashina Desanta. It was developed as a replacement of BMD-1 but it failed to replace it completely because of a downfall of Soviet economy in 1980s. NATO gave it the designation BMD M1981/1.

Class Vehicle
Type Infantry Combat Vehicle
Manufacturer Volgograd Tractor Plant (VTZ)
Production Period 1985 - 1991
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1985
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
India View
Russia (USSR) 1985 View
Ukraine View
Uzbekistan View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Volgograd Tractor Plant (VTZ) 1985 1991 View

When the Soviet war in Afghanistan broke out the Soviet forces operated BMP-1 IFVs and BMD-1 airborne IFVs. They were both armed with 73 mm 2A28 "Grom" low pressure smoothbore short-recoil semi-automatic gun, 9S428 ATGM launcher capable of firing 9M14 "Malyutka" (NATO: AT-3A Sagger A), 9M14M "Malyutka-M" (NATO: AT-3B Sagger B) and 9M14P "Malyutka-P" (NATO: AT-3C Sagger C) ATGMs and 7.62 mm PKT coaxial tank machine gun. Although their armament made for strong anti-tank firepower, it didn't provide sufficient firepower against enemy unarmored vehicles, infantry, firing points and light fortified positions, especially during mountain battles because of low elevation angle of the main gun.

In 1981 the units fighting in Afghanistan started receiving new BMP-2 IFVs. Its 30 mm 2A42 multi-purpose autocannon with two-belt loading system and very high elevation angle solved some of the serious drawbacks of the 73 mm 2A28 "Grom" gun. Also the 9S428 ATGM launcher was replaced by pintle-mounted 9P135M-1 ATGM launcher with semi-automatic control capable of firing SACLOS guided 9M113 "Konkurs" (AT-5 Spandrel), 9M113M "Konkurs-M" (AT-5B Spandrel B), 9M111 "Fagot" (AT-4 Spigot) and 9M111-2 "Fagot" (AT-4B Spigot B) ATGMs which proved to be much more effective and reliable than the MCLOS guided 9M14 "Malyutka" (AT-3 Sagger), 9M14M "Malyutka-M" (AT-3B Sagger B) and 9M14P "Malyutka-P" (AT-3C Sagger C) ATGMs. Because of that the high command of Soviet airborne forces decided to arm their units with similar vehicles.

In the beginning it became obvious that the hull of BMD-1 was too small for the BMP-2 turret. Therefore it was decided to design two vehicles. The first one was supposed to satisfy the immediate need of a new airborne IFV by modifying the BMD-1/BMP-1 turret, arming it with the same armament as the one on the BMP-2 and then fitting it onto the BMD-1 hull. The second vehicle was supposed to be much bigger to allow fitting of the BMP-2 turret and later became the BMD-3.

The modernized variant of BMD-1 was developed in 1983 and incorporated the new B-30 turret armed with 30 mm 2A42 multi-purpose autocannon, 7.62 mm PKT coaxial tank machine gun and pintle-mounted 9P135M-1 ATGM launcher. After it passed the trials it entered production in 1985.


  • BMD-2 (Ob'yekt 916) - The basic model
  • BMD-2K (K stands for komandirskaya - command) - Command variant fitted with an additional antennae.
  • BMD-2M - BMD-2 modernization. It features a number of improvements including fitting of smoke grenade launchers to the side of the turret.

Type Airborne infantry fighting vehicle
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1985–present
Used by See Operators
Wars See Service history
Production history
Designed 1981–1985
Manufacturer Volgograd Tractor Plant
Produced 1985–1991? (out of production)
Variants See Variants
Specifications (BMD-2)
Weight 11.5 tonnes
Length 7.85 m
6.74 m (without the gun)
Width 2.94 m
Height 2.45 m
Crew 4 (commander, driver, gunner and bow machine gunner) (+ 4 troopers)
Armor Welded aluminium alloy
7 mm turret
15 mm at 78° upper hull front
15 mm at 50° lower hull front
10 mm rest of the hull
30 mm 2A42 multi-purpose autocannon (300 rounds (180 AP and 120 HE))
9P135M-1 ATGM launcher
7.62 mm PKT coaxial tank machine gun
7.62 mm PKT bow tank machine gun
2,940 7.62 mm machine gun rounds
Engine 5D-20 6-cylinder 4-stroke V-shaped liquid cooled 15.9 liter diesel
241 hp (180 kW) at 2,600 rpm
Power/weight 21 hp/tonne (15.7 kW/tonne)
Suspension torsion-bar
Ground clearance Adjustable
100 mm to 450 mm
Fuel capacity 300 l
450 km (road)
Speed 80 km/h (road)
40 km/h (cross country)
10 km/h (swimming)

End notes