Combat Module for Armored Vehicles Upgrade
HE LIGHT-WEIGHT CATEGORY COMBAT vehicles are able to determine the combat potential of a country’s Armed Forces due to their application versatility. Infantry fighting vehicles (BMP-1, BMP-2, BMP-3) and airborne assault vehicles (BMD-3, BMD-4) are the most common hardware of land forces and airborne troops.
Currently a huge fleet of such combat vehicles is in service with the Russian Army and abroad. These vehicles have been produced for several decades and presently their weapon systems do not meet modern requirements. However, their life cycle is quite long and reaches 30-40 years.
Many countries keep on upgrading the main fleet of their combat vehicles. In Russia, a BMP-2 mechanical module was selected as a basis for designing a uniform combat module weighing below 3 tons for upgrading Russian combat vehicles. Russian infantry fighting vehicle BMP-2, being the main combat vehicle of multiple countries’ land forces, was adopted for service in 1980 and used to exceed most of its foreign counterparts in terms of combat capabilities. Nowadays BMP-2 still basically meets the modern requirements.
The analysis of current state and development tendencies of weapons and fire control systems shows that BMP-2 weapon system is falling behind the modern level a number of parameters: guided weapon fire is possible from stationary position only because of wire command link availability; Konkurs ATGM has low penetration capability and is not effective against modern tanks; Konkurs ATGM has low firing rate due to manual reloading of the launcher; at night the system may fire only automatic cannon or PKT machine-gun at range not exceeding 800 m; the fire control system is not automated and does not allow for accurate firing, limiting the effective range of 30 mm cannon to 1100–1400 m. when firing on the move the system does not provide for required accuracy of line of sight stabilization due to BPK-2-42 sight rigidly bound to the weapon; 30 mm projectiles flat trajectory firing is not efficient against prone or entrenched manpower; fire at aerial targets carried out using center rings of 1PZ-3 sight, actually delivers only a psychological effect. The firepower of a combat vehicle is determined by its weapon system, thus, the increase of combat efficiency may be achieved by weapon system modernization. BMP-2 has a high weapon system upgrade potential. The challenge of increasing the firepower of existing BMPs providing their superiority over other modern vehicles has been successfully met by KBP Instrument Design Bureau.
The upgrade was implemented on a serially produced BMP-2 turret with 2A42 automatic cannon (not changing the mechanical module and turret internal layout). The design concept implies the following: mount of two Kornet-E ATGM launchers on the turret sides, each launcher equipped with independent electromechanical vertical drive and carrying two ready for fire missiles; replacement of standard BPK-2-42 sight with combined gunner’s sight equipped with independent LOS stabilization system and incorporating optical, IR and laser range-finding channels, as well as missile guidance channel; installation of onboard digital computer with sensors system; TV-IR target auto-tracker; 30 mm grenade launcher with independent electromechanical vertical laying drive and 300rds feed magazine; commander’s panoramic sight with independent LOS stabilization system and incorporating optical and laser range-finding channels; high-precision digital weapon stabilizer. The weight of add-on equipment installed does not exceed 500 kg, including around 260 kg of extra ammunition: 30 mm grenades and ATGM.
Due to introduction of day/night FCS the system pro- vides accurate firing with all types of weapons, including guided, at moving and stationary targets, round-the-clock engagement of all types of targets from stationary position, on the move and afloat at the range up to 4000 m with automatic cannon, up to 2100 m with automatic grenade launcher, up to 5500 m with 9M133-1 ATGM. Besides, 9M133M-2 ATGM with tandem shaped-charge warhead and 9M133FM ATGM with HE warhead and 9M133FM-3 ATGM with HE warhead and proximity fuse recently designed by KBP allow firing at range up to 8 km.
Kornet-E ATGM penetration capability, increased up to 1100-1300 mm, allows reliable engagement of modern advanced tanks fitted with add-on ERA. Besides, HEF warhead of the missile is able to destroy concrete fortifications and strongpoints.
The improvements implemented in Kornet ATGM ensure: destruction of modern and advanced tanks taking into account their armor protection growth tendency; engagement of any armored vehicle at stand-off range; engagement of low altitude assault and reconnaissance aircrafts including drones.
Besides, installation on two stabilized launchers of BMP-2 ICV of four ready-to-launch guided missiles significantly increase fire rate when firing ATGMs. It rules out the necessity to reload the guided missile launcher in combat, which increases the survival potential of the crew and of the entire combat vehicle.
Implementation of TV-IR-auto target tracker increases the accuracy of target tracking 3-6 fold in comparison with manual tracking. Automatic target tracker adds the FCS a qualitatively new feature, putting to life the “fire-and-forget” principle when firing a guided missile. At the same time the missile cost is significantly lower than that of a missile with a seeker which fulfills the function of the auto-tracker.
The possibility of Kornet ATGM launch in an elevated mode almost excludes the possibility of detecting the missile.
Laser guidance mode of the ATGM with orientation of the missile within the laser beam provides for high jamming-immunity against all types of active jamming, since the jammer cannot be behind the ICV and send the same encoded messages;
To overcome active protection and guaranteed engagement of crucial targets salvo launch of 2 ATGMs riding on one laser beam is provided.
Significant increase of automated gun and grenade launcher firing accuracy with all types of ammunition is provided due to the development of original firing algorithm. Effective firing range of 30-mm projectile is increased from 1100-1400 m up to 1800-2000 m. The principle of ICV versatility is fulfilled by adding air defense capacities without additional expenditures. Effective engagement of personnel at ranges up to 2100 is achieved due to the employment of low ballistics armaments (AG-30M automatic grenade launcher) with new GPD-30 rounds.
Range of activities of CV commander is increased due to installation of night vision panoramic sight with technical view, implemented on ICVs for the first time. The commander has all-around field of view in horizon and in vertical plane the field of view is increased up to 60 degrees, maximal angular velocity of the bore sighting line increases from 6 to 20 deg./sec. This allows to increase the range of targets detected by the CV by 2.5 times, increase TD accuracy for the gunner by 10 times and to fully backup his tasks as well as to carry out engagement of aerial targets in automatic mode. BMP-2 upgrade meets the requirements towards future infantry combat vehicle for the nearest 20–30 years, and upgraded BMP-3 ICV can be successfully used till year 2030–2040.
The carried out upgrade features a systematic approach and leads not simply to enhancement of separate technical specifications of the system, but has enabled to create a vehicle with qualitatively new features, which can successfully compete with foreign counterparts on the weapon market.
A modular design principle has been implemented in the combat compartment. Thus Customer may choose required set of equipment for installation, either full or partial. B05Ya01 combat module can be also installed on BMP-1 (after the chassis is upgraded to up to the level of BMP-2), BMP-3, BMD-3 airborne combat vehicle, BTR-90 APC and has passed the trials on their chassis.
KBP mastered serial production of upgraded BMP-2 combat compartment.
(Top to bottom) BMP-1 upgraded with new CM; BMP-2 upgraded with new CM; BMP-3 upgraded with new CM; BTR-90 upgraded
with new CM.