By Rohit Srivastava
This year Russian Army will acquire more lethal version of its main troop carrier. Russian army will induct 60 BMP-2 infantry combat vehicle with enhanced sighting and effective Berezhok combat unit, said Russian Ministry of Defence statement. The vehicles are expected to arrive in this year.
The two-seater combat compartment "Berezhok" is a classic BMP-2 turret. The combat module designed and produced by Tula-based KBP company (developer of Pantsir air defense system) weighs 2.8-3.3 ton and is equipped with Kornet family ATGMs, 2A42 30-mm automatic gun, AG-30M 30-mm grenade launcher and 7.62-mm PKT machine-gun.
The target acquisition system is an improved combined sight with an independent system for stabilizing the line of sight in two planes, a television and laser rangefinder channels, as well as an anti-tank guided missile guidance channel, informed the statement.
According to informed sources, “The major advantage of Berezhok module is its very potent firepower. It has four ATGM launcher tubes, while normally such modules have one or two. When also taking into account the automatic gun, grenade launchers and machine guns it becomes the most heavily armed module in the world in its class.”
Talking about the Kornet missiles, sources said, “It has a very long range for this type of weapon. The system enables launching two missiles with minimal interval in one beam to hit especially important targets.”
“This makes the active defence system of any armoured vehicles and tanks practically ineffective,” source added.
The Kornet E guided missiles with proximity detonation can be used against targets up to 10 km. It is also effective against aerial targets.
The system is meant for upgrade of BMP-1 and BMP-2 IFVs as well as for equipping IFV-, APC-type armoured vehicles produced in Russia or abroad, sources informed.
Combat vehicle, equipped with the new weaponry system acquires qualitatively new capabilities.
The new combat module will allow BMP-2 to auto-track and engage targets both moving and stationary, with more precision, in both day and night conditions. The new module also allows gunner to detect and identify target at further distances. With its modern ATGM it can engage both tanks and aerial targets. It can neutralize entrenched anti-tank infantry.
Sources informed that since India operates large numbers of BMP-2, Russia proposed sale of the module as part of BMP upgrade programme. In 2014 DefExpo, KBP Instruments, the manufacturer of the module displayed the system and received encouraging reviews from Indian side.
On Tuesday, India “placed an Indent on Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for supply of 156 BMP 2/2k Infantry Combat Vehicles (ICV) with upgraded features for use of the Mechanised Forces of the Indian Army.”
India currently operates over 2200 BMP-2 locally manufactured by government owned Ordnance Factory Board, under license production since 1987 and are called Sarath. India has plans to upgrade 1600 of these vehicles with modern sighting and anti-tank missile system.