The tankograd blog has posted another of their impressively long and detailed descriptions of a Soviet/Russian AFV, this time focused on the BMP-2.
This iteration of the BMP family is technically excellent in the application of available technologies and the number of features it has, but if there is one thing that nearly all BMP-2 crewmembers know, it is that it is a rather unpolished product, if a brilliant one for its time. To the untrained eye, it might seem that the BMP-2 is simply a marginally more impactful rehash of the old and obsolete BMP-1 design, and while that is true, the sentiment and the connotations behind such an accusation point to an incorrect mindset. The BMP-2 is a product improved BMP-1, but it is not quite the same thing as its predecessor. Far from it. It is so heavily modified that the only similarities are in the general layout, and the powertrain, which was retained as is. Everything else was changed to some extent, the most obvious being, of course, the new turret, now bristling with gadgets appropriate with its era.
From 1980 to 1989, Kurganmashzavod produced about 14,000 BMP-2s. At the peak of production in 1989, between 1,800 to 1,900 units exited factory gates – triple the maximum annual rate of production of the M2 Bradley. Some may take this at face value and assume that the BMP-2 is purely a “quantity” product and not a quality one. This is incorrect. Lets see why: