The BMP-2 is an armored fighting vehicle acquired by Finland from the Soviet Union and Russia in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
During the second half of the 20th century, the Finnish Ground Forces were mostly equipped with equipment and weapons purchased within the framework of Soviet-Finnish military-technical cooperation. At the same time, Finnish industry partially met the needs of the armed forces. Most of the special vehicles in the Finnish armed forces were produced domestically.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many combat vehicles purchased from Sweden and NATO countries began to appear in the army. Soviet-era combat vehicles also need to be upgraded to be compatible with NATO standards. The BMP-2 is an armored fighting vehicle acquired by Finland from the Soviet Union and Russia in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 2019, these infantry fighting vehicles were upgraded, under BMP-2MD identifier.
Currently, the Finnish Army is operating about 110 BMP-2MDs. The vehicle received a new automatic gun 2A42 30mm, purchased from Slovakian manufacturer ZTS Special AS. Other upgrades include thermal camouflage, thermal sights, anti-aircraft sight and new day/night optics for the gunner and commander, heated cabin and seats, new external storage boxes functioning also as spaced armour and new radio and communications systems.
In war the vehicle would also be covered with a Polish thermal camouflage netting similar to the Barracuda camo nets. Because of this modernization, the weight of the BMP-2MD increases from 13 tonnes to 13.5 tonnes, and width increases by 10 cm. The crew remained the same, 3 people including commander, driver, and gunner. The rear passenger compartment can accommodate up to 7 armed soldiers.
It can be considered that the BMP-2 is a continuation of the BMP-1. The BMP-2 made its debut around the late 1970s and entered service with the Soviet Army in 1980. The design of the BMP-2 is quite similar to the BMP-1. The driver remained at the front-left of the hull with the powerpack to his immediate right. The BMP-2’s armor is broadly similar to the original BMP-1. Welded steel armor provides all-round protection against 12.7 mm rounds. Front arc of this IFV offers partial protection against 20 mm ammunition. Vehicle is also fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.
The BMP-1 and BMP-2 share the same chassis and have almost identical road performance. The BMP-2 is heavier, but also has a more powerful engine to compensate. The vehicle is equipped with a diesel engine UTD-20/3 with 300 hp. It can reach a maximum road speed of 65 km/h and has a range of 600 km. The BMP-2 is amphibious with little preparation, using hydrodynamic fairings to convert track momentum into water jets. It can swim at a speed of 7 km/h.
Since its launch, the vehicle was utilized across many major and minor conflicts. The type fought in the Soviet-Afghan War, the Iran-Iraq War, the Georgian Civil War, the Gulf War of 1991, the 1st and 2nd Chechen Wars, the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. More recently, the BMP-2 has featured in the 2008 South Ossetian War between Russia and Georgia as well as the ongoing Syrian Civil War which began in 2011.