Ukraine will receive additional BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles and artillery shells from Greece.

That was the result of the visit to Greece by Ukraine’s defense minister Oleksii Reznikov on April 6, 2023. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Greece has been among the active military donors to Ukraine, including infantry fighting vehicles, anti-tank weapons, small arms and ammunition. Previously, in October 2022, Greece delivered 40 BMP-1A1s to Ukraine in exchange for 40 Marder IFVs.

Greece’s BMP-1 fleet of 501 was ordered from Germany in 1993. About 140 are still in service until 2022. These vehicles underwent some upgrades to meet the standards of the Hellenic Army, including the installation of M2 Browning .50 caliber heavy machine guns and modifications to the gunner’s hatch.

The BMP-1 is the first-generation infantry fighting vehicle developed and manufactured by the Soviet Union since the 1960s, and officially accepted into service in 1966. The BMP-1 is considered the world’s first infantry fighting vehicle, for transporting troops on the battlefield, and providing heavy fire support for assault forces.

About 20,000 BMP-1s have been produced, making it the most successful Soviet infantry fighting vehicle, supplied to dozens of countries around the world. The BMP-1 has a weight of about 13.2 tons, a length of 6.73 m, a width of 2.94 m, and a height of 2.06 m. The crew of 3 includes the commander, driver, gunner, and 8 infantrymen in the passenger compartment.

This infantry fighting vehicle has a one-man low-profile turret. Armament of the BMP-1 emerged as a magazine-fed low velocity 73 mm smoothbore gun. This gun is non-stabilized. It can not fire accurately on the move and has limited range. Maximum rate of fire is 8-10 rounds per minute. A total of 40 rounds are carried for the main gun. There is also a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun.

The BMP-1 has a welded steel armor hull. It provides all-round protection against 12.7 mm rounds and artillery shell splinters. Front arc of this IFV offers partial protection against 20 mm rounds. There is also an automatic fire extinguishing system and NBC protection system.

The BMP-1 is powered by an UTD-20 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 300 hp. Engine is located at the front. The vehicle can reach a maximum road speed of up to 65 km/h, a range of 600km. This IFV is fully amphibious. On water it is propelled by its tracks, with a maximum speed of 7–8 km/h. In general, the Greek BMP-1s still maintain the armament of the Soviet-era BMP-1.

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