Ukraine Develops BMP Weapon Station and Unusual Armor for It

Armored vehicles IFV Modernization Ukraine

At the end of November 2023, a video of the Ukrainian military’s BMP-1 engagement with a new unknown weapon station was published on the web. It was developed by a Ukrainian company and entered service after the start of a full-scale Russian invasion.

The new module received some interesting technological solutions and great adaptability in weapon configurations.

In the photo below, you can see only a few possible configurations of weapons for the combat module.

Perforated armor

The module’s protection is constructed using the new technology of perforated armor designed for Ukrainian armored vehicles. It consists of a plate with a series of holes drilled perpendicular to the face surface, each having a diameter of less than half the diameter of the potential enemy projectile.

The holes reduce the weight of the armor, and when it comes to withstanding kinetic threats, the decrease in the armor’s characteristics in this case is minimal.

Perforated steel sheets provide a circular overlap and are designed for protection against bullets from a KPVT 14.5mm machine gun as well as shells from 23mm automatic guns.

Perforated armor technology was widely used in Germany as an additional protection for tanks, starting with Leopard 1А1А1 (side screens, turret) and following modifications. It is also used on the Leopard 2 (side screens), the Jagdpanzer Jaguar self-propelled ATGM and other vehicles.

These developments were made by Blomm+Foss and Cloth Gummiwerke and were first tested in 1973. The technology remains relevant today and is employed in various solutions for the armored obstacles of Western combat vehicles.

The optimal effect is achieved when the obstacle has a spaced structure (perforated armor installed with an air gap between the main armor) and uses a damper.

The illustration above shows Leopard 1 side screens with perforated armor in a rubber array and a scheme for installing perforated armor with damping devices on Jagdpanzer sides.

Module’s Features

The remote weapon station is armed with a stabilized 2А72 30mm automatic gun, a PKT 7.62mm machine gun, and a КBА-117 automatic grenade launcher. In addition, it should also be equipped with the Barrier anti-tank missile system with two missiles.

As the RWS is unmanned, the operator is situated outside the module.
The weapon stabilization system was enhanced, leading to improved accuracy of fire while in motion.

Instead of several maintenance hatches, one hatch is used, which significantly improves access to the serviced weapons and reduces the cost of production.

Armored vehicles IFV Modernization Ukraine