In April the Russian arms exporter, Rosoboronexport and the Indonesian Ministry of Defence have signed a contract to supply BMP-3F infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) and amphibious armoured personnel carriers (APC) BT-3F to the Indonesia’s Marine Corps.
The reason for the BMP-3F’s selection by the Indonesian marines is said to be its unique amphibious features with superior near-shore performance compared to other such vehicles proposed for the competition, Indonesian media reported.
The Indonesian military is reported to have ordered 22 BMP-3F and 21 BT-3F units. While the value of the contract is not known, what is certain that there should be a counter-trade arrangement, something which has become a standard fixture in recent Indonesian-Russian arms deals.
In 2017 Rosoboronexport’s representative told Russian news agency RIA Novosti at the Thailand Defense & Security exhibition that Indonesian MoD and Marine Corps command ‘were in awe’ of BMP-3F in terms of technical and service performance and were eager to continue purchasing it. The first batch (17 units) was delivered in 2010 following 2007 contract. The second contract was signed in 2013, and the IFVs reached their destination early next year.
In comparison to the base version the design of the BMP-3F has been modified in order to increase buoyancy capabilities and stability of the vehicle. In particular, the equipment for self-digging was excluded, a telescopic air intake pipe and a lightweight water deflector plate were installed. Special shields giving protection from water were added to the construction of the turret.
Rosoboronexport describes BMP-3F as ‘a marine version of the BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle that has retained all of its unique properties – it can be used as an infantry fighting vehicle, a tank destroyer, an amphibious APC and a fire support vehicle’. The special exporter specifies that BMP-3F is intended ‘to equip marine units operating on the sea coast and in conditions when the vehicle is used in the water for a prolonged period of time’.
It seems quite possible that BMP-3 IFVs will have its 2A72 guns equipped with a new generation of small caliber cartridges with plastic master device (PMD) that are enhancing the combat efficiency and gun barrel service life. The shells are developed and marketed by the Russian small-caliber ammunition manufacturer SPA Pribor. As the sources told Defenseworld.net in April, these cartridges are being offered by Russia to India for the 30 mm guns on its BMP-2 APCs and other combat platforms.
BMP-3 is powered by UTD-29 diesel engine produced by Barnaultransmash company (Barnaul, Russia). It is a 4 stroke V-shaped engine with liquid cooling system. UTD-29’s power is 500 hp. Overall mass is 850 kg.