MOSCOW --- Russia’s BMD-2M airborne assault vehicle upgraded with a new combat module is undergoing state trials, a source in the defense industry told TASS on Wednesday.
"The KBP [the Instrument Design Bureau] is upgrading BMD-2 combat vehicles. During their overhaul, they are being equipped with the Bereg combat module unofficially dubbed ‘mini-Berezhok.’ Now the BMD-2M’s new combat compartment is undergoing state trials," the source said.
The new combat module will boost the BMD-2’s combat efficiency fivefold, the source added.
The new module features a one-seat turret and excludes the commander’s seat and sight compared to the Berezhok combat module with the similar armament. The fire control system is standardized with the similar systems of the Bakhcha and Berezhok combat modules, the source said.
"The [Bereg] module features a gunner’s sight combined with a stabilized field of view, an automatic target tracker and two stabilizer calculators," the source said.
Russia’s Defense Ministry announced in December 2018 that the Airborne Force was planning to launch a heavy upgrade of about 600 BMD-2 second-generation airborne assault combat vehicles by equipping them with new weapons and digital reconnaissance and control systems.
Active measures for the upgrade of BMD-2 airborne assault vehicles are set to begin in 2021. The airborne assault vehicles that will undergo a heavy upgrade will retain their air-droppable capacity. In 2017, the state hi-tech corporation Rostec and Russia’s Defense Ministry inked a contract on the upgrade of 540 BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles and BMD-2 airborne assault vehicles under a new state armament program for 2018-2025. The contract was signed for 10 years.