Russian Power: BMP-3 combat capabilities

Early in the 1960s,a group of designers, headed by P. Isakov, developed the widely known mechanized infantry combat vehicle, BMP-1. It was designed primarily to enhance troop combat mobility and offer armor protection to infantrymen fighting with tank support.

This combat vehicle gave birth to new trends in worldtank building and initiated new approaches to tactical employment of motorized infantry subunits. Combat vehicles intended for similar combat tasks were adopted by foreign armies much later. At first their combat employment was much discussed. Some analysts shared views that the MICVs should be used as a means of armored transportation designed to move infantrymen to the battlefield to follow up after tanks and capture combat areas.

However, it was considered expedient to equip them with some armament. The main armament of the BMP-1 was a 73 mm smoothbore gun capable of delivering fire at a distance of up 1,000 meters to hit armored vehicles, including old generation tanks. It was set up no other tasks. After long debates during the production process and comparative tests of several vehicles, proponents of automatic armament for the vehicle gained the upper hand: it was equipped with a 30mm automatic gun and the antitank guided missile (ATGM) “Konkurs”, designed by the Instrument Design Bureau in the town of Tula.

This considerably expanded the scope of its combat missions and enhanced the combat capabilities of the vehicle as a whole. But it remained a lot to be done to find a final concept for the vehicle’s combat employment, its missions and general appearance. This was achieved during further development of the BMP-3 and its armament. The Instrument Design Bureau in Tula was the leading developer of the BMP-3 armament system while the machine building plant in the town of Kurgan developed the vehicle. An armament system able to cope with a full range of combat missions assigned to infantry subunits, was developed after research findings.

For the first time the MICV was equipped with a 30 mm automatic gun, a 100 mm gun with moderate ballistics and a 7,62 mm machine gun (MG). A 100 mm gun fired both HE (High Explosive) shells and guided missiles. The very choice of ballistic solution (Vo=250 m/sec) provided for the development of a small weight gun and ensured that the shell met the target at major angles, thereby increasing the area of destruction and decreasing range errors and their dependence on the range of fire. The cannon launch of guided missiles in conjunction with a laser beam gun-laying control system and an independent twoplane aiming line stabilizer ensured launch of ATGMs on the move, a high rate of fire, noise- immunity and safety of the crew.

The rigid coaxiality of a 30 mm gun and the barrel of a 100 mm gun, coupled with the high precision and dynamic characteristics of the powerful stabilizer ensure high accuracy in its firing. For the first time in national and world practice the MICV was equipped with an automatic fire control system, which provided automatic angles of sight and lead, as well as precise corrections within a wide range of angles of elevation and the firing of all types of weapons from the stationary position, on the move and afloat. The high combat effectiveness of the armament system and capability to act independently on the battlefield is ensured by a great range of ammunition, including eight guided missiles, forty HE shells, 500 rounds for an automatic gun and 6,000 cartridges for machine-guns. There are four compartments in the hull of the vehicle: driver’s compartment, fighting compartment, troop compartment and powerplant compartment. The driver’s compartment is arranged in the front part of the hull. There are three stations: one for the driver in the middle and two for the machine-gunners on both sides of the driver’s seat. The fighting compartment is arranged in the middle of the hull where the stations for a commander and gunner are located. The main armaments are mounted in the turret. The gun ammunition supply is stowed in an stowage rack under the turntable. The armament control equipment includes: a sight (laying unit), a ground and air fire sight, a combined vision (day and night vision) device, ballistic computer. Machine guns mounted autonomously in the front part of the vehicle comprise a sight with a fiber-optical pipper display system.

The main armaments are stabilized in two planes. There is also terrain navigation equipment. The commander’s station is equipped with a radio-transmitter, R-173, and a radio-receiver, R-173P. The seven-seat troop compartment is arranged behind the fighting compartment. Two are individual seats and five are group seats located near the engine compartment bulkhead. There are air ducts here to provide clean air for the troops. There are also boxes with daily rations for the personnel and SPTA boxes. Armored firing portholes are located in the vehicle’s hull sides. Three hatches are provided in the front part of the vehicle and two hatches on the turret both for the crew and troop. There are three hatches in the front part of the vehicle and two hatches on the turret both for the crew and troops. There are also rear doors and hinged front covers in the hull. The powerplant compartment is arranged directly after the troop compartment. Both compartments are separated by an inner soundproof wall. The powerplant compartment houses an engine, power transmission assemblies and corresponding systems. Removable covers and ports provide easy access to the engine and power transmission assemblies. The vehicle’s track and suspension system comprises six road wheels and support rollers. The road wheels have double disks with externally cushioned rubber supports. The independent hydropneumatic suspension has a big dynamic road wheel travel. Thanks to such design it has proved possible to maintain the vehicle’s smooth movement in the off-road conditions at any speed without jerking and swinging. The track and suspension system of the BMP-3 has a large safety margin, enabling its use in a number of various-purpose vehicles. The BMP-3 moves in water via hydrojets and not by track drive systems as was the case with the BMP-1 and BMP-2. The outstanding performance of the BMP-3 was demonstrated dramatically during its field tests in the Arabian desert as recounted by two participants, first deputy chief of the Armor Department of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant-General N. Zhuravlev and deputy chief designer of the Tula Instrument Design Bureau, Doctor of Technical Sciences, S. Berezin. On July 27, 1991 a giant-aircraft, the “Ruslan”, landed in Abu-Dhabi airport. Four BMPs-3 rolled off, accompanied by curious glances of the army officers of the United Arab Emirates. This didn’t signify that the combat vehicles had been chosen by the Arab authorities and had become lawful “residents” of that country. On the contrary, it was only the beginning of the road to recognition of Russian armaments by a country, which traditionally bought English or other Western weaponry. The first acquaintance of the top brass of the UAE with Russian vehicles didn’t bring much cause for optimism to our specialists.

The Arab military knew a lot about the combat capabilities of similar classes of vehicles produced by the NATO countries and were not very much sanguine with the “know-how” of the BMP-3. More than that: they predicted its failure during the forthcoming field tests. The “D-day” for the tests was repeatedly postponed. Specialists caviled at study of the vehicle’s design and meticulously scheduled the forthcoming tests. All suggestions by our side were politely rejected, while, according to unofficial information, everything was made ready for tests of the American MICVs “Bradley” and English “Warrior”. At last the test day came. The Brigadier-General, head of the Arab inspection group, assigned the mission in the following way: he would drive his Rover “Toyota”, while our column should closely follow along the sand-hills. The first phase of the test would be considered performed, if our BMPs managed to follow his Rover. The ambient temperature was +60°C. The sand blizzards began to blow. The sand clogged the eyes and ears, cut at the neck and face. The engines worked on the brink of stalling. The vehicles had to negotiate sand-hills at 30° and “dive” from them at 80°. The vehicles became stuck in the canyons. In such cases we had to tow the machine via the other three vehicles linked together in tandem. Sometimes it looked as if one more problem would arise and that neither materiel or personnel could survive any longer. It seemed a mere miracle, when after a seven hours march our column finally reached an earth road. We were happy to learn that our BMP-3 had managed to overcome terrain, which proved unsurpassable for all other MICVs, including the famous “Bradley”. After inspecting the column the Brigadier-General said: “O.K.” and issued an order:”Forward!” A 200 hundred kilometers race began at full speed along earth roads. The vehicles were stretched to the limit of their capabilities. Arab officers who drove our BMPs were determined to reveal weak spots in the vehicle’s design. The march continued for three days in violation of all operational manuals and other regulatory documents. Racing continued at maximum speeds for 16-17 hours a day. Stops for respite and check-ups were made after 5-7 hours of continued movement.

Exhausted personnel were allowed only a short rest at night. The inspecting commission concluded that the BMP-3 surpassed similar vehicles of the NATO countries in terms of cruising capabilities. Nevertheless, we had only won half of the battle. Now we had to fire all sorts of armament at targets of opportunity at various ranges. Convinced of the weaponry, our specialists agreed to all the terms set by the Arab officers. However, when they reached the firing range they realized that a lot had to be done on the spot from scratch. Firing had to be executed only on the move. The vehicles had to move along two circles situated on both sides by an “imaginary” control tower. The firing had to be made from any points at any targets located at various ranges. The firing started with missiles launched at maximum ranges. After the first six missiles had been launched, Brigadier-General and the leader of the Russian delegation inspected the targets. We noted that every target had been hit three times. The General was experienced enough to know that there were no combat vehicles in the world, which could cannon launch anti-tank missiles on the move. The combat capabilities of other types of the armaments were well known to him and were demonstrated at the firing range by both Russian and Arab experts. The high combat effectiveness of all types of armament and their trouble-free operation during firing and training made members of the commission voice their support for the BMP-3. Numerous meetings with the military of the UAE were marked by considerable tension, but were conducted in an atmosphere of sincerity, competence and mutual esteem. The Russian delegation was well aware that the Government of the UAE had decided in the wake of the Gulf War to tailor a modern army of their own equipped with state-of- the-art weaponry. Naturally, Western countries were eager to offer their aircraft, tanks, anti-aircraft artillery and other materiel to their Arab clients. All this was taken into consideration by the commission in its report on the BMP-3 tests and their views on future cooperation with Russia in the military domain.

Russian specialists drew the attention of their clients to the light weight of the BMP-3, its ability to easily cross various water obstacles, fire anti-tank missiles on the move, and its air-transportability. The Arab military highly appraised the vehicle as a whole and asked that it be adapted to meet the requirements of their region, namely to improve troop apartment conditions, to update the cooling system of the engine, and to put rubber grousers. Finally, the Russian delegation was received by the President of the UAE. He said that the BMP-3 had been highly appraised by the military, despite the fact that it had been tested to failure. This reason had compelled him to take a vital political decision to cooperate with Russia in the military field. This marked the end of the field tests in the Arab desert, where our combat materiel displayed the high quality of Russian weapons and “defended” its world reputation.

Your way to Google Developer Day 2011

The Open Call HTML5 Challenge for Google Developer Day 2011 kicked off. With 2 weeks time to turn around a submission, participants were asked to design and implement an original HTML5 doodle of the Google Developer day Dymaxion map, adding their own local twist. Doodles had to be built using open web technologies (HTML5, WebGL, etc.) and feature a theme locally relevant to the participant’s GDD host country.

We received submissions from eight countries around the world, which were then reviewed by panels of local HTML5 experts. Overall, the judges were blown away by the creativity and innovation of the submissions. Top entries were selected from each country based on technical execution, creativity, and cultural theming. See below for the judges’ top picks, with descriptions in the creators’ own words. Some of the comments are in the creator’s native language; for translations, use Google Translate. To see a submission in action, click its thumbnail image.


Creator: Diego Nul
How did you do it? Just used html5 canvas to do very simple game functionality and transitions. The Dymaxion map turns into an Argentinian flag when the player takes the sun into the map centre.

Creator: Carlos Olivera
How did you do it? I had to made a simple polygonal animation with background music, so, I’ve used Raphael 1.5.2 – JavaScript Vector Library for loading and display figures (SVG), and I’ve used jQuery with Runloop plugin for looping animation; the result is an HTML5 based animation with so few lines of code. The background music is possible with HTML5 element.


Creator: Peter Finch
How did you do it? The doodle is created using a HTML5 2D canvas element. The Dymaxion map is programmatically generated by subdividing the triangles in the original map into smaller sub-triangles and then drawing all of them in different colours based on a colour map representing the image to be drawn. The colour maps were generated using a Java program that mapped the relative location of the triangle onto a target image and then back onto the page colour map. The waves then merge the images, one on top of another, to create the transition effect.

Creator: Brian McKenna
How did you do it? I imported the Dymaxion map to Blender and then animated it to transform into the Opera House using “shape keys”. The Dymaxion map, Opera House, Southern Cross and stars all rendered using Three.js. Everything else rendered with normal HTML5/CSS3.

Creator: Marko Vuksanovic
How did you do it? Doodle is a manipulation of the Dymaxion map using HTML canvas element. Interactivity is achieved using native drag and drop events and transitions. Animations are used to transition between the iconic landmarks of Sydney.


Creator: Bruno Barbosa
How did you do it? Minha ideia foi criar um jogo da memória com as cartas contendo os principais topicos do Google Developer Day 2011. No jogo foi utilizado tecnologias como HTML5, CSS3 e JAVASCRIPT.

Creator: Rogério Celestino Santos
How did you do it? A idéia do jogo é fugir das outras cidades que caem no cenário. Utilizei um código antigo que eu tinha de um jogo simples em html ai então só adicionei as imagens. Fiz algumas mudanças. Mas ainda estou pensando em melhorias como pegar aleatoriamente a imagem correspondente de cada cidade. Tratar imagem de colisão. Poucas coisas ainda. Eu fiz isso hoje em 1 hora. O tempo que me restou.

Creator: Joao Henrique Cunha Rangel
How did you do it? É um jogo de memorizar as cores do Google. O que usei: Tags de audio HTML5, Geolocation para detectar o país do jogador, CSS3 para animar os pontos, CSS3 @font-face, CSS3 Cores gradiente e opacidade.

Creator: Miguel Antonio Silva
How did you do it? 3D objects and animations were created using the program Blender. The movement of the pencils was detected and painted in a 2D canvas html5. The canvas was used as texture for the 3D objects. For the 3D, the library used was Three.js, and for the animations tween.js.


Creators: Kay Schneider, Misha Matiyenko-Kupriyanov
Music: Hanno E. Allen
How did you do it? Split SVG Dymaxion map template into small png pieces; position PNG pieces with CSS3 into HTML5 Dymaxion map; read wiki about Icosahedron; reverse engineer positioning of Icosahedron faces in space with Google SketchUp; build 3d icosahedron model with CSS3; Web Audio API Loading Sound via XHR in arraybuffer to play it via the Web Audio API and visualise it on the DymaxionMap (zIndex of elements); canvas mapping; triangle human pictures, using canvas clip(); using of the ecma5 script (forEach and much more); triangle videos by applying SVG mask; Germanizing of the nyan cat by rainbow replacing with German flag; nice fonts with Google Web Fonts.

Creator: Josep del Rio Herrera
How did you do it? The GDD’s Dymaxion map is a icosahedron, and each of the little triangles is the location of a GDD event; the doodle uses that icosahedron as the second “o” for a Google doodle. Clicking on it will show the GDD logo and information for the Berlin event. It uses a WebGL canvas to render the icosahedron and the Dymaxion map, and overlays text over it using SVG and CSS3 animations.

Creator: Connor Bunting
How did you do it? Googlespiel is an interactive HTML glockenspiel. It was built using inline SVG, HTML audio and jQuery. It can be played either by clicking on the ‘keys’ with the mouse or by using the keyboard. When Googlespiel loads it play Fur Elise by Beethoven. The key sounds were created using Apple Logic Studio music software.


Creator: Akira Takegahara
How did you do it?
・開発ツールとしては特にAdobe Edgeなどを使用しないで、テキストエディターで作成しております。

Creator: Nanako SAWA
How did you do it?
1. SVGから座標情報を取得
2. canvasで描画
3. 背景, アニメーションを追加

Creator: Shigeki Ohtsu
How did you do it? The title of this doodle is “Thank you the World from JAPAN”. This doodle expresses our gratitude to the people in the world for their hearty support for Japan at the last disaster, with the Japanese traditional style of manner of “OJIGI”. It’s also showing “”Thank you”” tweets all over the world at the location of the Dymaxion map in the background.

Creator: Aiham Hammami
How did you do it? I have been previously creating an object oriented 2d canvas animation library so I used that to create a puzzle game in the shape of the Dymaxion map. It implements MVC design to separate concerns (UI and logic) so it makes the code easy to follow (i hope). I cut up all the photos into triangles manually, then I had to pinpoint exactly where on the rectangular image the triangle vertices were, so I could create accurate mouse overs. Enjoy.

Creator: Risa ITO
How did you do it? SVGとcss3を使って、


Creator: Valentyn Shybanov
How did you do it? All animations are done using CSS3 transitions – mostly no Javascript is used for it. Triangles are drawn using ‘-webkit-mask-image’: -webkit-canvas()’ trick (canvas as mask). Currently only Google Chrome supports CSS3 ‘mask-image’ so doodle can be watched only on it. Simple quiet music is pre-generated and played by HTML5 Audio.

Creator: Anton Eprev
How did you do it? The idea is to show the Dymaxion map so that it would be like on ignition of a fluorescent lamp. The host country area and text letters continue to flicker after turning on. Requires browsers that support inline SVG.

Creator: Roman Fedorov
How did you do it? I really love this game and I really love Chrome and HTML5. I’ve made this doodle with great pleasure!

Creator: Mikhail Kalinin
How did you do it? This is the Memorize game. I used jQuery library with plugins. For best compatibility with all modern browsers, I used CSS3 2D transform instead of 3D transform.

Creator: Alexey Belozerov
How did you do it? I have used 2 HTML5 canvas objects as layers and performed ‘destination-over’ composition mode to make erasing effect.

Phoebe Peronto is a Developer Marketing Intern working to coordinate the launch of Google Developer Days 2011. She hails from UC Berkeley as a rising senior studying Political Science and Business, and is excited to work with the Google team for summer 2011.

Google Goggles with new look and Russian

Some of you may already be using the new optical character recognition (OCR) and translation of Russian in Google Goggles that we previewed at last week’s Inside Search event. Starting today, we’re pleased to introduce some additional new features, including a map view of your Search History and the ability to copy contact and text results to the clipboard. We’ve also changed the results interface to make it easier to view and navigate through your results.

Russian optical character recognition (OCR) and translation
Since Google Goggles first launched in 2009, it has been able to recognize and translate text in a number of different languages, as long as the language used Latin characters. With the launch of OCR for Russian, Goggles is now able to read Cyrillic characters. Goggles will recognize a picture of Russian text and allow you to translate the text into one of over 40 other languages. Russian OCR is also available for users of Google Goggles on the Google Search app for iOS. Очень полезно!

You can take a picture of Russian text and translate it into over 40 languages.

Map view of your search history
If you’ve enabled search history on Goggles, your history contains a list of all the images that you’ve searched for, as well as some information about where you performed the search if you chose to share your location with Google. Sometimes this can be a pretty long list, so we wanted to give you another way to sort and visualize your Goggles results.

We’ve added a map view, which shows your Goggles image search history on a map so you can quickly zoom and pan to find a query from a particular location.

Easily toggle between map view and list view with the button in the upper right.

Copy contact and text results to clipboard
Finally, imagine that you wanted to grab a URL or telephone number from a sign and email it to yourself. Now, Goggles gives you the option of copying the recognized text to your phone’s clipboard, allowing you to paste the test into a number of applications.

To try these new features download Google Goggles 1.5 from Android Market, or scan the QR code below with your phone.