New Sovietskiy BMD-3RM4 Airborne Combat Vehicle:

The BMP-3 Airborne Combat Vehicle was first introduced in 1989 and became the standard combat vehicle for Russian combat units. At the time of its introduction, it had many new innovations and was a very capable design. It had a hydrophneumatic suspension which allowed ground clearance to be varied between 0.15 meters and 0.53 meters. As well, the vehicle can be dropped fully loaded unlike previous vehicles. The vehicle was also far more capable on the water and can operate in a sea state up to five. The BMD-3 replaced combat vehicles in both airborne units and naval units. Like other designs in the Soviet Arsenal, there was a large number of BMD-3 combat vehicles still remaining when the Communist regained power in Russia towards the end of the second decade of the Twenty-First Century. Due to this, Government leaders decided to refit the old combat vehicles for airborne operations instead of building new designs like Europe and the United States. Many officers was new designs but most Field Marshals, being politically motivated, supported the idea of the old vehicles being simply refitted. Soviet leaders proclaimed that their refitted vehicles were the equal of any Western design even though they really had only a fraction of the capabilities. The only real advantages were that the refitting of the old combat vehicles was much cheaper to build and conversion would be far more rapid than designing and building an all new design. Vehicles simply had their armor refitted and special ammunition replaced the original ammunition. Like other converted designs, the crews never really liked the refitted airborne combat vehicle. Problems were similar to other designs and included maintenance on the old vehicle and the comparative weakness combat to new designs. Due to maintenance problems, many vehicles which were listed as operational were in reality non functional and many vehicles were cannibalized to provide parts to keep others in service. Eventually, new designs replaced the BMD-3 design and few were left in service by the coming of the Rifts. A larger number were in storage but most of these were in poor shape. Some vehicles were also sold to Soviet partners although most considered the design to be too lightly armored. A few of these combat vehicles have been recovered and are operated by mercenaries. Newer designs are usually far better protected and the BMD-3 is not especially popular. It is believed a handful are operated inside of what was the Soviet Union but they are not popular with either the New Sovietskiy or the various Warlords. While many people believe that vehicles have problems holding up to the arctic conditions inside of what was Russia, the reality is that many of the breakdowns cited are simply old designs which simply have been worn out to the point that their usefulness has been exhausted.

The new composite armors added to the BMD-3 are far stronger than any materials existing at the time the vehicles were first introduced but the frame of the tank is aluminum and the vehicle does not compare to new built designs from the time which the vehicles were refitted. Due to the materials, the vehicles break down far more often and require more maintenance. The vehicles retain an improved version of the diesel engine carried originally but the engine has a fraction of the efficiency of the fuel cell systems used in American and European combat vehicles. The fuel cell systems were also far cleaner and pollution was a major problem in the revived Communist Soviet Union. Many of the surviving BMD-3 combat vehicles operating outside of the confines of the old Soviet Union have had their engines replaced by truck engines. Maximum road speed is 70 kilometers per hour on the road and around 45 kilometers per hour off road. The vehicle is fully amphibious and can also operate on the water at about 10 kilometers per hour using two water-jets mounted at the rear of the hull. The vehicle has a crew of two and can carry up to five troops. Up to two additional troops can be carried for short periods of time in the back of the turret with the turret open. Normally, the commander mans the turret with the gunner but he normally dismounts with the troops and as such is not considered part of the crew. Four additional troops sit inside the vehicle with one on either side of the driver and the other two on either side of the turret.

The main gun of the BMD-3 is a 30 mm 2A42 auto-cannon and is quite powerful. Coaxial to the main cannon in the original model was a 7.62 mm machinegun. Above the turret was an anti-tank missile launcher. The launcher was refitted to fire modified medium range missiles but the launcher has to be manually reloaded each time it is fired. As a result, the missile launcher is unpopular with crews. On the left side of the hull is an automatic grenade launcher. This was retained and was considered one of the most effective weapons carried on the vehicle. Originally, a 5.45 light machinegun was mounted on the right side of the hull but the weapon was not considered combat effective and was removed and not replaced with a new weapon system. Finally, the vehicle has a firing port on either side. Like virtually all older vehicles, it is not equipped with energy-clip rechargers. Still, most crews considered the weapons to be too weak. A few Post-Rifts owners have refitted their vehicle with new weapons but most do not consider it cost effective. One of the most common modifications is the replacement of the missile launcher with box style mini-missile or short range missile launcher.

Model Type: BMD-3
Vehicle Type: Airborne Combat Vehicle
Crew: Two (Driver and Gunner).
Troop Carrying Capacity: Five soldiers in full gear (Can carry two additional in turret opened up)

M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Tractor Treads (2):30 each
Weapons Turret:50
30-mm 2A42 Automatic Cannon (Turret):30
Anti-Tank Missile Launcher (Turret)10
[2] Co-axial 7.62 mm Machine Gun (Turret, Early Model):10
[2] Co-axial 5-mm Rail-Gun (Replaces Medium Machine-gun):25
[2] Bow Automatic Grenade Launcher (Front of APC):20
Multi-Option Jammers (2):25
[2] Headlights (2):10 each
Reinforced Crew / Troop Compartment:40
[3] Main Body:160

[1] Depleting the M.D.C. of a tread will immobilize the tank until it is replaced. Replacing a tread will take 1D6x10 minutes by a trained crew (2 replacements are carried on board) or three times as long by the inexperienced. Changing the tread is only advisable when the vehicle is not under attack.
[2] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot,” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
[3] If all the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted, the vehicle is completely shut down and is unsalvageable.

Ground: Maximum speed on land is 43.5 mph (70 kph) on roads and 28.0 mph (45 kph) off road maximum. The vehicle is designed to traverse virtually all terrain and can climb at up to a 60% grade although at a much slower speed (About 10% of maximum road speed). It can also climb barriers and ford trenches. The vehicle can also handle side slopes of up to 30%.
Water Capabilities: Uses water jets to propel tank over the surface of the water but is not designed for deep water use. Using the tracks, the BMD-3 can travel on the surface of water at 6.2 mph (10 kph/5.4 knots).
Maximum Range: 310.7 miles (500 km)

Statistical Data:
Height: 7.12 feet (2.17 meters)
Width: 10.28 feet (3.13 meters)
Length: 20.01 feet (6.1 meters)
Weight: 14.55 tons (13.2 metric tons).
Power Source: Conventional, Diesel
Cargo Capacity: Minimal storage space in pilots compartment; about three feet (0.9 m) in side dimensions for extra clothing, weapons, and personal items. Two carbines and one hand-held missile launcher with three each are stored in a compartment in the crew compartment. Without troops, can carry up to 1.2 tons in troop compartment.
Black Market Cost: 2.4 million credits was the production price originally; Remaining Armored Vehicle sells for double that (3.2 million credits). Many of these combat vehicles remain in service with the New Sovietski and a few are in the hands of Russian Warlords.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One 30-mm 2A42 Automatic Cannon: Mounted in the turret as the main gun and the turret can rotate 360 degrees and can elevate up to 75 degrees and depress down 5 degrees. Cannon can be used against low flying aircraft as well as other ground vehicles. The standard ammunition has been replaced by high density ramjet ammunition which inflicts heavy damage and enables the BMD-3 to hold its own against other armored vehicle's weapons.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6,560 feet (2,000 meters / 2 kilometers).
    Mega Damage: 1D6x10 for a short burst of 10 round burst and 2D6x10 for a long burst of 20 round burst, 3D6 for each round.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 860 rounds (86 short bursts or 43 long bursts)
  2. Coaxial Light Secondary Mount (1): Weapon is Co-axially mounted with the 30-mm main gun. The original 7.62 long Russian round, while longer and more powerful than the standard Soviet 7.62 Kalishikov round was still considered under powered by most crews. Eventually, the weapon was replaced by a medium rail gun but many crews still preferred a heavy rail gun.
    1. 7.62 mm PKT Medium Machine-guns (1): Carried on the original BMD-3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle and while underpowered was not replaced until a 5 mm rail gun was developed in the second half of the twenty first century. The American Bradley quickly replaced their medium machine-guns with liquid propellant weapons. While special ammunition was developed, the crews of the armored vehicle still greatly disliked this weapon.
      Maximum Effective Range: 2,000 feet (609.6 meters)
      Mega Damage: One round does 1 M.D.C. to M.D.C. targets or 3D6x10 S.D.C. to soft targets. Twenty round bursts do 2D4 M.D.C.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner
      Payload: Carries 4,000 rounds (200 bursts) for the Coaxial mount
    2. 5 millimeter GSR-05 Medium Railgun: Finally developed as a replacement for the medium machine-gun. It was much preferred by vehicle's crews but was still considered underpowered compared to other tank mounts.
      Maximum Effective Range: 2,000 feet (609.6 meters)
      Mega Damage: One round does 1D4 M.D.C. to M.D.C. targets or 6D6x10 S.D.C. to soft targets. Twenty round bursts do 4D6 M.D.C.; Forty round full bursts do 1D4x10
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner
      Payload: Carries 6,000 rounds total (300 full bursts or 150 half-bursts) for the Coaxial mount.
  3. Bow Mounted AG-17 Automatic Grenade Launcher: Weapon is very similar to the WI-GL21 Automatic Grenade Launcher produced by Wellington Industries and the American Automatic Grenade Launcher operated around the same time but uses a larger grenade and is heavier in design. Weapon was used in vehicles as well as being used in tripod mounts and used by power armors. Weapon can fire single shot or bursts of ten rounds and can inflict heavy damage when burst fired. Weapon is mounted in the bow of the armored vehicle. Weapon is controlled from inside the vehicle.
    Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914 meters)
    Mega-Damage: 3D6 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 12 ft and 5D6 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 3 ft, burst of 10 rounds does 2D4x10 for Fragmentation with a blast area of 40 ft and 2D6x10 for Armor Piercing with a blast area of 8 ft. Other special rounds are available.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner (Driver) - Single Shot or Ten round bursts.
    Payload: 551 Rounds.
  4. Firing Ports (2): The BMD-3 has two firing ports that allow soldiers in the troop bay to fire their guns out of the vehicle with one on either side. Firing ports can be closed in order to make the vehicle a sealed environment. Firing ports are fairly small and grenade launchers and missile launchers cannot be fired from firing ports.
  5. Medium-Range Missile Launcher (1): Mounted on the top of the BMD-3 is a tube launcher for anti-tank missiles. This launcher has been refitted to fire modified medium range missiles with half the normal range. The missile can only be fired once before needing to be reloaded. This requires gunner to leave the protection of the vehicle and be exposed to fire. It requires one full melee to reload the launcher. The launcher is usually outfitted with High-Explosive, Fragmentary or Plasma missiles. The launcher can engage air and ground targets. It is sometimes also used as short range missile artillery.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, medium range missiles only (Half Normal Range / Go to revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: Varies with missile types, medium range missiles (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one (1) at a time only (Needed to then be reloaded requiring 15 seconds / 1 melee.)
    Payload: 1 missile, 3 reloads carried inside vehicle.
  6. Multi-Option “Shtora-8” Jammers (2): These are multi-purpose jamming devices designed to stop incoming missiles and confuse an enemy targeting the BMD-3.
    Effect: Each firing launches two Chaff rockets, two Flare rockets, and the tank begins emitting a large cloud of smoke, both standard and Anti-Laser Prismatic aerosol ; The Chaff rockets detonate and spread Chaff over the area, the flare rockets floating down by parachute; Effects last for one minute (4 Melee rounds.) The Chaff rockets have a 20% chance of interfering with the course of enemy missiles each (40%, total) that are radar guided so that they miss the tank. The flares have the same percentages, except with IR-guided missiles. The Anti-Laser prismatic aerosol reduces damage by half for any laser beam striking the tank (With the exception of X-ray lasers but not variable frequency lasers; X-Ray lasers suffer no damage modifiers, and variable frequency lasers simply cannot compensate for the variables involved), and adds a +4 difficulty to targeting the tank with a laser guidance system or visually.
    Rate of Fire: Usually once every four melee rounds; Effects are not cumulative.
    Maximum Effective Range: Around tank only; Rough distance of 80 ft (24 m) around tank.
    Payload: Sufficient for ten firings; One of each type of jamming option from each side of the vehicle.


Special Notes:

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Initial Concepts by Marina O'Leary ( ).

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2003, Kitsune. All rights reserved.