The BMP-2 [BMP = Boyevaya Mashina Pyekhota - Infantry Fighting Vehicle] infantry combat vehicle, fielded in the early 1980's [initially designated BMP 1981], is an improved version of the BMP-1 incorporating major armament changes. The new two-man turret mounts a 30-mm automatic gun with a long thin tube and double-baffle muzzle brake that can be used against aircraft and helicopters. The ATGM launcher on top of the turret can employ either AT-4 SPIGOT or AT-5 SPANDREL missiles, though the AT-5 Spandrel canister is normally mounted. Given the enlarged turret, there are two roof hatches in the rear fighting compartment, rather than the four of the BMP-1, and the BMP-2 accommodates one less passenger. Each side of the troop compartment has three firing ports with associated roof-mounted periscopes.
The BMP-2 is fully amphibious, and the upper part of the track has a sheet metal cover deeper than that of the BMP-1 which is filled with a buoyancy aid. A French SNPE explosive reactive armor (ERA) kit and others are available for use on the BMP-2. However, during dismounted troop movement, ERA would be a hazard. Thus, passive armor is more likely and ERA application is doubtful. For amphibious use, additional armor application is unlikely. Other options are spall liners, air conditioning, and a more powerful engine. Russian AG-17 30-mm automatic grenade launcher modification is offered for BMP-2. Russian KBP offers a drop-in one-man turret, called Kliver, with a stabilized 2A72 30-mm gun, a 4 Kornet ATGM launcher, thermal sights, a coaxial 7.62-mm MG and improved fire control system. ATGM load consists of one ready on the launcher and four stowed. They are readily accessible, but require hand loading from an open hatch. The AT-5 and AT-5B are more likely than AT-4 and -4B. French-German Flame-V adaptor kit permits the BMP-2 system to launch Milan, Milan-2, and Milan-3 ATGMs.
Thermal sights are available, and the Russian SANOET-1 thermal gunner's sight is available. The Russian Trakt/1PN65 thermal imaging (TI) ATGM night sight is optional. Acquisition range is 2,500 m (NFI). For the launcher in dismount configuration, the Slovenian TS-F ATGM night sight is available and has a detection range of 4,500 m and recognition range of 2,000 m. The Russian Mulat/1PN86 lightweight TI ATGM thermal sight has 3,600 m detection range and 2,000 m identification range.
A number of product improvements were made to the BMP-2 in the late 1980’s.
BMP-2D: Variant with add-on plate armor, but which cannot swim
BMP-2E: Variant with 6-mm steel plates added and track skirts
BMP-2K: Command variant with additional radio