|Manufacturer:||KINTEX State Commercial Enterprise|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
|Name:||Infantry fighting vehicle|
The Bulgarian BMP-23 IFV, covered in detail in a separate entry, was followed by the improved BMP-30 which has a similar chassis to the BMP-23 but has a new two-person turret that is almost identical to that fitted to the Russian Kurgan Machine Construction Plant BMP-2 infantry combat vehicle.
The BMP-30 ICV and BMP-23 infantry fighting vehicles were manufactured by the TEREM Joint Stock Company who also built the BRM-23 reconnaissance vehicle. Recent information has indicated that as few as 10 of these BMP-30 vehicles are in service. It is understood that production of these has been completed and they are no longer marketed.
The hull of the BMP-30 ICV is of all-welded steel armour construction which provides protection against small arms fire of up to 20 mm in calibre as well as shell splinters. The highest level of protection is provided over the frontal arc of the BMP-30.
The driver is seated at the front of the BMP-30 on the right with one infantryman to the left, the diesel power pack is behind the driver with the turret in the centre of the hull and the infantry compartment at the rear.
The driver has a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the rear and in front of this are three forward-facing TBPO-170 day periscopes, the centre one of which can be replaced by a TVN-2B infrared night vision device. The infantryman to the right of the driver has a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the rear and three forward-facing day periscopes. Both the driver and commander roof hatches can be locked in the vertical position if required.
The turret is virtually identical to that fitted to the Russian BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle which was first observed in 1982 and is armed with a 30 mm 2A42 cannon with a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun being mounted coaxial to the left. Turret traverse/weapon elevation is electric, with manual controls for emergency use.
The Russian-developed stabilised 30 mm 2A42 is a much more effective weapon than the 23 mm 2A14 cannon installed in the earlier BMP-23 and has a maximum range of 4,000 m against ground targets, and a maximum range against airborne targets of 2,000 m. The gunner can select single shots or one of two automatic rates of fire, low at 200 to 300 rds/min or high at 500 rds/min. The cannon has dual feed with one normally being for HE-T (High Explosive-Tracer) and the other for AP-T (Armour-Piercing-Tracer) rounds, with both having a muzzle velocity of 970 m/s.
The gunner is seated on the left with a single forward-opening hatch cover and has a binocular BPK-1-42 day/night sight and day vision periscopes. He is also provided with a white light searchlight.
The vehicle commander is seated on the right and has a cupola with a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the front and mounted on the forward part of the cupola is an infra-red searchlight.
The BMP-30 commander has a 1PZ-3 monocular designation sight and a TKN-3B day/night sight with a day magnification of ×4.75 and a night magnification of ×4 but night vision range is only 400 m.
Mounted on the roof of the vehicle is a launcher for the Russian-designed and locally produced 9K111 Fagot (NATO AT-4 'Spigot') or 9K113 Konkurs (NATO AT-5 'Spandrel') ATGW. In its first production version the AT-4 'Spigot' has a maximum range of 2,000 m while the AT-5 has a maximum range of 4,000 m.
These were designed in Russia by the KBP Instrument Design Bureau but have been manufactured under licence in Bulgaria for some years by the Vazov Engineering Plant in Sopot, Bulgaria.
Late production versions of the AT-4 and AT-5 have tandem HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) warheads for increased armour penetration characteristics.
The missile launcher can be elevated from -5 to +15∞ with traverse being 8∞ left and 90∞ right, with this being accomplished manually.
Mounted on each side of the turret is a bank of three 81 mm electrically operated forward-vision smoke grenade dischargers. In addition, the BMP-30 ICV can lay its own smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust. The exhaust output is located on the right side of the hull at the front.
Six infantry personnel are seated, three down either side back-to-back and in each side of the troop compartment are three firing ports with associated bulletproof vision devices. The first one on either side is for the machine gun with the other two being for an assault rifle.
The infantry personnel enter and leave the vehicle via two large doors in the hull rear that open outwards, with each of these being provided with a firing port and an associated bulletproof vision block.
Suspension is of the torsion bar type with either side having seven single rubber-tyred road wheels, drive sprocket at the front and idler at the rear. The first and last road wheel stations have a hydraulic shock-absorber fitted.
The BMP-30 retains the amphibious characteristics of the original Russian MT-LB (details of the Bulgarian-built versions are given in a separate entry) being propelled in the water by its tracks. Before it enters the water, the trim vane is erected at the front of the vehicle, oblong slotted devices are removed from the hull sides and fitted either side of the front of the vehicle outside the front drive sprocket and forward suspension system and devices removed and fitted to the rear of the hull either side to improve water flow.
Standard equipment includes a fire detection and suppression system which can be activated manually or automatically and an R-123M VHF radio and R-124 tank intercom system. An NBC system is fitted, as is a GO-27 radiation and chemical detection system.
In addition to the infantry weapons, the BMP-30 also carries a standard RPG-7V unguided anti-tank rocket launcher and disposable RPG-22 unguided Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) launcher. One Strela-2M (US designation SA-7b) man-portable fire-and-forget surface-to-air missile is carried for air defence purposes.