|Entered service in||1990|
|Personnel||5 + 3|
|Dimensions and weight|
|Total weight in combat order||12.9 - 13.2 t|
|Overall length||6 360 mm|
|Chassis length||6 100 mm|
|Width||3 114 mm|
|Height||2 450 mm|
|Main gun||30-mm cannon|
|Machine guns||1 x 5.45-mm, 1 x 7.62-mm|
|Main gun||500 + 360 rounds|
|Machine guns||2 160 x 5.45; 2 000 x 7.62 rounds|
|Engine power||450 hp|
|Maximum road speed||70 km/h|
|Maximum amphibious speed on water||10 km/h|
|Autonomy on roads||500 km|
The BMD-3 is the successor to the BMD-1 and BMD-2 airborne combat vehicles. It entered service with the Soviet Army in 1990.
Vehicle is of all-welded construction which provides the crew with protection from small arms fire and shell splinters.
The BMD-3 received a redeveloped chassis fitted with a complete two-man turret similar to the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle. Vehicle has a significant increase in firepower. Maximum effective range firing AP-T (armor piercing-tracer) ammunition is 2000 m, and firing HE-I (High Explosive-Incendiary) ammunition - 4000 m against area targets. A coaxial 7.62-mm PKT machine gun is mounted with the main gun. On the roof of the turret there is an AT-4 Spigot or an AT-5 Spandrel anti-tank missile launcher with 4 reload missiles carried internally. The BMD-3 is also fitted with an AG-17 30-mm automatic grenade launcher and a 5.45-mm light machine gun. All weapons are operated from the inside of the vehicle.
Despite increase in weight the BMD-3 has a much better amphibious capability than its predecessors. On water it is propelled by two water jets mounted on either side at the rear of the vehicle. There is also more room inside the vehicle. The BMD-3 has a crew of two and normally carries five troops, however three more troops can be carried in case of emergency.
The BMD-3 airborne combat vehicle is powered by a 2V-06 water-cooled diesel developing 450 horsepower, which gives a very high power-to-weight ratio of 34 hp/ton. Engine is located at the rear of the hull. The hydroneumatic suspension of the BMD-3 is adjustable to give a ground clearance of between 130-mm and 530-mm, although for normal road clearance is 450-mm.
The BMD-3 can be airdropped from any medium transport aircraft with the complete crew of seven men remaining inside the vehicle. Previous airborne combat vehicles were dropped separately from their crew and it usually took time to reach the vehicle after landing. In this case with the BMD-3 the element of surprise associated with airborne operations is enhanced.