The BMP-1 is a Soviet amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicle. BMP stands for Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty (Russian: Боевая Машина Пехоты), meaning "infantry fighting vehicle"). The BMP-1 was the world's first mass-produced infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). It was called the M-1967, BMP and BMP-76PB by NATO before its correct designation was known.
It was a revolutionary design combining the properties of an armored personnel carrier (APC) and a light tank. The Soviet military leadership saw any future wars as being conducted with nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, where unprotected infantry would soon be either killed or incapacitated by radiation or chemical and biological agents. A vehicle like the BMP would allow infantry to operate from the relative safety of its armored, radiation shielded interior in contaminated areas and to fight alongside it in uncontaminated areas. It would increase infantry squad mobility, provide fire support to them, and also be able to fight alongside main battle tanks.
Soviet Union and Russia
The BMP-1 entered service with the Soviet Army in 1966. The BMP-1 was first seen by westerners during the 7 November 1967 military parade in Moscow. Its appearance created a stir in the West where lightly armed APCs were still the norm for transportation and infantry support on the battlefield.
In the Soviet Army, BMP-1s were typically issued to motorized rifle divisions and the motorized rifle regiments of tank divisions, where they replaced the BTR-152, BTR-50P and some BTR-60P APCs.
Currently, BMP-1s and vehicles based on it are used by the Russian Army and internal security troops of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD).
BMP-1s were widely used in Afghanistan by motorized rifle and tank units. They were also operated by some special forces. Due to its lackluster performance, a new up-armored variant, designated the BMP-1D (the so-called 'Afghan' variant), was rushed into service in 1982. Many field modifications were made to their BMP-1s by various units.
List of BMP-1 operators:
Other BMP operators have included Poland, Egypt, Syria, the People's Republic of China, Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Germany, Greece, and Sweden.