German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has finally officially approved the delivery of 58 PbV 501 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine. These are BMP-1Ps modified after Germany reunification, which used to belong to the GDR and are now in the possession of a Czech private defense company, Defense Express reports with reference to the German media Welt am Sonntag. Ukraine has waited for this for more than three years.
Ukraine wanted to purchase 58 BMP-1s back in 2019. But, unfortunately, the infantry fighting vehicles were in the Czech Republic with an end-use clause, meaning they can be sold only with the consent of Berlin. Which, as we remember, until recently “did not wish” to supply weapons to Ukraine.
German BMP-1s are reportedly in need of repairs, which could take several weeks.
The BMP-1P, even modified by the Bundeswehr to match Western safety standards, is not a new vehicle, but it could be useful for arming, for example, Territorial Defense units.
The PbV 501 differs from the BMP-1P: it has fire-fighting foam in the fuel tanks, new headlights, rear-view mirrors, and MB smoke grenade launchers. But the 9K111-1 Fagot anti-tank missile systems has been dismantled in this version.
The original BMP-1 was adopted by the USSR and Warsaw Pact countries in 1966. The vehicle was produced in the USSR, Czechoslovakia and Romania. Modified BMP-1P was produced from 1979 to 1983. It was updated to BMP-1A1 (PbV 501) in the early 1990s.
Weight –13 tonnes
Length – 6.7 m
Width – 2.9 m
Armor – 6-33 mm welded rolled steel
Engine – diesel 300 hp.
Maximum speed – 65 km/h (road), 45 km/h (off-road), 7-8 km/h (water)
Operating range – 500-600 km
Crew – 3 (commander, driver and gunner)
Away team – 8
Armament – 73-mm 2A28 Grom gun and 7.62 mm PKT machine gun