Russia has delivered a new set of 13 BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) under contract to the Venezuelan armed forces, according to the Center for Analysis of Global Arms Trade.
The centre was cited by RIA Novosti as saying that the Russian amphibious combat vehicles were delivered by sea to the port of Puerto Cabello, Venezuela.
As part of a contract signed between Russia’s state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, and the Venezuelan Ministry of Defence in 2009 for 123 BMP-3, the first batch of vehicles were delivered in 2011.
The total number of vehicles received by Venezuela to date remains undisclosed.
Armed with a 100mm gun, which is capable of firing nine M117 Bastion laser-guided, anti-armour missiles, as well as ordinary HE-FRAG projectiles, the 19t BMP-3 armoured personnel carrier can accommodate a crew of three and seven passengers.
Manufactured by Kurganmashzavod, the infantry combat vehicle is intended for naval infantry units and border and coastguard forces, for combat actions in coastal zones and amphibious landing operations.
The vehicle is also equipped with 7.62mm machine guns and anti-tank missiles for direct combat purposes.
Venezuela purchased various arms and defence equipment from Russia that include 24 Su-30MK2V, Mi-17V5, Mi-Mi-26T2 and 35m2, and several Kalashnikov assault rifles between 2005-2007.
The country was also offered a $2.2bn loan from Russia in 2009 for 92 T-72 tanks and multiple launch rocket systems.
In 2010, Russia also provided a $4bn credit to Venezuela for weapons purchase to help re-equip its army.
Image: The Russian Army has been using BMP-3 IFV since 1987. Photo: file image.