The design of the BMP-3 or Obyekt 688M can be traced back to the Obyekt 685 light tank prototype with 100 mm gun 2A48-1 from 1975. This vehicle didn't enter series production but the chassis, with a new engine, was used for the next-generation infantry combat vehicle Obyekt 688 from A. Blagonravov's design bureau. The Ob. 688 weapons configuration—an externally-mounted 30 mm gun and twin Konkurs ATGM launcher—was rejected; instead the new 2K23 armament system was selected. The resulting BMP-3 was developed in the early 1980s and entered service with the Soviet army officially in 1987. It was shown for the first time in public during the 1990 May Day parade and was given the NATO code IFV M1990/1.
The BMP-3 is designed and produced by the Kurgan Machine Building Plant (Kurganmashzavod - KMZ), some variants however are build by the Rubtsovsk Machine Building Plant (RMZ), for example the BRM-3K
Its 100mm main cannon doubles as a missile launcer - high explosive rounds are meant for use against light targets, while guided anti-tank missiles can be used against enemy tanks or heavily armored vehicles. This is similar in principle to the guns mounted on the Sheridan and M60A2.
The BMP-3s primary strength is its high firepower as an APC, arguably the most of any APC in the game. Its main weakness are its high cost and that it has thin armor making it fairly vulnerable to enemy fire.
It mounts three weapons. It has a cannon that is an effective and highly accurate and long-range anti infantry weapon. For use against other vehicles, it can use an ATGM launcher that possesses decent accuracy and has high armor-piercing value. Its third weapon is an accurate 30mm cannon, giving it a well-rounded weapon to use against any target type, and some anti-air capability.
Unlike most APCs, the BMP-3 mounts a stabilizer, which, while much less effective than the ones found on many late era tanks, is still the best stabilizer available to any APC-type vehicle.
It has a tiny speed advantage over the BMP-1 and BMP-2 designs, but identical range.
It is the most expensive APC in the PACT arsenal at 60 deployment points.
It only carries 6 ATGMs. As a result, like with most other ATGM reliant units, it needs constant supplies to keep fighting effectively against heavily-armored opponents.
Keep into consideration that, for its cost, its armor is thin but still on a similar level to other APC units. As a result it has to be used more cautiously than other APCs as it represents a large but fragile deployment point investment.