The combat module, isolated from the crew and troop compartment, features a 2A70 100 mm rifled gun, which can fire conventional shells or guided missiles, a 2A72 30 mm dual feed autocannon, which can fire 300 rounds per minute, and a 7.62mm machine gun that can fire up to 800 rounds per minute, mounted coaxially with the cannon.
Such an arrangement ensures maximum protection for the crew and troopers against a direct hit by armor-piercing shells.
In another first, the three-man crew is moved to the front immediately behind the engine unit, each with their own escape hatch.
The fire control system effectively engages ground and airborne targets both on the move and from static positions.
It consists of a SOZH-M gunner's main sight with an integrated laser range-finder and missile-guidance channel, a Vesna-K targeting system with a thermal imaging camera and automatic target tracker, an armament stabilization system, a ballistic computer with data input sensors and a laser projector.
The BMP-3M is powered by a multi-fuel diesel four-stroke, liquid-cooled turbo diesel engine packing over 800 horse power. This allows the 21-ton vehicle to move at 70 kilometers per hour on a highway and up to 10 kilometers per hour in water.
The BMP-3M is designed and produced by the Kurgamashzavod (Kurgan Machine Building Plant).
In May 2015, the Russian Defense Ministry signed a three-year contract to receive hundreds of BMP-3M vehicles to maintain its armored vehicle force until its replacement, the Kurganets-25, completes research and development.