The BMP-2 IFV first appeared in the late 1970s and many be regarded as a product improved BMP-1. Its development commenced in the early 1970s. First prototype was completed in 1974. Many of the drawbacks of the BMP-1 were eliminated. It was accepted to service with the Soviet Army in 1980. It was first publicly revealed in 1982. The BMP-2 has been produced in large numbers, the Soviet Army alone is estimated to have received some 20 000 vehicles.
The BMP-2 was license-produced in Czechoslovakia (BVP-2) and India (Sarath). Essentially similar vehicles have been produced in Bulgaria (BMP-30). This IFV was one of the Eastern Block's most important combat vehicles numerically. It was also exported to the Soviet allies. Currently major operators of the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle are Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Czech Republic, Finland, India, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Slovakia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen.