The Russian BMPT Terminator Background
In December 1994, the Russian Army entered the breakaway Republic of Chechnya and attempted to seize the Chechen capital of Grozny. After this attempt failed, the Russian Army spent two months in deliberate house-to-house fighting before finally capturing the city.
During the first month of the conflict, Russian forces wrote off 225 armoured vehicles as non-repairable battle losses. This represents 10.23% of the armoured vehicles initially committed to the campaign. The Russians evacuated some of these 225 hulls to the Kubinka test range for analysis. General-Lieutenant A. Galkin, the head of the Armour Directorate, held a conference on their findings on 20 February 1995.
The results of the conference convinced the Russian Minister of Defence to stop procuring tanks with gas-turbine engines. Further, the analysis disclosed Chechen anti-armour tactics and the vulnerabilities of Russian armoured vehicles in urban combat.
Chechen combat groups would deploy cells of anti-armour hunter-killer teams. The sniper and machine gunner would pin down the supporting infantry while the antitank gunner would engage the armoured target. Teams deployed at ground level, in second and third stories, and in basements.
Normally five or six hunter-killer teams simultaneously attack a single armoured vehicle. Kill shots are generally made against the top, rear and sides of vehicles.
The elevation and depression of the Russian main tank guns are incapable of dealing with hunter-killer teams fighting from basements and second or third-story positions and the simultaneous attack from five or six teams negate the effectiveness of the tank’s machine guns. The Russians attached ZSU 23-4 and 2S6 track-mounted antiaircraft guns to armoured columns to respond to these difficult-to-engage hunter-killer teams as they had the necessary elevation to be able to engage aircraft in the sky.
This dramatic loss of armour set the requirement for a dedicated anti-personnel vehicle, capable of engaging tank hunting-killer teams in positions that a tank could not engage, so as to reverse the tables back into favour of the tank.
The Russian BMPT Terminator Description
The Russian designers decided to use the existing T-72 hull (giving it matches mobility), as it was a compact size (the smaller it is , the better for canoeing in built area’s) and due to the number of them, it is less costly to maintain and operate. However its height was increased to accommodate the 5 man crew as there was no traditional turret to do this. Its purpose is it to protect tanks in urban warfare.
The Russian BMPT Terminator Firepower
Two 2A42 30mm auto cannons are the principal weapon and sit centrally in the weapons station. They have a high but unspecified elevation and rate of fire of 600 rds/per min. They can fire a multitude of rounds – High Explosive – Tracer (HE-T), Armour-Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS), High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG) and Armour-Piercing – Tracer (AP-T). A total of 900 rounds are stored in the vehicle.
The BMPT is additionally armed with x2 AG-17 grenade launchers or can be 7.62mm PKTM machine guns with an electromechanical drive and a day/night sight combined with the Agat-MR optronic sight. The additional weapons are arranged on fenders.
x4 Ataka ATGM launchers are mounted on the sides (2 either side) of the weapons station. These fire the Ataka Anti-Tank Guided Missile, which have a range of up to 6km. They can be fitted with various warheads to accommodate various roles including fragmentation.
It has a computerized fire-control system. The gunners sight includes a thermal channel, an optical channel, a guided ATGM channel, and a laser rangefinder. The commander has an independant sight giving the vehicle a hunter killer capability.
The Russian BMPT Terminator Protection
The crew compartment is equipped with NBC and fire extinguishing systems. It is fitted with Explosive Reactive Armour along the whole lengeth of the hull and rear. It uses smoke grenade launchers to lay down a smoke screen if detected.
The Russian BMPT Terminator Operators
Kazakhstan – 10 vehicles delivered between 2011 to 2013. The country has secured a licence to build the vehicle.
Algeria – It has been trialled in the country but no firm order.
Russia – It was trialled, however it was rejected as Russia is building the new “Armata” Universal Combat Platform to replace current tanks including the T-72.
The Russian BMPT-72 Terminator 2
During Russian Arms Expo 2013 exhibition, Uralvagonzavod (Manufacturer) unveiled the latest version, The BMPT-72 “Terminator 2”. It was built as a successor to the BMPT.
Uralvagonzavod stated “the key advantage that the BMPT-72 gives to all the counties that operate T-72 tanks is that they can promptly and at minimal cost upgrade their armies to an ultra-modern level, and enhance capacity, mobility, protection and armament without purchasing new high-cost machines.”