Tank Support Vehicle (BMPT) Terminator of the Russian Army has entered the battlefield; So what does the development of tank support vehicles mean for the development of infantry fighting vehicles?

BMPT Terminator to the battlefield in eastern Ukraine. Source Sina
BMPT Terminator to the battlefield in eastern Ukraine. Source Sina

According to information from the Russian press, the Russian Army has begun to send tank support vehicles (BMPT) Terminator to the battlefield in eastern Ukraine, to coordinate with main battle tanks.

It is worth mentioning that this new type of combat vehicle with strong firepower and comprehensive protection was officially put into service with the Russian Army less than a year ago.

However, can the BMPT Terminator adapt to today’s battlefield requirements? Do other countries need to learn from the Russian practice and develop similar tanks? These issues are well worth exploring.

The BMPT Terminator tank support combat vehicle is said to be moving in the Donbass region, eastern Ukraine in a video released on May 17. Source: Youtube/Strela.
The BMPT Terminator tank support combat vehicle is said to be moving in the Donbass region, eastern Ukraine in a video released on May 17. Source: Youtube/Strela.

The BMPT Terminator is fitted to the teeth.

As for the development of Russia’s BMPT Terminator tank support vehicle, this is a specialized combat vehicle, which has been developed since the 1980s. The BMPT Terminator has come a long way over the decades.

Even after completion and initial design, because the Russian Ministry of Defense could not afford to buy, it could not find export customers. It was not until December 2021 that batch of 9 Terminator-2 vehicles were officially equipped for the 90th Guards Tank Division, of the Central Military District of Russia. Now, the more advanced BMPT Terminator-3 is also on the market.

From a design positioning perspective, the BMPT Terminator is primarily intended for coordination with main battle tanks. Fight in complex combat environments such as hilly terrain and cities, to eliminate enemies that threaten tanks and other armored vehicles.

BMPT Terminator-2 with even more enhanced protection. Source Wikipedia
BMPT Terminator-2 with even more enhanced protection. Source Wikipedia

Equipped with 4 powerful multi-purpose anti-tank missiles, so even when facing enemy main battle tanks, Terminator can cope.

However, compared to the main infantry fighting vehicles, which are equipped by countries around the world, the advantages and disadvantages of the BMPT Terminator are very clear.

In terms of advantages, the outstanding feature of the BMPT Terminator is its powerful firepower and diverse weapons, which can deal with almost any target on the battlefield.

BMPT Terminator-2 as an example, its armament includes two 30mm 2A42 automatic cannons, one 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun; Two 30mm AGS-17 automatic grenade launchers, and four 9M120 Ataka-V multi-purpose anti-tank missiles. These weapons are enough to deal with fortified fortifications, fire points or main battle tanks.

Missile 9M120 is a multi-purpose anti-tank missile, with a rare supersonic speed in the world, extremely powerful (armor penetration reaches 950 mm). After replacing the piercing warhead, it can even attack low-flying helicopters, attack aircraft and UAVs. Although this missile is a product developed in the 1980s, its performance is still world class.

The BMPT Terminator-2 was originally developed using the chassis of the T-72 tank. Source Sina
The BMPT Terminator-2 was originally developed using the chassis of the T-72 tank. Source Sina

The second outstanding advantage of BMPT Terminator is the use of comprehensive and powerful protective armor. This type of combat vehicle has been mainly developed over 3 generations since the design was completed, including the Terminator-1/2 using the T-72B3 tank chassis. Terminator-3 uses the chassis of the T-90 tank.

Due to the use of a tank chassis, it has strong armor protection. During the upgrade, Russia comprehensively upgraded the hull protection of the BMPT Terminator, adding a large number of heavy explosive reactive armor and additional composite armor.

At the same time, Russian developers also focused on strengthening the protective armor behind and on the side of the vehicle, including high-strength cage armor.

In this way, in complex combat environments such as hilly terrain and cities, even facing attacks from the sides and rear, the BMPT Terminator can have enough defense capabilities.

So, after comprehensive improvement of defensive performance, the combat weight of the BMPT Terminator is almost equivalent to that of the T-72B3 tank.

The third outstanding advantage of the BMPT Terminator is that the crew’s ability to survive on the battlefield has been greatly improved.

BMPT Terminator-2 has a total of 5 crew members including the commander, gunner, driver and 2 automatic grenade launcher gunners, all concentrated in the front and center of the vehicle.

This area is also the core area with the strongest protection; The front and sides of the hull are protected by heavy explosive reactive armor and additional composite armor, and additional armor plates are specially installed on the bottom of the hull to resist the shock waves of mine blasts.

The upper part of the hull is protected by a remote control turret, and the rear part of the hull is a diesel engine and transmission components, which can also resist attacks.

Especially the remote-controlled turret with weapons and ammunition completely separate from the hull. Therefore, even if the turret is hit and detonated, the occupants of the hull are still very safe. And there is basically no “flying turret” similar to the T-72 and other main battle tanks.

The BMPT "Terminator" -2 is equipped with a variety of weapons such as rapid-fire artillery, grenade launchers and anti-tank missiles. Source Wikipedia
The BMPT “Terminator” -2 is equipped with a variety of weapons such as rapid-fire artillery, grenade launchers and anti-tank missiles. Source Wikipedia

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