BMPT Terminator: Russia’s Advanced Tank Support Vehicle Was Deployed to Ukraine

Officially known as the BMTP-72, the BMPT Terminator is heavily armored, equipped with four anti-tank missile launchers, and is designed to survive urban combat.
BMPT Terminator

The BMPT Terminator is considered one of Russia’s most advanced armored vehicles currently in operation.

It is specifically designed to perform the job of infantry supporting tanks, given the heavy casualties that tanks such as the T-72 and T-80 are taking.

That’s why Russia is sending out new equipment that can better protect its tanks… But, it is yet to be seen how useful these armored vehicles will be, and if they will withstand MANPADS (Man-portable air-defense systems) such as the Javelin and NLAW.

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The BMPT Terminator

Tank support combat vehicle "Terminator"
Tank support combat vehicle “Terminator” by Kirill Borisenko. Licensed under CC by 4.0

During the Soviet war with Afghanistan in the 1980s, vehicles suffered heavy casualties. So, the Soviets demanded a new approach to tank support, firepower, and a high angle of fire to protect tanks in urban environments.

As a result, the BMPT Terminator was conceived from the necessity of a vehicle specially engineered to operate in urban areas. In fact, the BMPT Terminator can successfully deal with high-intensity combats in urban environments like those that might take place in Ukraine.

Recently, it has been used in the Syrian Civil War, the War in Iraq, and now in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. And as it has already been proven in combat so many times, it can bring great destruction to Ukraine and ensure Russia’s control in the eastern parts of the country.

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Additionally, Russia will also deploy the modern BMPT Terminator 2, which is capable of attacking any type of tank, armored vehicle, and all kinds of infantry bunkers.

Army2016-197
Army2016-197 by Vitaly V. Kuzmin. Licensed under CC by 4.0

This improved version of the Terminator incorporates an added layer of armor to boost protection against anti-tank missiles.

BMPT Terminator specs

Army2016-202
Army2016-202 by Vitaly V. Kuzmin. Licensed under CC by 4.0

  • In service: 2011–present
  • Manufacturer: Uralvagonzavod
  • Produced: 2002–present
  • No. built: over 300 units
  • Mass: 48 tons
  • Crew:  5
  • Armor: Composite armor / reactive armor / steel
  • Fuel capacity: 1,200 liters (320 gallons)
  • Operational range: 550 kilometers (340 miles)
  • Maximum speed: 60 km/h (37 mph)

Regarding armament, it is equipped with four 130-millimeter Ataka anti-tank guided missile launchers, which can even shoot down helicopters or other low flying aircraft.

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This is complemented by two 30-millimeter 2A42 cannons that can fire high-explosive and armor-piercing projectiles. The auxiliary weapon is a 7.62-millimeter PKTM machine gun and two grenade launchers.

It’s supposed to be better than the T-72 tank

T-72 tank
T-72 tank by nara.getarchive.net. Public Domain.

Its name was given due to the number of weapons and ammunition it has, and also because of its adaptability in a war field such as the one it will encounter in the Ukrainian territory.

The BMPT Terminator is modeled on the T-72 tank frame. However, the T-72 is one of the worst-performing tanks in the Ukraine war, and it has probably the highest number of casualties among armored vehicles since the conflict started. Hundreds of tanks are confirmed to have been destroyed, scrapped, or captured by the Ukrainian forces.

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So, it is unsure how well it can deal with anti-tank weapons, given it has a similar basic structure to the T-72 but with a much shorter gun.

In any case, it will give Russian tanks extra protection by eliminating infantry threats before they can fire their MANPADs.

So, this armored vehicle will hardly make a difference alone. But, it’s a great help to the Russian troops who have recently conquered and maintained full control over the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

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The Terminator won’t change the course of the war but will help Russia control eastern Ukraine

Mobilizing troops with more armored vehicles won’t cause terrible casualties to Ukrainian troops, but it will strengthen the control over eastern Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula.

These pro-Russian areas provide support to the Russian troops, and being closer to the Russian border; they won’t have so many logistical problems. For this reason, armored vehicles such as the Terminator will be more effective there.

But only time will tell if this vehicle is another over-hyped Russian weapon, or if it will really bring the upper hand to the Russian army.

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Featured image credit: BMPT Terminator by Dmitriy Fomin. Licensed under CC by 2.0