Explained: What is Russia’s Terminator tank support system, now deployed in Ukraine

According to Western intelligence inputs, Russia has deployed the Terminator Tank Support System – BMPT, also known as BMPT ‘Terminator’, and its new version BMPT-72 – in an area that remains its immediate tactical priority in the Ukraine War. What is this latest addition to the Russian stockpile of motorized combat vehicles and what does its proliferation mean in the ongoing conflict?

What is “Terminator”?

The Terminator or Boyevaya Mashina Podderzhki Tankov (BMPT), is a tank support combat vehicle developed by Russia.

Western military analysts believe that Russia developed the Terminator after determining the need to provide dedicated protection for the main battle tanks it used during the Afghanistan and Chechnya wars.

Tank support vehicles are designed to protect Russian tanks from enemy infantry. They are essentially an alternative to mechanized infantry on the urban battlefield.

It seems that the great level of attrition suffered by Russian tanks in the ongoing war in Ukraine due to the use of anti-tank weapons supplied by the West prompted Russian military leaders to enlist the Terminator. This move is intended to provide close protection for Russian armor from the Ukrainian tank hunting infantry.

Where did the Russians post it?

According to the latest intelligence bulletin issued by the British Ministry of Defense on the conflict in Ukraine, it is possible that the only operating Russian company of BMP-T Terminator tank support vehicles has been deployed to the Severodonetsk axis of the Donbas offensive.

According to the British estimate of the intelligence input and numerous independent observations of the Terminators, their presence indicates that the Central Group of Forces (CGF) was involved in this attack – the only Russian army formation using this vehicle.

The CGF, according to a British MoD bulletin, had previously suffered heavy losses while failing to break through eastern Kyiv during the initial phase of the invasion.

To date, the Severodonetsk region remains one of Russia’s immediate tactical priorities. But with a maximum of ten Terminators deployed, it is unlikely to have a significant impact on the campaign.

What kind of weapons does the Terminator have?

The list of powerful weapons that the Terminator is equipped with includes 4 x 130 mm Ataka-T GWS grenade launchers, 2 x 30 mm 2A42 automatic cannons (850 rounds), 2 x 30 mm AG-17D or 2x AGS-30 grenade launchers (600 rounds). PKTM 1 x 7.62 mm machine gun (2000 rounds).

These weapons are capable of firing in multiple directions in rapid succession, thus suppressing the firepower to prevent any attempt to take out the columns of the protected tank.

BMPT destroys targets such as infantry personnel carrying anti-tank weapons, as well as light and heavy armored targets, such as tanks. BMPT can be used for alternative uses as well and can provide protection for pedestrians or caravans.

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Where are its other features?

The BMPT was first introduced into the public domain during the Russian Arms Fair in Nizhny Tagil in 2013. Guerrilla tactics used by Chechen fighters in Grozny during the First Chechen War in 1995 led to the development of this weapon system as were many of the Russian tanks. Lost in the fighting in the cities.

Terminators, the initial version of the BMP-T and the new version of the BMPT-72, are based on the chassis of the T-72 tank and are produced by the Russian company Uralvagonzavod.

Terminator’s latest upgrade is equipped with fragmented ammunition necessary to target enemy infantry waiting to destroy tanks. Information in the public domain also reveals that increasing the height of the gun offers the possibility to engage the upper floors of buildings in urban environments as well as low-flying aircraft/UAVs. The manufacturer claims that one Terminator can replace two conventional BMPs and an infantry platoon.

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