The Uralvagonzavod BMPT “Terminator” is a post-Cold war armored fighting vehicle (AFV), designed and manufactured by the Russian company Uralvagonzavod. This vehicle was designed for supporting tanks and other AFVs in urban areas. The BMPT is unofficially named the “Terminator” by the manufacturers. It is heavily armed and armored to survive in urban combat. This AFV is armed with four 9M120 Ataka missile launchers, two 30 mm 2A42 autocannons, two AG-17D grenade launchers, and one coaxial 7.62 mm PKTM machine gun.
The BMPT is built on the chassis of the T-72 or T-90 main battle tank which is used in large numbers by the Russian Army and has been manufactured under license by many other countries. The BMPT was designed based on combat experience gained during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and the First Chechen War. Multiple prototypes of a tank support combat vehicle were created prior to the design of the current BMPT. The Object 199 “Ramka” was the prototype later to be known as the modern BMPT with the official producer being Uralvagonzavod. A small number were delivered to the Russian Ground Forces for evaluation beginning in 2005. As of late 2013, the only operator of the BMPT was Kazakhstan. Russian Defence Ministry finally ordered the BMPT in August 2017.
When used in urban terrain, each main battle tank is deployed with two BMPTs. Outside of urban warfare that ratio is reversed with one BMPT protecting two main battle tanks. This results from the complexity of fighting in urban terrain and the need for a versatile anti-personnel platform that can engage multiple targets at once and on different height levels. The introduction of such a vehicle makes urban fighting less stressful on MBTs and can relieve them of some of the workload so that they can concentrate on their main objective of engaging other MBT and hardened targets. The BMPT’s armor protection is equal to that of an MBT and its powerful armaments allow it to engage virtually every enemy formation while operating in a common battle formation. Due to the multiple weapons systems found on the BMPT, this vehicle is able to fire at multiple targets simultaneously. These features significantly help increase the combat effectiveness of tank units and decrease their losses from enemy close-combat assets.
The Terminator has four Ataka ATGM launchers as a set of primary armaments to defeat enemy tanks and infantry. Only one missile is carried for each of the launchers without any additional ones stowed away. Two ATGM launchers are located on each side of the turret. These launchers have an elevation of up to +25°; the minimum elevation is −5°. Laser beam riding SACLOS is the method of guidance used by the Terminator’s ATGMs. The 9M120 Ataka missile has anti-tank, anti-personnel and anti-aircraft variants; the first two being the most commonly used by the BMPT. The original 9M120 Ataka missile is 130 mm in diameter and features a tandem warhead capable of defeating explosive reactive armor (ERA). The tandem warhead penetrates 800 mm of Rolled homogeneous armor (RHA) behind ERA with later variants capable of penetrating 950 mm of RHA after ERA. The anti-personnel variant (9M120F) contains a thermobaric warhead and yields a blast effect of 9.5 kg in TNT equivalence. This missile’s average speed for all variants is 400 m/s when reaching a target located 5.8 km from the launcher for a flight time of 14.5 seconds. The 9M120 has an operational range of up to 6 km[d] and travels at a supersonic speed of 550 m/s.
The BMPT has an additional set of weapons consisting of two 30 mm 2A42 autocannons. A total of 850 rounds of ready use ammunition can be carried. These twin autocannons have a combined fire rate of 600 rounds per minute. Traversal of the autocannons is in sync with the turret and it can elevate between −5° and +45°. The twin 2A42s are stabilized in the vertical and horizontal planes. One of the guns fires armor-piercing rounds while the other fires anti-personnel rounds. A wide range of ammunition is used by the 2A42 autocannon and they include: High Explosive-Tracer (HE-T), Armor-piercing discarding sabot (APDS), High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG) and Armor-Piercing-Tracer (AP-T). These rounds have effective ranges between 2,500 m and 4,000 m depending on the variant. The muzzle velocity of the projectiles is 960 m/s. A 7.62 mm PKTM machine gun is mounted coaxially with the main armament and holds 2,000 rounds.
To enable the BMPT to engage targets in both day and night conditions and when the BMPT is stationary or moving, a computerized fire-control system is fitted. The sight of the gunner includes a thermal channel, an optical channel, a guided ATGM channel, and a laser rangefinder. The sights provide detection of targets at ranges up to 7,000 m in poor weather conditions. The commander’s B07-K1 panoramic sight is located at the top of the BMPT and has a 360° field of view. This panoramic sight has optical, low-level laser rangefinder and television channels. The vehicle also has hunter-killer capabilities with its separate commander’s panoramic sight and gunner’s sight which can detect both ground and aerial targets. The gunner is able to use the commander’s sight to engage targets if his own sight is disabled or destroyed. The commander of the vehicle also has the ability to override the command to take control of the turret and guns from the gunner. The navigation system used by the BMPT is a combined GPS/GLONASS module.
The protection of the BMPT is superior to most MBTs, as active and passive protection is used, and additional armor (the vehicle lacks a manned turret), is distributed to the hull of the vehicle. The BMPT is fitted with additional ERA, on the front and sides. The side skirts are equipped with dynamical protection and latticed screens, which provides protection against RPGs. According to the characteristics of protection boards, the BMPT is superior to the T-90 tank. Unlike the T-90, protection from anti-tank weapons are also provided towards the sides and the rear of the vehicle. The BMPT mounts “Relikt” explosive reactive armor, which is claimed to be two to three times more effective than Kontakt-5 used on previous Russian tanks. Certain measures were taken to ensure this like placing the fuel tanks in a sealed housing compartment and fastening the seats towards the roof in case of a mine penetration. There are additional fuel tanks located in the rear of the hull in an armored compartment on the left fender. The vehicle is equipped with an automatic fire fighting system to fight any fires that will ignite within the vehicle.