A video posted by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on Youtube on Monday shows several Terminators in a live-fire exercise alongside tanks from the 90th Tank Division in the Chelyabinsk region of the Urals. Tankers of the Central Military District are mastering the new BMPT “Terminator”, which came to them for a trial operation. They study all the combat capabilities of the combat vehicles and test them in action. Under overcast skies, the armored formation advances across a snowy field while intermittently firing various weapons. In order to change the perspective on its use, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation refer to it more often as a fire support combat vehicle rather than a tank support fighting vehicle.
A small number were delivered to the Russian Ground Forces for evaluation beginning in 2005. The Russian Defence Ministry finally ordered the BMPT in August 2017. Deliveries of more than 10 vehicles were begun in early 2018. The Terminator appeared in the 2018 “Victory Day” parade on Moscow’s Red Square, and first saw combat in Syria in 2017. That year, at the Hmeymim air base in Syria, Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov demonstrated the fire support combat vehicle to Syrian President Bashar Assad.The version, unofficially referred to as the “Terminator-3,” incorporates the chassis, hulls, and components of the T-90A tank. That is, it can be used both as part of armored, motorized infantry formations and on its own, which is very important.
The BMPT “Terminator” (Tank Support Fighting Vehicle) is an 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. Built on the chassis of Russia’s T-72 tank, the heavily armored Ramka-99 BMPT-72 tank support combat vehicle — colloquially known as the “Terminator” is heavily armed and armored to survive in urban combat. This AFV is armed with Ataka-T Guided Weapon System 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.
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. 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.