Russia’s UralVagonZavod (UVZ) is presenting a compelling solution by transforming aging T-72 main battle tanks (MBTs) into advanced BMPT-72 ‘Terminator’-style fire support vehicles. UVZ primarily targets international customers with older tank fleets for this conversion service. The retrofitting of these outdated tanks into the BMPT-72 configuration results in a combat vehicle boasting entirely revamped capabilities, nearly on par with the BMPT Terminator-2. Compared to the Terminator-2, the BMPT-72 boasts a reduced crew of three, including a commander, gunner-operator, and driver, achieved by removing its 30mm grenade launchers. Its weaponry includes an unmanned turret armed with:
- Four launchers for the 130 mm 9M120 Ataka-T anti-tank guided missile (ATGM)
- Two 30 mm 2A42 autocannons with 850 rounds
- Either two AG-17D or two AGS-30 30 mm grenade launchers with 600 rounds
- One 7.62 mm PKTM machine gun equipped with 2,000 rounds
The BMPT’s primary armament consists of the two 30 mm 2A42 autocannons, capable of carrying 850 rounds of ready-to-use ammunition. These twin autocannons boast a combined fire rate of 600 rounds per minute, providing continuous fire for 85 seconds before requiring reloading, taking into account practical rate-of-fire limitations such as barrel overheating. The projectiles from these autocannons achieve a muzzle velocity of 960 m/s. Additionally, a 7.62 mm PKTM machine gun is coaxially mounted with the main armament. The BMPT employs Ataka missiles to neutralize heavily armored targets such as tanks (shaped charge), infantry (thermobaric warhead), or aircraft (continuous rod). The Terminator’s ATGMs utilize laser beam riding SACLOS guidance. The original 9M120 Ataka missile measures 130 mm in diameter and features a tandem warhead capable of penetrating explosive reactive armor (ERA). Subsequent versions can penetrate up to 950 mm of Rolled homogeneous armor (RHA) behind ERA. The anti-personnel variant (9M120F) contains a thermobaric warhead with a blast effect equivalent to 9.5 kg of TNT.
Distinguishing the Terminator 1 from its successor, it serves as a retrofit-only package, upgrading old T-72B or T-72M tanks to BMPT-72 standard. The BMPT-72’s mobility closely mirrors that of the original T-72. An auxiliary diesel Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) is incorporated to enable the vehicle to maintain most functions when the main engine is deactivated. Two options are available, a small 5 kW DGU-5-P27 5-VM1 and an 8 kW DGU-8-P27 5-VM1. The BMPT stands at a height of 3.33 m and has a width of 3.6 m, whereas the Object 199 Ramka measured 3.44 m in height and 3.8 m in width. Additional slat armor is affixed to the chassis’s rear and sides to enhance protection against rocket-propelled grenades. Missile launchers for the Ataka missiles are fortified with extra armor to shield against splinters and small arms fire. Collective chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) protection is extended to the crew members for added safety.