BMPT Terminator: Russia's New 'Tank' Has Already Been to War in Ukraine

BMPT Terminator
February 17, 2024 Topic: Security Region: Europe Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: RussiaUkraineWar In UkrainePutinBMPT TerminatorBMPTTanks

BMPT Terminator: Russia's New 'Tank' Has Already Been to War in Ukraine

Built on the chassis of a T-72 main battle tank, the BMPT Terminator is an armored support vehicle for mechanized infantry and tanks. The combat vehicle is equipped with two automatic 2A42 30mm chain cannons, two 30mm grenade launchers, four 9M120 Ataka missile launchers, and a 7.62 light machine gun.

Summary: The Russian military faces significant challenges in Ukraine, where almost two years of combat have resulted in substantial losses, including advanced weapon systems like the BMPT Terminator armored fighting vehicle. Developed on the chassis of a T-72 main battle tank, the Terminator boasts formidable firepower, including automatic cannons, grenade launchers, and missile launchers, all mounted on a remotely operated turret. With modern sensors and advanced optics, it's well-equipped for nighttime and urban combat. Despite its capabilities, Ukrainian forces have managed to destroy several Terminators, diminishing their impact on the battlefield. Nevertheless, armored fighting vehicles like the Terminator play a crucial role in modern warfare, providing flexibility and support to mechanized infantry operations. While main battle tanks excel in certain tasks, a balanced combination of tanks, armored fighting vehicles, and mechanized infantry ensures maximum effectiveness on the battlefield, highlighting the importance of a comprehensive approach to military operations.

The Ukraine War Goes from Bad to Worse 

The Russian military is pressed hard in Ukraine. In almost two years of combat, the Russian forces have lost hundreds of thousands of troops killed and wounded, as well as thousands of heavy weapon systems.

Among the losses are some of the Kremlin’s most advanced weapon systems, including the BMPT Terminator armored fighting vehicle. 

The BMPT Terminator 

Built on the chassis of a T-72 main battle tank, the BMPT Terminator is an armored support vehicle for mechanized infantry and tanks. 

The combat vehicle is equipped with two automatic 2A42 30mm chain cannons, two 30mm grenade launchers, four 9M120 Ataka missile launchers, and a 7.62 light machine gun. The two 30mm chain cannons and 9M120 Ataka missile launchers are fitted on a remotely operated turret. In total, the armored fighting vehicle packs around 850 30mm rounds and over 2,000 7.62mm rounds. 

On top of this weaponry, the BMPT Terminator comes with modern sensors for nighttime and urban combat. It has an advanced automatic fire control system, as well as thermal and night vision optics.

In terms of performance, the 44-ton BMPT Terminator can reach a maximum speed of about 40 miles per hour. As far as its defensive capabilities, the armored fighting vehicle is equipped with a combination of explosive reactive armor and basic steel armor. 

The Russian military unveiled the BMPT Terminator during the 2013 Russian Arms Expo defense exhibition. 

Unlike the T-14 Armata main battle tank and the Su-57 Checkmate fighter jet, the Russian military hasn’t hesitated to throw the BMPT Terminator into combat. The armored fighting vehicle has seen action in eastern Ukraine and the Donbas, showing positive signs. However, the Ukrainian forces have destroyed at least two BMPT Terminators. 

The Ukrainians destroyed the first armored fighting vehicle last February. Ukrainian marines incapacitated a BMPT Terminator with small-arms fire before Ukrainian artillery destroyed it in eastern Ukraine. Then, in August, Ukrainian special operators used suicide drones to first incapacitate and then destroy another BMPT Terminator in the Donbas. 

With only a handful of BMPT Terminators in service, the Russian military is unlikely to use the armored fighting vehicle in any meaningful way in the conflict. Sure, a BMPT Terminator can pop here or there, but unless Moscow finds a way to produce more, the weapon system won’t have a serious impact on the battlefield. 

Armored Fighting Vehicles and Mechanized Warfare 

Armored fighting vehicle are quite important on the modern battlefield. To be sure, main battle tanks are the heavy hitters, taking out enemy tanks, breaking through fortified positions, and paving the way for the mechanized infantry.

BMPT Terminator

But armored fighting vehicles like the BMPT Terminator have more flexibility and are better suited to support dismounted operations. At the end of the day, a military force will need a balance of tanks, armored fighting vehicles, and mechanized infantry to be as effective as possible. Each alone is less effective, but all together, they complement one another and maximize lethality on the battlefield. 

About the Author  

Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations and a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ). He holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University and an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP. Email the author: [email protected].