Chechen fighters utterly pwned the Russian Federation’s tanks during the Battle of Grozny, targeting the vehicles’ thinly armoured roofs with RPGs from rooftop sniper nests. Russia’s go-to anti-personnel armour at the time, the BMP-2, couldn’t raise its turrets high enough to return fire. So, Russia began do develop an armoured support vehicle designed for a dense, urban combat zone — the Terminator.
The Boyevaya Mashina Podderzhki Tankov (BMPT translates into “Tank Support Fighting Vehicle” — the Terminator is its nickname) has been produced by the Uralvagonzavod company since 1995. Designed to protect tanks from infantry and anti-armor forces, the Terminator engages multiple targets simultaneously, allowing the tanks to focus on what they do best — shooting hardened targets (like other tanks).
The BMPT, based on the Russian T-72 battle tank chassis, is powered by a 1000HP V-92S2 diesel that allows the 47-tonne, 7m long vehicle to reach speeds up to 65km/h. It’s operated by a crew of five. Defensively, the BMPT sports steel-hardened active and passive reactive armor. The active armour has a small charge sandwiched between armour plates, which detonates to deflect incoming charges. Passive armour does the same thing sans the explosive, with kevlar lining the vehicle interior to defend against spalling. The BMPT is also protected against NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) weapons, and it’s outfitted with an automatic fire extinguisher system. If the situation gets really hairy, the BMPT can fire smoke grenades for camouflage. All in all, the Terminator’s defensive capabilities and heritage put it on par with the Main Battle Tanks that it defends.
Offensively, well, it’s not called the Terminator for nothing — dual 30mm auto-cannons with a 600RPM feed are loaded with 850 rounds each of various fragmentation and piercing ordnance (specifically HE-T, APDS, HE-FRAG and AP-T). Dual remote-controlled 30mm automatic grenade launchers, four anti-tank missile launchers and one coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun make the BMPT absolutely deadly against infantry, light vehicles, even firiggin’ helicopters. And since each weapon system can be fired independently by either the commander or the gunner, the Terminator can take on up to three enemies simultaneously. It operates effectively day or night, regardless of weather conditions, thanks to computerized firing controls (adapted from the T-90 battle tank) as well as PNK ranging sights for both the Commander and Gunner.