After being thoroughly worked over by Chechen separatists at the Battle of Grozny in 1995, Russia set about reinventing its armoured divisions. The existing BMP-2 vehicles were scrapped in favour of the improved BMPT "Ramka", better known as the Terminator. And, earlier this year, an even bigger sequel was delivered: The BMPT-72. Call it Terminator 2.
Built by Uralvagonzavod, the BMPT-72 packs every bleeding edge technology in the Russian armoury into a T-72 main battle tank chassis, one of the most successful and widely-adopted armoured platforms in the world.
Compared to the previous BMPT iteration, which entered service in 2005, the Terminator 2 features a host of design and technology improvements. The internal cabin is roomier, the turret now sports a lower profile and better small arms protection for its exposed missiles, and the both the fire control and navigation systems have been upgraded as well. The Terminator 2 sports an 850 hp B84MC engine or an optional 1000 hp B92C2. Both are V12 liquid-cooled, turbocharged diesels.
The Terminator 2's armament has been significantly improved. It now carries a pair of 30mm, 600rpm A242 auto-cannons capable of firing tracing, armour-piercing, and fragmentation rounds as well as a 7.62mm machine gun, four anti-tank guided missile launchers, and a pair of 81mm smoke grenade launchers. The gunner is also outfitted with an optical/IR scope with laser rangefinding, as are the two drivers.
The Terminator 2 made its official debut on September 25 at this year's Nizhny Tagil arms expo. "The key advantage that the BMPT-72 gives to all the counties that operate T-72 tanks is that they can promptly and at minimal cost upgrade their armies to an ultra-modern level, and enhance capacity, mobility, protection and armament without purchasing new high-cost machines," Uralvgonzavod said in press release.