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BMPT Terminator makes combat debut in Ukraine

A 90th Guards Tank Division BMPT providing fire support to T-72 tanks during a March 2021 exercise in Russia's Central Military District. (Russian MoD)

Russia's RIA Novosti news agency on 18 May confirmed the deployment of the Boevaya Mashina Podderzhki Tankov (Tank Support Fighting Vehicle, BMPT) Terminator, three days after footage showing four of the vehicles accompanied by a couple of T-72 family main battle tanks (MBTs) purportedly taken in the Luhansk oblast in eastern Ukraine began circulating on Russian social media.

The BMPT is a heavily armed and armoured vehicle, the protection and mobility of which matches that of a MBT, is designed to provide suppressive fire against enemy infantry.

The vehicle has been assigned the Main Automotive-Armoured Tank Directorate (GABTU) index code Obyekt (Object) 199 and was initially dubbed Ramka (Frame) 99. It was marketed as Terminator to foreign customers, likely inspired by the blockbuster US film of the same name, which was later also adopted by the Russian Ministry of Defence.

The vehicle uses a modified T-72 hull with the same six-wheeled chassis. The hull of the BMPT iteration in Russian military service is protected by Relikt family explosive reactive armour (ERA) on the side skirts, with slat armour covering the engine exhaust and rear of the vehicle. ERA blocks also protect the front glacis of the hull.

The turret is armed with two stabilised 2A42 30×165 mm dual-feed cannons, four Ataka-T family guided missiles housed in two canisters on either side of the hull, and a PMT 7.62×54R mm coaxial machine gun. In addition, two 30 mm AG-17D automatic grenade launchers are housed inside placements on the front sides of the hull, one above each track.

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