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BMPT at the 2009 Russian Expo Arms
|Type||Tank support combat vehicle; Missile tank|
|Place of origin||Russia|
|Designer||Ural Transport Engineering Design Bureau|
|Weight||48 t (53 short tons; 47 long tons)|
|Length||7.2 m (23 ft 7 in)|
|Width||3.37 m (11 ft 1 in)[lower-alpha 1]|
3.8 m (12 ft 6 in)[lower-alpha 2]
|Height||1.94 m (6 ft 4 in)[lower-alpha 3]|
3.44 m (11 ft 3 in)
|Armor||Combination of composite armor, reactive armor and steel|
|4× 130 mm Ataka-T launchers|
2× 30 mm 2A42 autocannons
|2× 30 mm AG-17D grenade launchers|
1× 7.62 mm PKTM machine gun
|Engine||V-92S2 diesel engine|
1,000 hp (736 kW)
|Power/weight||20.4 hp/tonne (15.0 kW/tonne)|
|Ground clearance||406 mm (16.0 in)|
|Fuel capacity||1,200 L (320 US gal)|
|≥550 km (340 mi)|
|Speed||≥60 km/h (37 mph)|
The BMPT "Terminator" is a post-Cold war armored fighting vehicle (AFV) designed and manufactured by the Russian company, Uralvagonzavod. This vehicle was designed for supporting tanks and other AFVs in urban areas. The BMPT is unofficially named the "Terminator" by the manufacturers. It is heavily armed and armored to survive in urban combat. This AFV is armed with four 9M120 Ataka missile launchers, two 30 mm 2A42 autocannons, two AG-17D grenade launchers, and one coaxial 7.62 mm PKTM machine gun.
The BMPT is built on the chassis of the T-72 main battle tank which is used in large numbers by the Russian Army and has been manufactured under license by many other countries. The BMPT was designed based on combat experience gained during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and the First Chechen War. Multiple prototypes of a tank support combat vehicle were created prior to the design of the current BMPT. The Object 199 "Ramka" was the prototype later to be known as the modern BMPT with the official producer being Uralvagonzavod. A small number were delivered to the Russian Ground Forces for evaluation beginning in 2005. As of late 2013, the only operator of the BMPT was Kazakhstan.
The history of the BMPT's development can be traced back to the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Combat experience during the lengthy war revealed that infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) like the BMP-1 and BMP-2 cannot fully cope with manpower despite the latter having a high gun elevation. Although main battle tanks (MBTs) possessed a high amount of firepower, the limited elevation and depression of the main gun made them easy targets in mountainous and urban terrain. In the 1980s, the Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant began designing prototypes for the new concept, early prototypes being Object 781, Object 782 and Object 787. It was evident that a new vehicle concept was needed. The main requirements for this new machine was that it possessed immense firepower, a high angle of gun fire, and the protection equivalent to that of an MBT. An additional requirement that was meant to supplement the latter was enhanced protection from close range hand-held RPGs.
The need for a vehicle with all these requirements became even more evident during the First Chechen War. When using conventional armor during urban engagements, Russian forces suffered heavy losses in manpower and equipment. While these losses cannot be entirely blamed on technology, it became clear that a dedicated anti-personnel fighting vehicle would provide valuable assistance in an urban environment. Self-propelled anti-aircraft (AA) guns were pressed as a temporary solution in Chechnya. However, these vehicles were not well-armored and do not possess the same obstacle-clearing capability as an MBT.
There have been several different prototype designs of a tank support fighting vehicle. For instance, the Object 193A and the Object 745. A mock-up of the Object 199 was shown for the first time in public during the summer of 2000. This vehicle was slightly different from the current design, being armed with only a single 2A42 30 mm gun and with four 9M133 Kornet missiles located on one side of the turret. The production model of the BMPT was introduced in 2002 which featured the twin 30 mm autocannons, the two independent 30 mm automatic grenade launchers, and the four Ataka missile launchers.
When used in urban terrain, each main battle tank is deployed with two BMPTs. Outside of urban warfare that ratio is reversed with one BMPT protecting two main battle tanks. This results from the complexity of fighting in urban terrain and the need for a versatile anti-personnel platform that can engage multiple targets at once and on different height levels. The introduction of such a vehicle makes urban fighting less stressful on MBTs and can relieve them of some of the workload so that they can concentrate on their main objective of engaging other MBT and hardened targets. The BMPT's armor protection is equal to that of an MBT and its powerful armaments allow it to engage virtually every enemy formation while operating in a common battle formation. Due to the multiple weapons systems found on the BMPT, this vehicle is able to fire at multiple targets simultaneously. These features significantly help increase the combat effectiveness of tank units and decrease their losses from enemy close-combat assets.
The armament includes:
Anti-tank guided weapons
The Terminator has four Ataka ATGM launchers as a set of primary armaments to defeat enemy tanks and infantry. Only one missile is carried for each of the launchers without any additional ones stowed away. Two ATGM launchers are located on each side of the turret and traverse a complete 360° in sync with the turret. These launchers have an elevation of up to +25°; the minimum elevation is −5°. Laser beam riding SACLOS is the method of guidance used by the Terminator's ATGMs. The 9M120 Ataka missile has multiple variants including: multiple anti-tank variants, an anti-personnel variant, and an anti-aircraft variant. The two former categories are the variants mostly used by the BMPT. The original 9M120 Ataka missile is 130 mm in diameter and features a tandem warhead capable of defeating explosive reactive armor (ERA). The tandem warhead penetrates 800 mm of Rolled homogeneous armor (RHA) behind ERA with later variants capable of penetrating 950 mm of RHA after ERA. The anti-personnel variant (9M120F) contains a thermobaric warhead and yields a blast effect of 9.5 kg in TNT equivalence. This missile's average speed for all variants is 400 m/s when reaching a target located 5.8 km from the launcher for a flight time of 14.5 seconds. The 9M120 has an operational range of up to 6 km[lower-alpha 4] and travels at a supersonic speed of 550 m/s.
The BMPT has an additional set of primary armaments consisting of two 30 mm 2A42 autocannons. A total of 850 rounds of ready use ammunition can be carried. These twin autocannons have a combined fire rate of 600 rounds per minute. Traversal of the autocannons is in sync with the turret and it can elevate between −5° and +45°. The twin 2A42s are stabilized in the vertical and horizontal planes. One of the guns fires armor-piercing rounds while the other fires anti-personnel rounds. A wide range of ammunition is used by the 2A42 autocannon and they include: High Explosive-Tracer (HE-T), Armor-piercing discarding sabot (APDS), High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG) and Armor-Piercing-Tracer (AP-T). These rounds have effective ranges between 2,500 m and 4,000 m depending on the variant. The muzzle velocity of the projectiles is 960 m/s. A 7.62 mm PKTM machine gun is mounted coaxially with the main armament and holds 2,000 rounds.
An AG-17D grenade launcher is located on each side of the BMPT; operated by one crew member. A total of 600 rounds of 30 mm grenades are carried for both grenade launchers. There is no reloading for the grenade launchers because each one holds 300 rounds in a single belt. Only vertical stabilization is provided for the grenade launchers. The horizontal angles that the AG-17Ds can cover are from 5° (to the left) to 27° (to the right) for the right grenade launcher and from 27° (to the left) and 5° (to the right) for the left grenade launcher. The maximum vertical elevation is +20° and the minimum is −5.5°. The muzzle velocity is 185 m/s and the fire rate is 420–480 rds/min. An effective range of 1,700 m is provided while the kill radius of the 30 mm grenades is seven meters. Automatic grenade launcher operators are equipped with the "Agat-MR" day/night independent stabilized sights.
Fire control system
To enable the BMPT to engage targets in both day and night conditions and when the BMPT is stationary or moving, a computerized fire-control system is fitted. The sight of the gunner includes a thermal channel, an optical channel, a guided ATGM channel, and a laser rangefinder. The field of view sight has an independent stabilization in two planes. The sights provide detection of targets at ranges up to 7,000 m in poor weather conditions. The commander's B07-K1 panoramic sight is located at the top of the BMPT and has a 360° field of view. This panoramic sight has optical, low-level laser rangefinder and television channels. The B07-K2 standard gunner's sight consists of optical and thermal channels and a laser rangefinder. The vehicle also has hunter-killer capabilities with its separate commander's panoramic sight and gunner's sight which can detect both ground and aerial targets. The gunner is able to use the commander's sight to engage targets if his own sight is disabled or destroyed. The commander of the vehicle also has the ability to override the command to take control of the turret and guns from the gunner. The navigation system used by the BMPT is a combined GPS/GLONASS module.
The protection of the BMPT is superior to most MBTs, as active and passive protection is used, and additional armor (the vehicle lacks a turret), is distributed to the hull of the vehicle. The BMPT is fitted with additional ERA, on the front and sides. The side skirts are equipped with dynamical protection and latticed screens, which provides protection against RPGs. According to the characteristics of protection boards, the BMPT is superior to the T-90 tank. Unlike the T-90, protection from anti-tank weapons are also provided towards the sides and the rear of the vehicle. The ERA used by the Terminator is "Relikt" which is claimed to be two to three times more effective than Kontakt-5.
The Terminator possesses a System 902A automatic smoke grenade launcher on both sides of the turret which serves as camouflage and provides protection against infrared weapons. Special attention was paid to the survivability of the BMPT and its crew. Certain measures were taken to ensure this like placing the fuel tanks in a sealed housing compartment and fastening the seats towards the roof in case of a mine penetration. There are additional fuel tanks located in the rear of the hull in an armored compartment on the left fender. The vehicle is equipped with an automatic fire fighting system to fight any fires that will ignite within the vehicle.
The torsion bar suspension on each side consists of six roadwheels with the idler at the front, drive sprocket at the rear and three return rollers supporting the inside of the track only. Like the T-72, the BMPT has a built in dozer to overcome obstacles. The maximum speed of the vehicle is 60 km/h over highways and a cruising range of 550 km with external fuel tanks. The BMPT can cross a trench that's as long as 2.7 ± 0.1 m and over come vertical obstacles as high as 0.85 m. Like the T-72, the transmission of the engine is manual with seven gears for forward and one gear for reverse. The maximum gradient for the BMPT is 30° and 25° when climbing forwards and travelling along a side respectively. Fording capabilities are provided by the BMPT. It can cross water obstacles with a depth of 1.2 m without preparation and 1.8 m with five minutes of preparation. When installed with a snorkel kit, this vehicle is able to cross rivers up to five meters in depth.
Crew and life support
The rear of the driver's compartment, at the front of the vehicle, has been raised, providing greater internal volume. It uses proven elements from those fitted to the T-90 MBT. The Terminator has a crew of five which consists of: a vehicle commander, a driver, a gunner, and two grenade launcher operators. NBC protection is provided to the crew to ensure survival against radiation and biological weapons. As an option, the BMPT can be fitted with mine-clearing devices such as the KMT-7 or KMT-8 mine sweepers. T-72 tanks can be also converted into BMPT.
In September 2013, Uralvagonzavod unveiled the latest armored fighting vehicle at the Russian Arms Expo 2013 exhibition in Nizhny Tagil, Russia. This vehicle was identified as the BMPT-72 "Terminator 2" and was built as a successor to the BMPT. The "Terminator 2" vehicle is substantially similar when compared to its predecessor. Like its predecessor, it is built on a base T-72 hull – including drivetrain, running gear and so on – and has been designed to operate alongside MBTs or independently. The Terminator 2 can be effectively used to destroy enemy tanks, armored personnel carriers and other armored assets, and to suppress enemy firing emplacements and infantry using grenade launchers and antitank weapons systems. Unlike the Terminator 1 however, the Terminator 2 is a retrofit only package, with only old T-72s and similar being upgraded to BMPT-72 standard (no new build vehicles). The Terminator 2 is aimed at the export market (in particular as part of offset deals). A Uralvagonzavod spokesperson told a select audience at the exhibition that "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." In addition, the conversion process of the obsolete vehicles can be undertaken at the customer facilities. The overseer of the Russian defense and space industries – Dmitry Rogozin – said future versions of the BMPT will likely be based on the Armata Universal Combat Platform.
Armament and FCS
The two automatic grenade launchers are removed along with its operators; reducing the crew to three. The number of munitions for the Ataka missiles, 2A42 autocannons, and PKTM machine gun remains unchanged. A new and improved FCS is installed in the BMPT-72. During daytime, the maximum distance for identifying a tank sized target is 5,000 m with the sighting channel and 3,500 m with the thermal channel. The ballistic computer is electronic and fully digital with a set of weather and topographical sending units.
Although the weight of the new BMPT is reduced by four metric tonnes, it still boasts a high level of protection like its predecessor. The Terminator 2 is shorter and thinner than the original Terminator. The BMPT-72 has a height of 3.33 m and a width of 3.6 m while the Object 199 Ramka had a height of 3.44 m and a width of 3.8 m. The upper part of the suspension is protected by armor plates towards the front and slat armor towards the rear. Additional slat armor is fitted on the rear and sides of the chassis to increase protection against rocket propelled grenades. Missile launchers for the Ataka missiles are fitted with extra armor to provide protection against splinters and small arms fire. CBRN protection is provided for the crew members and is collective. In addition to the combined armor modules, the BMPT-72 is equipped with a screening system designed to counter laser target-designators and laser rangefinders. A type R-168-25UE-2 radio is installed on board the Terminator 2.
The mobility of the BMPT-72 does not differ significantly from the original BMPT. It can be fitted with two different engines, the original 840 hp V84MS or the new 1,000 hp V92S2 power plants. Both of these engines are 12 cylinder V type multi-fuel, liquid cooled diesel engines. The B92C2 is a turbo supercharger which offers higher power and efficiency. The engine is coupled to a hydraulically assisted transmission with seven forward gears and one reverse gear.
- Kazakh Armed Forces – 10 BMPT units were ordered in 2010 and delivered by Russia from 2011 to 2013. Three of these vehicles were showcased for the first time during the 2011 Constitution Day parade. In 2012, an additional 30 BMPTs were selected but may have not yet been ordered by late 2013. As of early 2014, in addition to the purchase of the vehicles, licensed assembly will be implemented with a number of techniques from kits supplied by Russia. This dual production between UralVagonZavod and Kazakhstan is scheduled to open by 2015.
- People's National Army – A possible contract may be underway after BMPT samples were tested in a series of trials. This occurred at the "Hussey Baba" army training ground located in a mountainous environment during 2013.
- Azerbaijani Land Forces – At the DEX 2014 defence exhibition in Baku, Rosoboronexport proposed an in-depth modernization of the current T-72 tanks to the Fire Support Combat Vehicle configuration. Azeri President Ilham Aliyev expressed interest in the "Terminator-2" along with the Ka-52 "Alligator" helicopter.
- Peruvian Army – Uralvagonzavod proposed a solution for modernization of old Russian made T-55s by installing the turret of the BMPT. The land forces of the Peruvian army wanted to purchase a new main battle tank in late 2013. According to Uralvagonzavod, the engine, transmission, and suspension of T-55 tank should not be changed if the upgrade takes place. It is also possible to upgrade the powerpack and suspension to increase the level of mobility.
- Russian Ground Forces – A small number were tested in 2005. In 2010, Chief of Armaments of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Vladimir Popovkin said that the BMPT along with the 2S25 and BMD-4 will not be accepted into service due to the armored vehicles being developed on chassis' from the Soviet era.
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