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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. Russia appears to have foregone procurement of the BMPT in favor of the T-15 IFV based on the Armata Universal Combat Platform to fill the role.
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 infantry 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 large 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, including the destruction of an entire mechanized brigade during the first battle of Grozny. 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 did 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.