The first Russian BMPT Terminator unit is operational

Since its first public appearance in 2002, the infantry engagement vehicle BMPT Terminator generated a lot of media interest. It is true that this armored vehicle designed on a T-72 chassis, and carrying an impressive arsenal made up of 2 30mm auto cannons, 4 9M120 ATAKA-T anti-tank missiles, 2 30mm grenade launchers and a 7,62mm machine gun served by a crew of 5, was an innovative approach to say the least inherited from the vulnerabilities observed in infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers during the conflicts in Afghanistan, as well as during the disastrous campaign. of Chechnya in 1994. Thus armed, the BMPT's mission is to escort the armored vehicles by destroying the pockets of infantry resistance, especially in urban areas, while engaging the enemy armor with its missiles and 30mm guns. In addition, it can provide close protection against aircraft and other drones at close range.

Despite these tempting promises, the Terminator, and its simplified exported version Terminator 2, hardly succeeded in convincing, with confirmed export orders coming only from Kazakstan and Algeria, and above all with a frank mistrust of the Russian military. For the latter, in fact, the use and the particular capabilities of the BMPT are difficult to convince when faced with the combat tank / infantry combat vehicle pair, and all the more so as the new Russian VCIs, whether they are of T-15 Army, K-25 Kurganet or K-16 Bumerang, will be equipped with a firepower much greater than that of the current BMP-2, in particular with the Epoch turret and / ora 57mm gun which offer overall capabilities comparable to that of the Terminator, while effectively transporting 8 infantry soldiers deemed essential to accompany armored vehicles in combat, in particular in urban areas.

The new Russian VCIs like the T-15 will receive a turret armed with a 57 mm gun at high rate of fire, and Ataka or Hermes anti-tank missiles, giving them a firepower similar or even greater than that of the BMPT

However, the Russian Army has agreed to acquire a certain number of BMPT Terminator, and the first company fully equipped with this armored vehicle, belonging to the 90th Armored Division of the Guard, was declared operational, after a year of evaluation and handling by its crews. This will be engaged in particular, according to the statements of Russian officials, in a vast exercise next June, to assess its assets and operational added value, this will certainly condition the future of the Terminator in the Russian armies themselves. , especially since it will likely be evaluated compared to the latest versions of infantry fighting vehicles, which are also completing their status tests at this time.

However, the Terminator could experience a full-scale test much sooner than announced. Indeed, according to certain observations, the 90th Armored Division of the Guard would have started, at this very moment, the deployment of some of its reinforced battalions along the Ukrainian border. Still, the very concept of BMPT runs the risk of quickly colliding with the very significant increase in the firepower of Russian and international Infantry Fighting Vehicles, or like new armored reconnaissance vehicles such as theEBRC jaguar much more mobile and modern, without offering the versatility of these armored vehicles. We can therefore think, despite the theoretical appeal of this model, that its presence within the Russian armed forces will remain limited, if not anecdotal.

With its 40mm gun and new generation MMP anti-tank missiles, the French Jaguar EBRC Reconnaissance and Combat Armored Vehicle also has firepower comparable to that of the Terminator, while offering greater mobility, and a smaller logistics footprint.

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