Russia has deployed its first regular unit of Terminator combat support tanks. The first regular company of nine BMPT-72 tanks has been assigned to the Russian Army’s Central Military District’s 90th Guards Tank Division, stationed in the Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk of the Urals Region in Central Russia.
The Russian BMPT-72 Tank, nicknamed the “Terminator,” is a multipurpose fire support fighting vehicle. The tank is heavily armored, featuring advanced technological capabilities, including heavy armaments and advanced fire control with a high degree of maneuverability.
The BMPT-72 can reach high speeds and is armed with two autocannons, two grenade launchers, and four missile launchers, with the anti-tank missile system able to reach targets up to almost 6 kilometers.
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The tanks can engage enemy helicopters and low-flight aircrafts while operating in tandem with air defense systems. It can also take on light armored targets, infantry vehicles, and tanks.
Boyevaya Mashina Podderzhki Tankov-72 or BMPT-72 is built on the chassis of the 20-year-old T-72 main battle tank; the tank at the time failed to attract much attention and find takers in the military.
The design of the BMPT-72 was conceived based on the combat experiences of the Soviet-Afghan and Chechen Wars, where the Soviet military suffered huge losses at the hands of the Chechen and Afghan guerrillas.
The tanks in possession of the Soviets at the time were unsuitable for urban environment combat.
The design of the tanks made them suitable for operations in open terrains since the gun barrels lacked the ability to be raised high enough to engage anti-tank gunners positioned at higher positions.
This is where the “Terminator” tanks come into play that works in a supportive role to the armored forces driving alongside them with highly maneuverable gun barrels suited to combat in urban environments.
According to a Russian newswire agency TASS, the Central Military District Commander Colonel-General Alexander Lapin stated that:
“I am deeply convinced that this materiel will successfully accomplish combat tasks in combined arms warfare and in compliance with modern requirements as the most effective weapon both to support tanks and address a broad range of missions in the mountains and in populated localities.”