Russia’s cutting-edge tank support vehicle, the BMPT-72 Terminator, which has displayed an exhilarating combat performance against Ukraine, was finally obliterated by Ukraine’s Armed Forces, according to reports.
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The BMPT-72 Terminator was allegedly destroyed near the Luhansk region’s Kreminna, where intense combat has recently been observed. The head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, Serhii Haidai, announced the first recorded kill of the vehicle on his Telegram channel.
On February 9, a video was posted by several social media accounts that described it as the first visually documented destruction of the Russian BMPT Terminator by the soldiers of the 140th Separate Reconnaissance Battalion of Naval Forces of Ukraine.
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In the video, a BMPT could be seen alone on the road in what appears to be a forest, with surrounding areas still covered with snow. The camera captures two near hits on the Terminator, followed by the moment the vehicle is stuck by a Ukrainian shot and soon goes up in flames.
This development comes when Ukraine is preparing for a fresh ground offensive in the coming months, for which it is expected to deploy the cutting-edge Western main battle tanks. Destroying the Terminator could boost the morale of Ukrainian troops, as this vehicle has been at the forefront of the Russian offensive in recent weeks.
Last month, the Russian Ministry of Defense published a video showing a Russian tank destroying a Ukrainian tank with the fire support of BMPT-72 Terminator. The footage showed the Russian military tank firing first, followed by the BMPT firing 33-millimeter guns against Ukrainian positions.
Several such instances have been recorded on camera where the Russian Terminator could be seen aiding Russian tank fights against the Ukrainian tanks. These vehicles were spotted by the open-source intelligence company Janes in May and have been repeatedly seen in Luhansk.
These vehicles reportedly perform quite well in Ukraine, as previously reported by the EurAsian Times. As noted by military watchers and experts, the BMPT strives to overcome the vulnerabilities of a tank on a modern battlefield full of light anti-tank weapons.
Russia’s Tank Support Vehicle, or BMPT, is heavily armored compared to the Main Battle Tank. The primary purpose of the vehicle’s design was to support MBTs by suppressing enemy infantry. The BMPT has frequently been seen traveling in a convoy of tanks in the ensuing combat.
Further, the performance of these one-of-a-kind tank support vehicles has been applauded by several military watchers, with Russian blogger Starshe Eddy claiming BMPTs have demonstrated effectiveness in forest and urban locations in Ukraine.
Russia’s BMPT Terminator
Unlike the main battle tank (MBT), a tank support fighting vehicle is designed to assist armored operations rather than participate in them. The Terminator is based on a T-72 chassis. It protects the MBTs from enemy infantry ambushes, ATGMs, or grenade launchers in open terrain or urban areas.
With assistance from BMPTs, tank units and supporting infantry can work more successfully in an urban environment where the fire may come from an unexpected angle. As seen in Ukraine, the Western-supplied anti-tank missiles strike the tank from the top, where it is most susceptible.
The BMPT significantly assists Russian operations as a ground battle between the two sides intensifies, and a heavy tank loss has been sustained. It is a “high-quality and very reliable weapon complex, and it shoots perfectly,” the grenade launcher operator of the vehicle’s crew claimed earlier.
The BMPT was intended to be produced by modifying pre-existing T-72s rather than being constructed entirely from scratch. This was also feasible because the country had many T-72s in operation and storage facilities.
The Terminator turret could be attached to an existing tank hull effectively. The vehicle has the same six-wheeled chassis as a T-72.
The BMPT’s side skirts are equipped with explosive reactive armor (ERA) from the Relikt family, and its back and exhaust are protected by slat armor. ERA blocks additionally protect the forward glacis of the ship.
The BMPT’s weaponry was also selected to be effective in urban combat situations, concentrating on short-range, suppressive firepower against targets that would be challenging to reach. For instance, the BMPT-72’s gun mounts may be elevated to steep angles to shoot targets high up in buildings.
The BMPT has two AGS-17 grenade launchers, two 30mm 2A42 cannons, four laser-guided 9M120-1 Ataka-type anti-tank missiles, and a 7.62mm Kalashnikov tank machine gun.
With all this capability, the vehicle is intended to reinforce existing main battle tanks with complementing fire. Thus, in addition to defending the MBTs in battle, it serves as a force multiplier.
Obliterating the BMPT has, thus, bought cheer for the Ukrainian troops embattled in the region with intensifying ground offensive mounted by the invading forces.