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Bad News: Russia’s First Tᴇʀᴍɪɴᴀᴛᴏʀ Tank to Enter Service

Russia may have been slow to adopt the “Tᴇʀᴍɪɴᴀᴛᴏʀ,” but it seems Moscow is now going on in with it.

The first nine BMPT “Tᴇʀᴍɪɴᴀᴛᴏʀ” tank support combat vehicles will soon be deployed to armored units of the Russian Army’s Central Military District’s 90th Guards Tank Division, which is stationed in the Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk Regions. The tanks will enter service after completely successful trials that are scheduled to take place beginning on December 1.

“This year, we have successfully tested new methods of employing tank support combat vehicles in the 90th Tank Division and this has been a long-awaited event for us,” Central Military District Commander Colonel-General Alexander Lapin told reporters on Monday, according to a report from TASS.

“We have thoroughly studied all the characteristics of these combat vehicles and I can say for certain after the tests and the operational evaluation that we held in June this year that the tank support combat vehicle is very effective and unrivaled by its firepower in this class of vehicles,” the commander added.

“We will now make a company of nine tank support combat vehicles operational in a tank regiment of the 90th Tank Division before the end of this year, by December 1, by a decision of the defense minister and on an instruction from the chief of the General Staff,” Lapin explained. “In June next year, we will hold a larger operational evaluation exercise to explore the potential of employing a battalion of tank support combat vehicles.”

Earlier this year, the BMPT took part in cohesion drills with tanks and other armored vehicles at the Urals proving ground. While development of the platform actually began more than twenty years ago, it was never fully embraced by the Russian military. Based on its recent performance, however, the tank support fighting vehicle could soon be employed by 90th Guards Tank Vitebsk-Novgorod Twice Red Banner Division, which was formed in December 2016—inheriting the awᴀʀds and history of the 6th Guards Motor Rifle Division.

Designed based on combat lessons gained during the Soviet-Afghan wᴀʀ and later during the First Chechen wᴀʀ, the BMPT was developed to serve in a support role for tanks and other armored fighting vehicles in urban areas. The “Tᴇʀᴍɪɴᴀᴛᴏʀ” is a multi-purpose heavily armored and armed tracked fire support fighting vehicle that offers powerful armament, advanced fire control instruments, and high maneuverability.

It is capable of striking light armored targets, tanks, and infantry fighting vehicles, while it can operate jointly with battlefield air defense systems to fight enemy helicopters and low-flying low-speed aircraft. The “Tᴇʀᴍɪɴᴀᴛᴏʀ” moniker is technically unofficial but is apt given the platform’s guardian/hunter role.

The BMPT platform is built on the chassis of a T-72 main battle tank (MBT), and it is armed with four 9M120 Ataka missile launchers, two 30-millimeter 2A42 autocannons, two AG-17D grenade launchers, and a single coaxial 7.62-millimeter PKTM machine gun. Its anti-tank missile system can reach targets of up to six kilometers, while the Tᴇʀᴍɪɴᴀᴛᴏʀ is also quite speedy for its size, and able to reach high speeds. It is operated by a crew of five.

BMPT “Tᴇʀᴍɪɴᴀᴛᴏʀ” – Tank Support Fighting Vehicle:

Russia may have been slow to adopt the “Tᴇʀᴍɪɴᴀᴛᴏʀ,” but it seems Moscow is now going on in with it, and it certainly has a fan in Colonel-General Lapin, who added, “This armor will successfully cope with its combat tasks in a combined arms engagement and in compliance with modern requirements as the most efficient firepower vehicle both to support tanks and address a broad range of missions in the mountains and in populated localities.”