After being thoroughly worked over by Chechen separatists at the Battle of Grozny in 1995, Russia set about reinventing its armoured divisions. The existing BMP-2 vehicles were scrapped in favour of the improved BMPT "Ramka," better known as the Terminator. Like any blockbuster, this summer delivered an even bigger sequel: The BMPT-72. Call it Terminator 2.
Built by Uralvagonzavod, the BMPT-72 packs every bleeding edge technology in the Russian armoury into a T-72 main battle tank chassis, one of the most successful and widely adopted armoured platforms in the world.
Compared to the previous BMPT iteration, which entered service in 2005, the Terminator 2 features a host of design and technology improvements. The internal cabin is roomier, the turret now sports a lower profile and better small arms protection for its exposed missiles, and the both the fire control and navigation systems have been upgraded as well. The Terminator 2 sports an 850 hp B84MC engine or an optional 1000 hp B92C2. Both are V12 liquid cooled, turbocharged diesels.
The Terminator 2's armament has been significantly improved. It now carries a pair of 30mm, 600rpm A242 auto cannons capable of firing tracing, armour-piercing, and fragmentation rounds as well as a 7.62mm machine gun, four anti tank guided missile launchers, and a pair of 81mm smoke grenade launchers. The gunner is also outfitted with an optical/IR scope with laser rangefinding, as are the two drivers.
The Terminator 2 made its official début on September 25th at this year's Nizhny Tagil arms expo. “The key advantage that the BMPT-72 gives to all the counties that operate T-72 tanks is that they can promptly and at minimal cost upgrade their armies to an ultra modern level, and enhance capacity, mobility, protection and armament without purchasing new high cost machines,” Uralvgonzavod said in press release.