52 Tons and Ten Guns: This Tank Killer Killer Makes it Rain Hell

Illustration for article titled 52 Tons and Ten Guns: This Tank Killer Killer Makes it Rain Hell

Chechen fighters utterly pwned the Russian Federation's tanks during the Battle of Grozny, targeting the vehicles' thinly-armored roofs with RPGs from rooftop sniper nests. Russia's go-to anti-personnel armor at the time, the BMP-2, couldn't raise its turrets high enough to return fire. So, Russia began do develop an armored support vehicle designed for a dense, urban combat zone—the Terminator.


The Boyevaya Mashina Podderzhki Tankov (BMPT translates into "Tank Support Fighting Vehicle"—the Terminator is its nickname) has been produced by the Uralvagonzavod company since 1995. Designed to protect tanks from infantry and anti-armor forces, the Terminator engages multiple targets simultaneously, allowing the tanks to focus on what they do best—shooting hardened targets (like other tanks).

The BMPT, based on the Russian T-72 battle tank chassis, is powered by a 1,000HP V-92S2 diesel that allows the 52 ton, 22-foot long vehicle to reach speeds up to 40 MPH. It's operated by a crew of five. Defensively, the BMPT sports steel-hardened active and passive reactive armor. The active armor has a small charge sandwiched between armor plates, which detonates to deflect incoming charges. Passive armor does the same thing sans the explosive, with kevlar lining the vehicle interior to defend against spalling. The BMPT is also protected against NBC (nuclear, biological, and chemical) weapons, and it's outfitted with an automatic fire extinguisher system. If the situation gets really hairy, the BMPT can fire smoke grenades for camouflage. All in all, the Terminator's defensive capabilities and heritage put it on par with the Main Battle Tanks that it defends.

Offensively, well, it's not called the Terminator for nothing—dual 30-mm auto-cannons with a 600RPM feed are loaded with 850 rounds each of various fragmentation and piercing ordnance (specifically HE-T, APDS, HE-FRAG and AP-T). Dual remote-controlled 30-mm automatic grenade launchers, four anti-tank missile launchers and one coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun make the BMPT absolutely deadly against infantry, light vehicles, even friggin' helicopters. And since each weapon system can be fired independently by either the commander or the gunner, the Terminator can take on up to three enemies simultaneously. It operates effectively day or night, regardless of weather conditions, thanks to computerized firing controls (adapted from the T-90 battle tank) as well as PNK ranging sights for both the Commander and Gunner.

Like Schwarzenegger with a mini-gun, if you see one of these coming—you'd better run. [Uralvagonzavod - Wikipedia - Military Today - Warfare.Ru - Russian Military Photos]



Now...as a former US tanker the problem I see with this thing is duh obvious...

It's still EXTREMELY vulnerable to top down kills which the Chechens are VERY good at. Reactive armor is only good against a single incoming projectile. Depending on how sensitive the detonator on the charges are, you can set it off with a high caliber rifle to defeat it, then whammo the Terminator with an RPG. If it needs more blunt concussive force, drop a frag on top of it, armor goes off, fire RPG. Again, Terminator down.

And don't get me started on what a good ol' boy with a .30-06 can do to tank tread or to the optics. Let alone to the exposed machinery of all those guns.