Russian military trains cohesion between tanks and BMPT fire support vehicles - Part 2

The Russian MoD order saved the BMPT, otherwise the program would have been closed and Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) expenses written off.
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The BMPT-72 or Terminator-2 during a rehearsal of the VE-Day 1945 parade at the Alabino training ground (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)

BMPT was designed by the Ural Design Bureau of Transport Machine-Building of UVZ. It said the vehicle can be engaged in any conflict to destroy antitank weapons and troops. It can increase combat capabilities and survivability of tanks in the battlefield. BMPT can destroy a broad range of targets: grenade launchers, light armor, tanks, infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) and armored personnel carriers (APC). The high elevation angle of coaxial 30mm automatic guns allows firing at top floors in city fighting and downing drones and manned aircraft.

Designers said one BMPT can replace a couple of infantry fighting vehicles and a motorized rifle platoon. The combination of powerful multichannel arms and a big round of munitions (twice as many as an IFV has), modern search and detection means, all-round protection provides considerable advantages over the best IFV. The weapons provide a key advantage — dense fire and ability to simultaneously fire at four targets.

However, BMPT critics say the percussion action of the smooth-barrel 125mm guns of T-72, T-80 and T-90 tanks is much more powerful than 30mm guns and grenade launchers. Besides, the guns also launch antitank Reflex and Invar missiles, which are as powerful as Ataka. In a word, the tanks have enough firepower and the main task of the crew is to timely detect targets in direct visibility, such as a bunker, an antitank missile launcher, a grenade launcher, an artillery gun or an armored vehicle. BMPT sights are not superior to upgraded T-72B3 with Sosna-U and panoramic commander’s sights. It means BMPT and a tank see the same battlefield situation. Then which advantages does a BMPT have?

Speed grenade launchers and automatic guns can create a firewall and destroy a target. But BMPT is inferior to Shilka and Tunguska antiaircraft guns designed to accompany tanks in the battlefield and defend them against air attacks. Experts agree that speed guns are fruitful in city fighting, but say that artillery is the best means to clear the way for advancing tanks.

BMPT critics insist that no armored vehicle can fully replace soldiers in the battlefield. BMPT can fire more bullets, shells and grenades than an infantry platoon, but it will never cope with infantry missions in a field or city.

Combat armor engagement in the latest conflicts shows that tanks cannot always destroy small targets: soldiers, grenade launchers, artillery and antitank weapons. They properly hide in natural and artificial shelters, are poorly visible and scattered. They can suddenly attack a tank and destroy it. The survival of the armor depends on timely detection and destruction of targets. BMPT was designed for the mission.


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