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Russia Increases the Use of BMPT Fire Support Armored Vehicles in Ukraine

Russian media outlet K-Politika recently reported that the Russian army has escalated its use of the BMPT fire support combat vehicles in Ukraine. This tactical shift aims to neutralize key targets and observation positions of Ukrainian forces more effectively.
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The BMPT Model 2017 is the current model of the BMPT in service with the Russian army. (Picture source Russian MoD)

According to the telegram channel NGP RaZVedka, significant developments have occurred on the southern flank of the conflict. The Russian Armed Forces reportedly broke through the defenses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine north of SNT Vinogradniki, gaining entry into the territory of Avdeevka.

The reports suggest that the Russian infantry, bolstered by the support of BMPT fire support combat vehicles and tanks, launched a surprise assault on Ukrainian army positions. This unexpected move by the Russian forces caught the Ukrainian troops off guard.

As of the morning of December 12, 2023, Russian soldiers are said to have expanded the area of their breakthrough near Kolosov Street. Following the assault, they reportedly cleared enemy positions and began the process of consolidating their hold on the newly captured territory.

These developments indicate a significant escalation in the use of advanced military vehicles and tactics by the Russian army in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The use of BMPT fire support vehicles, in particular, underscores a strategic shift in the Russian military approach in this region. The situation remains fluid, and further updates are expected as more information becomes available.

The BMPT Model 2017, also known as the "Terminator", is a sophisticated version of Russia's fire support vehicle, building upon the foundation laid by its predecessors. This model is particularly notable for its enhanced combat capabilities, designed to provide comprehensive support to both tank and infantry units in diverse combat scenarios.

This model is based on the tracked chassis of the first version of the BMPT, nicknamed "Terminator 1." It incorporates the turret of the BMPT-72, the second variant in the BMPT family. This combination results in a vehicle that is adept at providing fire support using weapon systems capable of engaging and destroying heavy and light armored vehicles, aerial targets, and fortifications.

A significant feature of the BMPT Model 2017 is its unmanned turret weapon station. This design choice places the three crew members at the front of the hull, enhancing their protection and survivability. The main armament of this turret includes two 30mm 2A42 automatic cannons. These cannons are highly versatile, capable of engaging ground targets such as light armored vehicles up to 1,500 meters away and soft-skinned targets at distances up to 4,000 meters. They can also target aerial threats flying at low altitudes up to 3,000 meters and at a slant range of 2,500 meters. The versatility of these cannons is further highlighted by their ability to fire a wide range of ammunition types, including APERS-T (Anti-Personnel), HEF-I (High-explosive Fragmentation Incendiary), AP-T (Armor Piercing), and KE (Kinetic Energy) rounds.

Each side of the turret is equipped with two missile launchers capable of firing the 9M12 Ataka anti-tank guided missile. This missile is particularly effective against tanks with composite armor and explosive reactive armor, boasting an operational range of 400 to 6,000 meters.

The BMPT Model 2017's secondary armament includes a PKT 7.62mm machine gun located in the upper part of the 30mm cannon and a 30mm automatic grenade launcher mounted on each side at the front of the hull. Additionally, the vehicle features a bank of five smoke-grenade dischargers integrated into the hull on each side, positioned near the bottom of the turret. This feature enhances the vehicle's defensive capabilities, allowing it to obscure its position and evade enemy targeting.

Overall, the BMPT Model 2017 represents a significant advancement in fire support vehicles, combining powerful armaments, advanced targeting systems, and improved crew protection to effectively support ground forces in various combat situations.

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