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Ukrainian Soldiers Still Hunted by the Nightmarish Russian BMP-T Terminator Fire Support Combat Vehicle

According to a tweet by UkraineWarVid on June 12, 2023, the Russian 8th Army still uses a heavily armed BMP-T Terminator for night operations to target the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Avdeevsky direction, a city in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. At a distance of 4km, they used the BMPT Model 2017 variant, which combines the mobility of a Main Battle Tank (MBT) with the firepower of an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV).
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The BMP-T Terminator Model 2017 can unleash a formidable amount of firepower (Picture source Vitaly Kuzmin)

Based on information shared by a Russian crew member, the BMP-T Model 2017 was considered to offer strategic advantages on the battlefield due to its weaponry and its effectiveness in night operations. During nighttime engagements, reduced visibility affects a soldier's perception of enemy movements and positions. The targets become more distinguishable, fortifications may be highlighted by moonlight, and the presence of military personnel can become apparent on monitors. Various sources of illumination can also become visible, revealing areas where activities are taking place.

The BMP-T Model 2017 is the current version of BMPT in service with the Russian army that combines the capabilities of the original BMP-T/Terminator 1 with the advanced armament of the BMP-T72/Terminator 2. Produced by Uralvagonzavod, the Russian manufacturer of main battle tanks (MBTs), this fire support vehicle is designed to offer increased firepower and support to tank and motorized rifle units.

Equipped with a formidable array of weaponry, the Terminator Model 2017 fulfills its role as a fire support vehicle effectively. It features two 30mm automatic 2A42 guns and one PKTM 7.62mm coaxial machine gun as its primary armament. These weapons provide effective firepower against light armored vehicles and infantry targets. The vehicle is also equipped with two Ataka-T anti-tank guided missile launchers mounted on each side of the turret, carrying 9M1201 missiles with hollow-charge or high-explosive concrete-piercing warheads.

This armament allows the BMP-T Model 2017 to engage a wide range of targets on the battlefield, including heavily protected platforms like tanks and fortifications. Its firepower, combined with advanced sighting systems and mobility, enhances its ability to support tank and motorized rifle units in various combat scenarios.

The standard equipment of the BMPT-T includes various features. It comprises an NBC protection system, a 5 kW diesel generator housed in an armored compartment on the right side of the hull, and an automatic two-shot fire detection and suppression system. The vehicle's fire control system is based on a multichannel sight that combines optical and thermal imaging channels, along with a panoramic low-profile thermal imaging sight. This enables the gunner and commander to detect and identify small-sized targets at long distances, regardless of lighting conditions or harsh climates. Additionally, the BMPT is equipped with a laser detection system.

The BMP-T Model 2017 is powered by a rear-mounted 1,000-horsepower multifuel diesel engine, utilizing the same chassis as the T-72 main battle tank and featuring a torsion bar suspension system. It possesses six road wheels on each side, with an idler at the front, a drive sprocket at the rear, and three return rollers supporting the inside of the track. The vehicle is capable of crossing ditches with a width of 2.6 to 2.8 meters, overcoming walls up to 0.85 meters in height, and navigating water obstacles with a depth of up to 1.2 meters. These components contribute to the vehicle's maneuverability across various terrains, ensuring good mobility and agility in combat operations.

With its upgraded armament, advanced sighting systems, and improved mobility, the BMP-T "Terminator" Model 2017 demonstrates the Russian military's commitment to deploying capable vehicles in the ongoing conflict. As the situation continues to evolve, these vehicles could play a significant role in shaping the dynamics of local conflicts.

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