Russia is sending to Syria “Terminator”

Russian media report that Syria sent to the test one vehicle BMPT-72. Last week it showed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad when he visited the Russian military base Hamim.

Terminator 2 — the tank is intended to protect other tanks, especially during combat operations in urban environments. It’s based on the venerable main battle tank T-72 and has a modified body. But instead of a powerful gun caliber 125 mm BMPT-72 is equipped with a whole set of various weapons, including two 30-mm cannon, four anti-tank missiles “Attack-T” and a heavy machine gun. It gives the “Terminator 2” is able to fight with infantry and lightly armored targets the enemy using guns and tanks and fortified firing positions in the buildings with anti-tank guided missiles.

The first version of “the Terminator” was constructed in the late 1990-ies. It was a machine with a crew of five people on the T-90. According to Russian media reports, she was armed with two 30-millimeter automatic grenade launchers in only alcoves, and other systems. In “terminator 2,” first shown in 2013, removed the grenade and the crew reduced to three people.

The idea of creating a fighting machine support tanks have emerged in Russia based on the experience of warfare in Afghanistan and Chechnya, where armed with ATGM and ATGM militants have caused great damage to Russian tanks. The most scandalous case occurred on the eve of 1994 in the Chechen capital Grozny, where large columns of Russian tanks and armoured personnel carriers was ambushed and was forced out of town by Chechen fighters, armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers. On that terrible night, the Russian army lost about 400 armored vehicles and a thousand people killed.

The Russian response began to start up tanks, accompanied by anti-aircraft self-propelled ZSU-23-4 “Shilka”, which rapid-fire could suppress anti-tank calculations. However, the ZSU-23-4 was a very light armor, and they had no equipment for serifs ground targets.

Thus was created the BMPT as a “versatile and mobile remedy of tanks”, explains Sputnik News. “According to the initial plan, this type of machine planned to be used on the battlefield near the tanks to destroy any potentially harmful purpose.”

It would seem that the BMPT needs to make a solid impression, but the Russian military don’t think so. The Russian army didn’t even order the first version of the combat vehicle support tanks, because the five man crew is too much, and a launcher “Attack” was not protected from enemy fire, and there was no fire control system.

But according to the publication Russia Beyond the Headlines, “the main drawback of the first “Terminator” was its high cost, so as to apply the chassis of tank T-90 for machines of this type have been prohibitively expensive.

How much better are the prospects of “Terminator 2”? Let’s wait and see. The Russian media typically praise the merits of Russian weapons, however, the BMPT-72 they praise very carefully, that is curiosity. Russia Beyond the Headlines quoted a Russian military analyst, who notes that “Terminator 2” “easier to operate, easier and cheaper” than the first option, but he had “significantly less firepower”. “At the same time he can fire only at one target, while the first “Terminator” could shoot three,” he said.

In principle, the “Terminator 2” many advantages. Like the Israelites, who at one time began to remodel the old tanks “Merkava” in a well-armed armored personnel carriers, Russian BMPT also has a variety of weapons. Her missiles and small-caliber gun can be used in the fight with the infantry, while tanks like the T-90 can lead the hunt for goals larger type of enemy tanks. On the other hand, this tank is not a tank, and consequently, on the battlefield, he will add tactical challenges.

There is no doubt that “Terminator 2” will show itself in Syria against the rebels, and this forced the Russian army to place a number of orders for the BMPT.

Michael peck writes for The National Interest, specializiruetsya on defense and history. His work appears regularly in Foreign Policy, War Is Boring, and many other publications.