Radio Free Europe reports that new images confirm Russia’s deployment of an unusual, armored fighting vehicle in Ukraine. They write (abridged):
The presence of the vehicles in Ukraine was apparently confirmed on May 18 by a report in Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency.
Terminators are the result of Russia’s quest to develop vehicles designed for fighting in tight urban spaces. That need became urgent after the first Chechen war in which massive numbers of Russian armored vehicles were wiped out by Chechen fighters.[…]
It is unknown how many Terminators Russia currently has in service but in late 2021 Russia added 10 to a tank regiment of its Central Military District.
Some Western analysts say the deployment of several of the rare fighting vehicles is a sign of “frustration” from the Kremlin, while Russian commentators have applauded their use as an example of the depth of Russia’s arsenal.
— Kiborgz (@Kiborgzzz) May 18, 2022
Either way, the presence of Terminators in the Donbas, where advanced anti-tank weaponry awaits the Russian advance, is certainly a gamble. The Russian military’s carefully crafted image of “invincibility” would take a further beating if the Terminators fare poorly in Ukraine.
We wrote about Russia’s BMPT Terminator back in December of 2020.
Meet Russia’s Terrifying BMPT-72 “Terminator”
Russia is repurposing the chassis of T-72 battle tanks with a-whole-lotta firepower. The new BMPT “Terminator” is designed to support tanks and infantry in an urban combat environment, and it is classified as an armored fighting vehicle (AFV). The Terminator carries Ataka-T Guided Weapons Systems, armed with four 9M120 Ataka missile launchers, two 30mm 2A42 autocannons, two AG-17D grenade launchers, and one coaxial 7.62mm PKTM machine gun. The Terminator can engage targets in the air and on the ground, as well as enemy troops. Alexander Bratersky of Defense News writes (abridged):
The Russian military on Monday received its first batch of Terminator tank support vehicles for testing. […]
According to military experts, one Terminator can replace a motorized rifle platoon of 40 soldiers and six armored vehicles.
Russia’s military has received eight Terminator vehicles, which will be tested during military exercises. The vehicles, first shown to the public during the annual military parade in Red Square in 2018, took part in the Russian operation in Syria.
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