For the first time since the beginning of the war, Russian BMPT support vehicles have appeared in eastern Ukraine. The vehicle is called "Terminator" and is designed especially for battles in cities. On the Internet, Kremlin fans are already cheering about Russia's "silver bullet".
In their offensive in the Donbass, Russia's armed forces are now also using a new armored vehicle. On Sunday, residents of the embattled city of Sieverodonetsk filmed a convoy of Russian BMPT "Terminators" - the most modern combat vehicle that Putin's army has to offer. Experts confirmed the authenticity of the recordings. According to the US military institute ISW, corresponding photos and videos also circulated in pro-Kremlin Telegram groups. There the vehicle was hailed as Russia's "silver bullet".
The "Terminator" was developed by the armaments company Uralvagonzavod specifically as a support vehicle for tanks fighting in inner cities. Based on the experience of the Chechen war, it is intended to eliminate enemy anti-tank teams and thus make the escort of infantry soldiers superfluous. The vehicle, which is seven meters long and almost three and a half meters wide, is said to be able to detect up to five targets at the same time, hence the nickname "Terminator" chosen by the manufacturer. The 47-ton BMPT is equipped with a massive twin machine gun, four anti-tank missiles, two grenade launchers and a standard machine gun. The chassis of the T-72 main battle tank serves as the basis.
The 1000 hp engine can accelerate up to 65 kilometers per hour, with a range of 550 kilometers. However, its large crew is a negative factor. Five soldiers are required for operation. Most recently, the "Terminator" was demonstrated at the Victory Day Parade on May 9 in Moscow. Some copies were reportedly moved to the Ukrainian border weeks ago. So far, however, they have not been used.
Canadian security expert Colby Badhwar was amazed that the "Terminator" had not been used in Ukraine before. "If these had been deployed to Mariupol from the start with experienced troops, Russia might have had a chance to capture the city," Badhwar tweeted. "Instead, they disregarded all the lessons supposedly learned in Grozny and repeated the same mistakes."
How many BMPT Russia has at all is unclear. According to the media, however, there should only be 20 to 30 copies. Accordingly, the series production planned for 2017 failed, presumably due to technical defects.