Beovaya Mashina Podderzhki Tankov
The Soviet-Afghan War and the Chechen Wars emphasized the tactical gap for the Soviets and the Russians. The enemy was not modern, mechanized, nor arrayed in a defense in-depth. Their RPG gunners knew where the soft spots were on the various Soviet/Russian vehicles.
The terrain worsened the problem of the tactical gap and, in the areas where the tanks could go, tanks and BMPs were often separated and unable to support each other. In the mountains of Afghanistan, the tanks were often left behind and the BMPs and BTRs had to accomplish an independent mission they were not designed for. The Russians decided that the tactical gap between tanks and mechanized infantry is almost inevitable.
The battle of Grozny on New Year’s Eve 1994 provided the impetus to develop a heavily armored close combat system. The Russians discovered that the thinly armored ZSU 23-4 self-propelled antiaircraft gun was the optimum system for tank support in city fighting, but its vulnerability offset the efficiency of its four 23mm automatic cannons.
To ensure the survivability of tanks, they needed a new system that was built like a tank, but provided mutual close combat support. The new system should provide protection against enemy antitank weapons, infantry, strong points, helicopters, and fixed wing aviation. The new system needed to be an integral
part of the armored unit.
Ref: Grau, L., W., "Preserving Shock Action", ARMOR, Sept, Oct, 2006.
What they needed was a heavily armored-highly survivable vehicle that has the weapons for defeating the obstacles and unconventional forces encountered in the urban battlefield. These weapons should have high lethality and the means to engage upper floors of the buildings.
The Russian answer was the BMPT tank support vehicle. The BMPT [Beovaya mashina podderzhki tankov] is built on a T-72 tank chassis, so it has the armored protection, maneuverability, and ruggedness to maneuver directly with the tank platoon. It has laminated and reactive armor and weighs 47 tons and carries a five-man crew.
And the Russians somehow created the land equivalent of the Mi-24 Hind helicopter. Just looking at the weapons integrated to BMP-T is enough to drop your jaw.The rear of the driver's compartment, at the front of the vehicle, has been raised, providing greater internal volume. It has a new turret that is equipped with two 30 mm 2A42 dual-feed cannons with a cyclic rate of fire of up to 600 rds/min. A total of 850 rounds of ready use ammunition can be carried. The cannon can fire a wide range of ammunition types including: High Explosive - Tracer (HE-T), Armour-piercing discarding sabot (APDS), High Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG) and Armor-Piercing - Tracer (AP-T).
A 7.62 mm machine gun is mounted coaxially with the main armament.
Four launchers for the Ataka-T anti-tank guided missile(ATGM), which can fire a variety of different warheads, are mounted on either side of the main armament. These include a tandem HEAT warhead to defeat targets fitted with explosive reactive armour.
To enable the BMPT to engage targets in both day and night conditions and when the BMPT is stationary or moving, a computerized fire-control system is fitted. It uses proven elements from those fitted to theT-90 MBT. The commander is equipped with a panoramic sight B07-K1, the gunner has a B07-K2 sight with optical and thermal channels and a laser rangefinder.
The two operators for the AG-17D 30mm Automatic Grenade Launchers each have an "Agat-MR" day/night sight.
As an option, the BMPT can be fitted with mine-clearing devices such as the KMT-7 or KMT-8 mine sweepers.