Categories
Modern Russian Armor

BMP-1-30

Russia (1997)
Upgraded infantry fighting vehicle – 1 prototype

The Soviet BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle is a historically very significant vehicle, responsible for popularizing the IFV concept on a massive scale worldwide. The vehicle itself remains to this day the most produced infantry fighting vehicle in history, with about 40,000 produced in total in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, not counting various copies which could bring up that number by several thousands.

This ubiquitous status of the BMP-1, as well as the vehicle being long obsolete has led to a number of upgrade packages being studied and offered. Post-Soviet collapse Russia, which inherited thousands of BMP-1s, was the source of several of these. Likely the simplest to undertake, yet a still non-negligible upgrade, was created by mating the BMP-1 hull with a turret from the BMD-2 airborne IFV. The resulting vehicle was the BMP-1-30.

The BMP-1-30 during trials. Source: https://strangernn.livejournal.com/

The IFV of the Soviet World: Brief Summary of the BMP-1

Object 765, which would eventually become the BMP-1. Source: Solyankin, Pavlov, Pavlov, Zheltov. Otechestvennye boevye mashiny vol. 3

Generally considered to be the first modern infantry fighting vehicle, the BMP-1 was designed by the Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant in the early 1960s as the Object 765. It was adopted by the Red Army in 1965. Mass-production began under the name of BMP-1 in 1966.

The BMP-1 was a welded hull, amphibious armored fighting vehicle mounting a central one-man turret armed with the 2A28 Grom 73 mm low-pressure smoothbore gun and fed by an autoloader mechanism. The vehicle also featured a coaxial PKT 7.62 mm machine gun and a 9M14 Malyutka missile launcher mounted on top of the Grom’s barrel. To the rear, a troop compartment allowed the vehicle to transport 8 dismounts.

When first pushed into service in the late 1960s, the BMP-1 was a major addition to the Red Army’s arsenal, and despite the existence of some previous vehicles, such as the West German HS.30, it is often considered to be the first truly modern Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) to be adopted in massive numbers. Nevertheless, it was for the Eastern Bloc at least. The vehicle could be used to support armored assaults in all types of terrains thanks to its amphibious capacities, and was notably able to carry a section of infantry even in heavily contaminated terrain, which would typically be expected after the use of NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) weapons. Support for accompanying tanks as well as dismounting infantry would be provided by a 73 mm Grom infantry support gun and a Malyutka missile launcher, with four missiles stored inside the vehicle. This was a considerable evolution in comparison to Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs), which typically mounted little more than a heavy machine gun. In the Soviet Union, production of the BMP-1 lasted until 1982, with more than 20,000 vehicles produced. Almost equally large quantities were manufactured in Czechoslovakia as the BVP-1, while India produced a number under license, and a number of countries would produce more or less identical copies (Type 86 in China, Boragh in Iran, Khatim in Sudan). Operated in massive numbers by the Soviet Army and widely exported, the BMP-1 became perhaps the most ubiquitous infantry fighting vehicle in the world, despite a more modern type, the BMP-2, entering service in the early 1980s.

Russians BMP-1s in a Post-Soviet World

After years of a decline that the best efforts of various Soviet leaders could not prevent, the Soviet Union finally collapsed in December 1991, after most of its Warsaw Pact allies had gone their own way in 1989 and various Soviet Republics started declaring their independence from 1991 onward.

Russia, the largest, most populated, and most industrialized Republic of the former union, inherited most of the Red Army’s armament. Although the most significant aspect of this would likely be exclusive control of the USSR’s tremendous nuclear arsenal, it would also manifest in tens of thousands of armored fighting vehicles produced and fielded during the Soviet years. This included massive numbers of BMP-1s, perhaps up to ten thousand. The BMP-1 was at this point already fairly obsolete, with its 73 mm Grom main gun notably proving fairly puny and anemic, with a short effective range and only limited armor-piercing or high-explosive potential provided from its small shells. While some Soviet efforts, such as the BMP-1P upgrade (notably replacing the old Malyutka ATGM by a more modern Konkurs or Fagot ATGM and adding Tucha smoke dischargers), had been applied to part of the fleet, it nonetheless remained obvious that the BMP-1 was antiquated. More modern options were already in existence. The BMP-2 was in large-scale service for around a decade by the time of the collapse of the USSR and was armed with a 30 mm autocannon, far more useful than the Grom. The new BMP-3, a recent addition to the Soviet arsenal when the USSR collapsed, provided both a 30 mm autocannon and a 100 mm gun firing high-explosive shells and ATGMs, overall proving to be a very modern option. As such, it would appear the BMP-1 could perhaps entirely have been relegated to reserve use as these new vehicles entered service.

A BMP-1 alongside a T-72, abandoned by Russian forces and captured by the Chechens in Grozny during the First Chechen War, August 1996. While groundbreaking in its time, the BMP-1 was very unsuitable for the kind of urban warfare which Russia would face against the Chechens. Source: reddit

The 1990s, however, quickly turned into a dreadful decade of economic collapse, widespread corruption, violence, and chaos for Russia, putting potential plans of a quick modernization of the army into disarray. The production of many high-end vehicles designed towards the later years of the Soviet Union, such as the T-72BU, which would be redesignated into the T-90, or the BMP-3, had to be slowed down or prioritized towards exports instead of domestic use, meaning old vehicles such as the BMP-1 proved to be longer-lived in Russian service. In these economically trying times, potential upgrades for Soviet vehicles used abroad could also potentially be a lucrative prospect for Russian design bureaus to try and exploit. At the same time, the Russian Army was desperately cash-strapped, so an affordable upgrade could have had some potential.

The BMP-1-30

The BMP-1-30 appears to date from 1997. It is not associated with any single design bureau, and considering how its creation may have been a very easy affair, it is possible it was simply a creation of the Russian Army.

Replacing the Grom main armament has been the focus of many of the more extensive BMP-1 upgrades which have been created. For this, many different solutions have been studied. For example, in the same period as the BMP-1-30 was created, the city of Tula’s KBP Instrument Design Bureau offered a BMP-1 refitted with a new turret, armed with a powerful 30 mm 2A72 autocannon as well as new Kornet ATGMs. However, one would not necessarily need to create a new turret to improve upon the BMP-1.

A BMD-2. Introduced in the 1980s, the vehicle is still widely used by Russia to this day, and a BMD-2M upgrade program in the same vein as the BMP-2M Berezhok has even been initiated, despite more advanced models of BMDs (BMD-3, BMD-4, and BMD-4M) entering service beforehand. Source: Reddit.
A side view of the BMP-1-30. As can be observed, the hull is identical to a classic BMP-1. Source: topwar.ru

By the 1990s, a number of new IFVs had appeared. Among them was the BMD-2, the second in the BMD line of airborne infantry fighting vehicles. The first BMD, the BMD-1, featured the same turret and armament as the BMP-1. However, when the USSR moved from Grom-armed to 30 mm-armed IFVs, turret commonality could no longer be achieved between the BMP and BMD, as the new BMP-2 introduced a two-man turret with a larger turret ring. Another turret was thus designed for the BMD-2, which used the same 2A42 autocannon and 9P135 ATGM launcher as the BMP-2 but was smaller, retaining only one crewmember and, crucially, the same 1,380 mm turret ring as the turret of the BMP-1 and BMD-1. In the context of the 1990s, this suddenly made the BMD-2’s turret a really suitable turret in order to upgrade BMP-1s, as it featured superior armament while having the same turret ring diameter, greatly simplifying the refit process.

The B-30 Turret

The B-30 turret which outfitted the BMP-1-30 was a small, one-man turret with a 1,380 mm turret ring.

The cylindrical turret has a higher volume than the BMP-1’s, and as such, the gunner could be said to be slightly less cramped. However, internal space is still limited and the turret can be judged to be very uncomfortable by the standards of Western IFVs. The seat of the gunner is slightly offset to the left of the turret, while the main gun is slightly offset to the right. Two periscopes are present in a bulge on the left side of the turret, while two others are to the right of the hatch, mounted on the main turret body. These periscopes are of the TNPO-160 type, which provide a 78° horizontal and 28° vertical field of view. The gun sights are mounted to the front, and include a main day/night sight and a secondary high-elevation sight mostly used to target aircraft. Overall, visibility is considered to be good for the gunner, typically superior to the BMP-1 turret, making the issues of a one-man turret slightly less pronounced.

A view of the inside of a B-30 turret mounted on a BMD-2. Notice the seat slightly skewed towards the left, the sights in front of it, and the control panel right of it.Source: Tankograd

The 30 mm 2A42

The main armament of the B-30 turret is the 30 mm 2A42 autocannon. This is a widely used gun, also used on the BMP-2, but also modern Soviet combat helicopters, such as the Mi-28 and Kamov Ka-50 and Ka-52.

The 30 mm 2A42 autocannon, which became the USSR’s most common 30 mm autocannon in the 1980s.Source: topwar.ru

The 2A42 fires the Soviet 30×165 mm cartridge. It uses a dual-feed system. There is a digital display showing the number of shells still available in the turret, as well as a switch allowing for a quick change in the type of ammunition fired. The weapon features a 2,416 mm barrel, fitted with a double-baffle muzzle brake. The autocannon has two dedicated fire rates, a slow one at 200 rpm and a quicker one at 550 rpm. During sustained fire, the rate of fire can reach higher values. The turret allows for a very high elevation of +60° which, coupled with a dedicated high-elevation sight, makes the 2A42 a more dangerous threat for helicopters than what would be expected from a ground vehicle.

A number of 30×165 mm shells are available for the 2A42. The total number of shells carried inside the BMD-2 turret is 300. If enough work was put into it, it is likely the larger hull of the BMP could allow for higher ammunition stowage.

For use against light fortifications, infantry, soft-skinned vehicles, and other unarmored targets, the 2A42 can fire the 3UOF8 High-Explosive Incendiary (HE-I) shells. This shell has an explosive filling of 49 grams of A-IX-2, the standard Soviet explosive autocannon shell formula since 1943. The overall mass of the projectile is 390 g, and that of the whole cartridge 842 g. In high-explosive belts, it is complemented by the 3UOR6. This shell forsakes most of the explosive charge, with only 11.5 g remaining, to mount a very large tracer. Fired at the same muzzle velocity of 980 m/s, it is used for fire correction purposes, though over large distances, the trajectory of the two shells may begin to differ. With a fuse lasting 9 to 14 seconds, the explosive shells will generally detonate after about 4 km if they have not met a target, though autocannons are typically used effectively at much closer ranges. The rate of tracer to high-explosive rounds in a 30 mm belt tends to be 1:4.

For armor-piercing duties, two types of 30 mm shells exist. The older 3UBR6 is a fairly classic armor-piercing shell with a core of hardened structural steel. This steel core weighs 375 g, with the entire projectile weighing just 25 g more, at 400 g, and the entire shell weighs 856 g. It features a tracer that burns for 3.5 seconds after being fired, and has a muzzle velocity of 970 m/s. Its penetration values against Rolled Homogeneous Armor (RHA) at an angle of 60° are 29 mm at 700 m, 18 mm at 1,000 m, and 14 mm at 1,500 m. These are fairly mediocre performances, able to defeat little more than light armored vehicles in the vast majority of cases.

A more modern armor-piercing shell exists in the form of the 3UBR8, an Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS) shell with a tracer. It features a lighter 222 g piercing core of tungsten alloy. The projectile as a whole is 304 g, and the cartridge 765 g. Fired at a muzzle velocity of 1,120 m/s, this shell seems to penetrate, against similar RHA armor and at the same angle of 60°, 35 mm at 1,000 m and 25 mm at 1,500 m. It offers much more suitable performances than the older 3UBR6 against modern infantry fighting vehicles.

The 2A42 is supplemented by a coaxial 7.62×54 mmR PKTM machine gun. In this particular regard, the B-30 turret is actually worse than the one of the BMD-1 and BMP-1. Both of these use the same machine gun, however, it is fed from a single 2,000 rounds box, making reloading a non-issue for the gunner in most combat situations, a welcome reduction of tasks in a one-man turret. The B-30 turret uses more moderately sized 250 round belts which need to be reloaded a lot more often.

The 9P135 Launcher

The BMD-2 turret is fitted with a 9P135 missile launcher mounted to the right of the turret, fairly high so as not to interfere with the vision from periscopes or sights.

The 9P135 launcher was designed to fire the 135 mm 9K113 Konkurs but is also compatible with the smaller 120 mm 9K111 Fagot, which eases logistical work and adds versatility. The more powerful Konkurs is typically the preferred missile, but in case it cannot be supplied, the smaller Fagot, widely used by infantry, can be used instead. The 9M113 missile is 1.17 m long and has an average speed of slightly above 200 m/s, though it can peak at around 300 m/s. The original missile is fitted with a single 2.7 kg shaped charge warhead which can grant armor penetration of 750 to 800 mm of Rolled Homogenous Armor on average.

In 1991, before the BMP-1-30 was created, a more modern version of the Konkurs, the 9M113M, was unveiled. It focused on improving performances against ERA by adding a secondary charge triggered by a standoff probe, designed to trigger ERA and reduce its effectiveness against the main shaped charge. Besides improved performance against ERA, the 9M113M’s performances are similar to the 9M113. Both missiles have an effective range of about 4km.

A cutaway view of a 9K113 Konkurs missile.Source: https://www.armedconflicts.com/

The 9M111 missile is smaller (120 mm) and shorter (86.3 cm) with a slower average (186 m/s) and maximum (240 m/s) speed. It features a slightly smaller explosive charge than the 9M113, of 2.5 kg, and is rated only for 400 mm of penetration against RHA, and has a shorter effective range of around 2 km.

By the 1990s, two upgraded Fagot missiles were available. The first, the 9M111-2 was longer (910 mm) and rated for a slightly superior armor penetration (460 mm), and also features a more sustained motor allowing for an improved effective range of up to 2.5 km. The last missile, the 9M111M Faktoriya, highly improved on the armor-piercing performances of the Fagot by adding a tandem warhead. Thanks to this feature, the missile could be expected to defeat ERA and still pierce 600 mm of RHA.

A similar cutaway view of a 9K111 Fagot missile. Its design is essentially similar to the 9K113, but smaller. Source: https://en.missilery.info 
A missile is fired from the 9P135 mounted on the BMP-1-30. As can be seen, firing could only be done with the gunner exposed, putting them at serious risk. The 6 mm thick hatch gave a minimal amount of protection to the front. Source: reddit.

The 9P135 was pintle-mounted on the B-30 turret. The 9P135 sight has a magnification power of 10x, improving on the accuracy of the missile. They are wire-guided semi-automatic command to line of sight (SACLOS) systems, which require the gunner to constantly maintain the target in line-of-sight in order to retain guidance.

One of the main drawbacks of the missile’s mounting into the turret is that it could only be fired by an exposed crew member (the gunner), which would make them much more vulnerable to firearms and shrapnel.

The Malyutka missile first featured in the BMP-1 and BMD-1 could be fired from inside the turret, but the P upgrade, which was applied to both vehicles, replaced these with the 9P135 as well. In this manner, this issue of the B-30 turret was shared by BMP-1Ps with the same armament anyway. There were also some advantages to this mounting. Thanks to being very high, it could fairly easily be made to be the only element of the vehicle reaching over an obstacle when being fired, which would make the BMP-1-30 drastically less vulnerable when firing its missile. This complete external mounting also made the missile easy to remove. Three missiles were stored behind the gunner’s seat in the B-30 turret. It is unknown if more would be stored within the BMP-1 hull.

An Unchanged Hull

While the BMP-1-30 received a new turret, it appears its hull was completely or at least mostly unchanged. This is perhaps not as tragic as for the turret. There are less antiquated features of the BMP-1 hull that can easily be replaced or upgraded. It can still be said that the BMP-1 is a very cramped vehicle, for the crew and even more so for the infantry dismounts it transports. However, solving this issue can only really be achieved by a deep rework of the vehicle, far beyond the scope of most upgrade programs. An example of an attempt at solving this issue is the mid-2010s BMP-1UM offered by Ukraine.

The Capacities of the BMP-1-30

There is little argument that the BMP-1-30 can be considered superior to the average Russian BMP-1. In comparison to the BMP-1P, used by the Russian Army in the 1990s, the BMP-1-30 operated the same ATGM system in the same fashion, and in combat, the real difference would be the 30 mm 2A42 replacing the Grom. There is little argument that the 30 mm is superior. While the Grom technically has higher armor penetration, it is still outdated and highly inferior to the Konkurs in this matter. On the other hand, the anemic system has a far lower effective range than the 2A42, making the 30 mm autocannon generally a far better system against vehicles with moderate armor protection, such as APCs, IFVs, and occasionally, some older tank types. The autocannon is also far better as a weapon to suppress enemy positions.

While the BMP-1-30 is clearly superior to a classic BMP-1, it is also obvious that it was not the most potent BMP-1 modernization offered in the 1990s. Tula’s BMP-1 with a Kliver TKB-799 turret was significantly superior in a number of ways.

A BMP-1 fitted with the TKB-799 Kliver turret. Armed with four Kornet missiles as well as a 30 mm autocannon and a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun, this was an advanced turret to fit onto the old BMP-1 hull. Source: reddit.com

Though the 2A72 autocannon essentially had the same performance as the 2A42 but with a lower maximum rate of fire (due to issues with the recoil of the 2A42 at the quickest rate of fire, the 2A72 used a lowered one as well as a new long-recoil system), the 9M133 Kornet ATGMs were superior in essentially every way to the Konkurs and Fagot. They were faster, carried more explosives, giving them more armor-piercing power, and crucially, used a more advanced beam-riding laser guidance, which allowed the gunner to fire them while remaining inside of the vehicle. The Kornet launcher could also fire missiles with thermobaric warheads, meaning the vehicle could be configured to be more lethal against infantry and fortified position if no armored opposition is expected.

While, armament-wise, the BMP-1 with Kliver could be argued to be cutting edge by the 1990s, the BMP-1-30 was way more average. The vehicle’s capacities could essentially be described as that of a budget BMP-2. Featuring the exact same weapon systems, but slightly less potent in using them due to having a single crew member in the turret instead of two.

However, while the BMP-1-30 was not cutting edge, it had one decisive advantage. It was still a notable improvement over the BMP-1 while using only readily available components and being an incredibly easy upgrade to undertake. There was no costly development, or introduction of any new system not already in supply chains. Everything used in the BMP-1-30 was introduced in the Soviet Army at the lastest in the early 1980s. In a way, it can even be said to be surprising that the idea emerged as late as 1997, when it could have been thought off more than fifteen years earlier already. The only factor in upgrading BMP-1s to BMP-1-30s would have been to produce more BMD-2 turrets essentially.

Conclusion – A Sensible Upgrade, Which Was Never Applied

The BMP-1AM seen during the ARMY-2018 military exhibition, with its BPPU turret turned to the side. Both the BMP-1 with Kliver turret but also arguably the BMP-1-30 were more potent design, though the BMD-2 turret is out of production by now and so the BMP-1-30 upgrade would be harder of an upgrade to perform now. Source: reddit

Despite its general obsolescence, however, the BMP-1 is yet to entirely disappear from the Russian Army, even those still armed with a Grom. As late as the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, alongside large numbers of BMP-2s and BMD-2s, seemingly forming the workhouse of Russian’s IFV fleet and of combat capacities similar to the BMP-1-30, a number of BMP-1s have appeared. These have not just been seen in sectors where separatists operate, but also in parts of Ukraine, like Chernihiv, where only the Russian Army is active. Both BMP-1AMs and, in larger numbers, BMP-1s still using the 73 mm Grom, have been spotted. These are definitely outdated vehicles and while they may not fare particularly well even with the upgrades of the BMP-1-30, it would still be preferable for them to operate on a vehicle with a more modern autocannon, if not one with outright powerful missiles like the BMP-1 with Kliver TKB-99 turret. In a war where even BMD-2s and BMP-2s are being lost in the dozens, and some more advanced BMP-3s and BMD-4Ms are still fairly often knocked out or captured, an antiquated, Grom-armed BMP-1 hardly has a place at all.

A black and white version of a previous photo of the BMP-1-30. While the upgrade would not suddenly have brought the BMP-1 up to date with modern IFVs, like Tula’s Kliver turret claimed it would do, it would still have been a sensible way to update the fleet of vehicles, becoming more and more obsolete as the use of BMP-1s in Chechnya and Ukraine has shown. Source: russiadefence.net
The BMP-1-30. Illustration by Ardhya ‘Vesp’ Anargha

BMP-1-30 specifications

Dimensions (l-w), m 6.735 – 3.150
Weight ~14 metric tonnes
Road clearance, mm 420
Engine UTD-20S1 6-cylinder 4-stroke V-shaped airless-injection water-cooled diesel (300 hp at 2,600 rpm)
Suspension Torsion bars
Maximum speed, km/h (road) 65
Maximum speed, km/h (water) ~7-8
Operationnal Range ~550 km (road)
Fuel capacity 420 l
Crew 3 (Commander, gunner, driver)
Dismounts 8
Radio R-123M
Main armament 30 mm 2A42 autocannon
9P1235 ATGM launcher (3 missiles at least)
Secondary armament 7.62 mm PKTM (200 rounds)
Armor ~19 mm maximum
Obstacle crossing
– Climb
– Trench
– Wall

– 35 deg
– 2.5 m
– 0.7 m

Sources:

Wydawnictwo Militaria 312 BMP-1(BWP)
Tankograd:

Field Disassembly: BMP-1
30x165mm Cartridges
BMP-2
BMP-3
BMD-2

weaponsystems.net:
9K111 Fagot
9K113 Konkurs

Solyankin, Pavlov, Pavlov, Zheltov. Otechestvennye boevye mashiny vol. 3
73-мм ГЛАДКОСТВОЛЬНОЕ ОРУДИЕ 2A28Техническое описание и инструкция по эксплуатации (73-mm SMOOTHBORE WEAPON 2A28 Technical description and operating instructions)
БОЕВАЯ МАШИНА ПЕХОТЫ БМП-1 ТЕхничЕскоЕ ОПИсаниЕ И ИНСТРУКЦИЯ ПО ЭКСПЛУАТАЦИИ (COMBAT VEHICLE INFANTRY BMP-1 Technical Description AND THE OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS)

Categories
Modern Russian Armor

BMP-1AM

Russia (2018-present),  Infantry Fighting Vehicle – unknown number modernized (modernizations ongoing)

The Red Army’s Surplus

The Russian Federation is the largest and most powerful out of all the successor states of the Soviet Union. Because of this status, it inherited most of the very large fleet of armored vehicles which the Soviet Army had during the Cold War in case of a potential war against NATO and its allies. Several tens of thousands of vehicles, many of them obsolete, ended up in the hands of the Russian Federation’s Troops, with the Soviet Army’s equipment being majoritarily passed on to Russia. Upgrades have been applied to many to try and keep them relevant in modern warfare; a recent example of these upgraded Cold War vehicles is the BMP-1AM.

The BMP-1 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) is a very common vehicle in this large fleet and surplus of ex-Soviet armor. Generally considered to be the first modern infantry fighting vehicle, the BMP-1 was designed by Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant in the early 1960s, named Object 765 and later evolving into the Object 764, adopted by the Red Army in 1965. Mass-production began under the name of BMP-1 in 1966.

The BMP-1 was a welded hull, amphibious armored fighting vehicle mounting a central one-man turret armed with the 2A28 Grom 73 mm low-pressure smoothbore gun and fed by an autoloader mechanism. The vehicle also featured a coaxial PKT 7.62 mm machine gun and a 9M14 Malyutka missile launcher mounted on top of the Grom’s barrel. To the rear, a troop compartment allowed the vehicle to transport 8 dismounts.

When first pushed into service in the late 1960s, the BMP-1 was a major addition to the Red Army’s Arsenal, and despite the existence of some previous vehicles such as the West German HS.30 it is often considered to be the first truly modern Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) to be adopted in massive numbers – it at least was for the Eastern Block.

The vehicle could be used to support armored assault in all types of terrains, thanks to its amphibious capacities, and was notably able to carry a section of infantry even in heavily contaminated terrain which would typically be expected after the use of NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) weapons. Support for accompanying tanks as well as dismounting infantry would be provided by a 73mm Grom infantry support gun and a Malyutka missile launcher, with four missiles stored into the vehicle, against armored vehicles. This was a considerable evolution in comparison to Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs), which typically mounted little more than a heavy machine gun.

In the Soviet Union, production of the BMP-1 lasted until 1982, with more than 20,000 vehicles produced. Almost equally large quantities were manufactured in Czechoslovakia as the BVP-1, while India produced a number under licence, and a number of countries would produce more or less identical copies (Type 86 in China, Boragh in Iran, Khatim in Sudan). Operated in massive numbers by the Soviet Army and widely exported, the BMP-1 became perhaps the most ubiquitous infantry fighting vehicle in the world, despite a more modern type (the BMP-2) entering service in the early 1980s.

A Russian BMP-1 with soldiers on top during the Chechen Wars, likely in Grozny. Source: pinterest

With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, large numbers of BMP-1s ended in the hands of the new Russian Federation, but the large production run of the BMP-2, as well as the newly-produced and vastly more modern BMP-3, meant that the BMP-1 has progressively declined in the active Russian arsenal. By around 2018, most estimates placed the number of active BMP-1s at around 300 to 500 vehicles in a few motorized riflemen units, though these were also supplemented by a number of other BMP-1-based vehicles such as the BRM-1K reconnaissance vehicle. However, very large numbers of the type were sitting in reserve – around 7,000 according to some estimates.

While the point of modernizing the BMP-1 in Russia may still appear somewhat inexistant, due to the large numbers of BMP-2s already in service and undergoing a modernization process, as well as the presence of the BMP-3 and the development of the Kurganets-25, the possibility of exports is likely a motivating factor in the development of a modernization of the BMP-1. More than forty countries still operate the vehicle, including some such as India, Kazakhstan, or Egypt, who remain loyal customers of the Russian military-industrial complex and operate large fleets of the vehicle.

The Prospect of Modernizing the BMP-1

During its service and production, the BMP-1 went through a number of upgrades and new production standards. For example, in the 1970s, the BMP-1P appeared, which notably replaced the old Malyutka ATGM witha Konkurs, as well as adding a number of changes, taking lessons from experience in the Vietnam War (for example a new fire-extinguishing system in order to protect the vehicle from napalm, and new smoke dischargers)

After the fall of the Soviet Union, a number of more extensive upgrades were considered. The 73 mm Grom was now vastly considered to be an outdated weapon, lacking in firepower in comparison to infantry fighting vehicles armed with autocannons, which would, in practice, provide more efficient fire-support – particularly with larger 30mm and higher autocannons being increasingly commonly used by this point. Several different upgrades were proposed by a variety of manufacturers during the 1990s and 2000s. For example, one designed by Tula Instrument Design Bureau used the new TKB-799 Kliver turret, which mounted four Kornet ATGMs as well as a 30 mm 2A72 autocannon. Another project consisted in mounting the turret of the airborne BMD-2 IFV, armed with a 30 mm autocannon and a Konkurs missile.

A BMP-1 fitted with the TKB-799 Kliver turret. Armed with four Kornet missiles as well as a 30 mm autocannon and a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun, this was an advanced turret to fit onto the old BMP-1 hull. This was, in many ways, more powerful than the BMP-1AM which would finally be adopted, particularly in terms of anti-armor firepower. Source: reddit.com

The BMP-1AM is a later project. It was developed by a bureau of the large military conglomerate that is Uralvagonzavod, or simply UVZ. The first traces of a modernized BMP-1 by UVZ appeared in a report from April 2018. The vehicle would be presented in Russia’s annual military-industrial show-off, the International Military and Technical Forum ARMY, in its 2018 edition, taking place in August.

The General Design of the BMP-1AM

The upgraded vehicle which rolled out in August 2018 was far from being entirely unknown and new. Instead, it would be much better described as a mostly unchanged BMP-1 hull fitted with an already existing turret in order to enhance its firepower.

The BMP-1AM seen during the ARMY-2018 military exhibition, with its BPPU turret turned to the side. Source: Reddit

A BMP with a BTR’s Armament

The core change that differentiates the BMP-1AM from a regular BMP-1 is a replacement of the BMP-1’s one-man turret fitted with an autoloader and armed with the 73 mm Grom by the weapon station featured in the Russian BTR-82A armored personnel carrier – itself an improved version of the BTR-80A’s weapon station. This station is remotely controlled by the gunner sitting in the hull of the vehicle.

The main armament of this new turret or ‘unified combat module’ is the 30 mm 2A72 autocannon (a modified 2A42 autocannon). The cannon fires 30×165 mm ammunition. and has a rate of fire of 350 to 400 rpm. The gun is belt-fed, and overall remarkably light, weighing only 84 kg. barrel length of 2,416 mm, takes a significant part of the weapon’s weight, at 36 kg, and is typically thicker and more durable than most barrels for 30 mm autocannons.

A number of 30×165 mm shells are available for the 2A72. For use against light fortifications, infantry, soft-skinned vehicles, and other unarmored targets, the 2A72 can fire the 3UOF8 High-Explosive Incendiary (HE-I) shells. This shell has an explosive filling of 49 grams of A-IX-2, the standard Soviet explosive autocannon shell formula since 1943. The overall mass of the projectile is 390 g, and that of the whole cartridge 842 g. In high-explosive belts, it is complemented by the 3UOR6. This shell forsakes most of the explosive charge, with only 11.5 g remaining, to mount a very large tracer. Fired at the same muzzle velocity of 980 m/s, it is used for fire correction purposes, though over large distances, the trajectory of the two shells may begin to differ. With a fuse lasting 9 to 14 seconds, the explosive shells will generally detonate after about 4 kilometers if they have not met a target, though autocannons are typically used effectively at much closer ranges. The rate of tracer to high-explosive rounds in a 30 mm belt tends to be of 1:4.

For armor-piercing duties, two types of 30 mm shells exist. The older 3UBR6 is a fairly classic armor-piercing shell with a core of hardened structural steel. This steel core weighs 375 g, with the entire projectile weighing just 25 grams more, at 400 g, and the entire shell having a weight of 856 g. It features a tracer that burns for 3.5 seconds after being fired, and has a muzzle velocity of 970 m/s. Its penetration values against Rolled Homogeneous Armor (RHA) at an angle of 60° are 29 mm at 700 m, 18 mm at 1,000 m and 14 mm at 1,500 m. These are fairly mediocre performances, able to defeat little more than light armored vehicles in the vast majority of cases.

A more modern armor-piercing shell exists in the form of the 3UBR8, an Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS) shell with a tracer. It features a lighter 222 g piercing core of tungsten alloy. The projectile as a whole is 304 g, and the cartridge 765 g. Fired at a muzzle velocity of 1,120 m/s, this shell seems to penetrate, against similar RHA armor and at the same angle of 60°, 35 mm at 1,000 m, and 25 mm at 1,500 m. It offers much more promising performances than the older 3UBR6 against modern infantry fighting vehicles.

A top view of the BPM-1AM’s turret during ARMY-2020, showing the placement of the smoke launchers and coaxial machine gun. Source: twitter

This 30 mm gun is mounted centrally on top of the turret, on a mount which may depress by -5° and elevate all the way up to 70°. This high vertical targeting means the autocannon can typically be used in limited fashion against air targets, notably helicopters.

The sight used by the gunner is the TKN-4GA (sometimes also designated ТКН-4ГА-01) sight, which can operate both in day and night conditions and is fully stabilized. As a coaxial machine gun with elevation tied to the main gun, the turret mounts the classic PKT machine gun, which has a rate of fire of 700-800 rpm firing the 7.62×54 mm Russian cartridge. On both sides of the 30 mm autocannon, the vehicle features three 81 mm 902B Tucha smoke dischargers. As on the BTR-82A, the BMP-1AM’s turret is fully stabilized. The vehicle’s weapon loadout is also considered to include a 9K115 Metis ATGM, however, this weapon system is not actually a part of the vehicle itself. It is to be carried and used by the vehicle’s dismounts.

As on the original BMP-1, the BMP-1AM’s turret is operated by a single crew member. Unlike in the original design however, this time, the turret is operated from inside the hull. This does not change the internal arrangement of the vehicle in a significant way though, due to the original turret already featuring a turret basket and an autoloader reaching into the hull.

A rear view of the BMP-1AM Basurmanin during ARMY-2018. Source: strategic-bureau.com

The Vehicle’s Hull

The hull of the BMP-1AM is very similar to the one present on a classic BMP-1, keeping the form of a welded steel box with a boat-like shape towards the front to improve buoyancy, a centrally-mounted turret, a crew compartment for 8 passengers as the rear with four firing ports on each side and one on the rear left door, four hatches on top and two rear doors opening outwards and also containing fuel tanks.

BMP-1AM on the move during ARMY-2018. Besides the new turret and barrel, the vehicle’s profile remains remarkably similar to the old BMP-1. Source: EDR magazine

The main change in comparison to the original BMP-1 comes in the form of the engine, and it is not a particularly radical transformation. The original UTD-20 engine of the BMP-1 has been replaced by its improved version already present in the BMP-2, the UTD-20S1. Both engines are identical performance-wise, featuring 6-cylinders and 4-strokes, being water-cooled and with airless injection diesel engines producing 300 hp at 2,600 rpm. The main modifications between the two are focused on making the operation and maintenance of the engine easier for the crew, including fuel drains from injectors, cover for the access hatches to the nozzle, and a system allowing for a cold-start of the engine without preparation at temperatures of -20° and higher.

The BMP-1AM also features a new radio. The old R-123M has been replaced by a R-128-25U-2 with a communication range of up to 40 km.

It also has a new internal communication system AVSK-2U.

A rear view of a BMP-1AM prototype during an ARMY exhibition. While the turrets are newly-produced, the hulls remain the ones of the 1960s-vintage BMP-1 with little changes, and the BMP-1AM can hardly be said to be much of a modern IFV in general. Source: integral-russia.ru

Outside of this new engine and radio, the vehicles being modernized saw their transmissions and chassis revised and repaired to an optimal state; this also included new, more power efficient torsion bars. Small ‘wings’ have been added on the front of the side mudguards in order to mildly improve amphibious performances. Besides those changes, the BMP-1AM seemingly remains identical to the original BMP-1, keeping the same configuration of three crewmen (commander, driver, and gunner) and eight passengers. Overall, the BMP-1AM retains a lot of the old shell and capacities of the BMP-1, with upgrades in a few critical fields. The new turret and equipment resulted in the vehicle’s weight rising to 14.2 tonnes from 13.2.

A Vehicle Presumed to be Designed for Export, Pressed into Russian Service

When it was first presented in August 2018, the BMP-1AM was given the name “Basurmanin”. This name roughly translates to “pagan”. This had, at the time, been thought as a detail that pointed towards the theory that the BMP-1AM upgrade had been designed for export – which seemed a likely conjecture, seeing as the BMP-1 was rapidly fading from service in Russian service in favor of the BMP-2, BMP-3 and, in the future, the Kurganets-25.

However, in 2019, confirmation came that the BMP-1AM was actually entering service with the Russian Army. In early June 2019, Defence Minister Sergei Shoiguaffirmed that the Russian Army would receive 400 modernized combat vehicles in 2019. This total included T-72BM3s, T-80BVMs, and T-90Ms, but also the BMP-1AM “Basurmanin”, serving as a confirmation that the type was entering Russian service.

The BMP-1AM also made an appearance in the ARMY-2019 and ARMY-2020 exhibitions, showing the type was still being offered.

In late June 2020, the active production status of the BMP-1AM Basurmanin was confirmed, as photos of a train loaded with about twenty vehicles, taken in Barnaul, western Siberia, appeared on Russian and later Western social media. As of October 2020, the orders for the type are now known to have been limited to 37 vehicles for Russian service.

A train loaded with BMP-1AM Basurmanins in Barnaul, an industrial center of Western Siberia. Source: Twitter

The BMP-1AM into Ukraine

On February 24 2022, Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine, with Russian forces entering the country from Belarus, Russia, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk’s people’s republics, and Crimea. This invasion obviously saw massive use of Russian armor, however it went worse than many would have expected.

BMP-1AMs were seemingly not spotted in almost two months of conflict. Considering the large quantity of footage available from the conflict, it is likely they were not deployed early in the war, or at least not near active combat zones. Some BMP-1P which have not been through the 1AM upgrade have however been seen. A number of these were in service with the Donbass separatists, but to some people’s surprise, there have been a few in service with the Russian Army in areas where separatists seemingly do not operate, such as Chernihiv Oblast.

From footage of Russian forces operating in Kupiansk, in Kharkiv Oblast, east of the city of Kharkiv, it appears the BMP-1AM was first seen around April 21 or 22 2022. At the time of writing (April 24 2022), only one vehicle has been identified, but considering the small scale of the BMP-1AM fleet, it is likely many if not all or them are deployed within the unit that used this vehicle. The BMP-1AM was known to be used by an unit operating in Siberia or the Far-East, suggesting an unsurprising redeployment to Ukraine. Many units were already moved from other parts of Russia to the Ukrainian border prior to the invasion even happening.

The blog posted by Oryx documenting Russian equipment losses during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, suggests that, two months into the conflict, more than 500 vehicles have been destroyed, incapacitated, or captured, and human losses, while widely debated, likely are very significant as well. The deployment of more ‘fresh’, even if not necessarily well-equipped, units is at this point (April 2022) likely a necessity for Russia if it wants to push into eastern Ukraine. Vehicles spotted alongside this BMP-1AM in Kupiansk include T-90As, T-72Bs, BMP-2s, MT-LBs, and a myriad of trucks.

A BMP-1AM in Kupiansk, Kharkiv oblast; photo first uploaded on April 22 2022. Source: Военный обозреватель on Telegram

Conclusion – A Modernization with an Unclear Future

The BMP-1AM stands as a notable modernization program – the first major overhaul of the old BMP-1 undertaken ever since the BMP-1P or BMP-1D of the 1970s and 1980s. It is both a non-negligible but also questionable upgrade. While it entirely replaces the turret of the BMP-1, it brings only very limited changes to the old vehicle’s hull. Though the 30 mm gun appears to be a weapon more suited to modern battlefields than the 73 mm Grom, the vehicle also loses the ability to fire anti-tank missiles from the protected interior of the vehicle – with the ATGM capacity now reposing on the dismounting infantry’s Metys missile launcher. Even though it is a late 2010s modernization, the BMP-1AM remains a second-zone IFV, which pales in comparison to even the early 1980s BMP-2, let alone new Russian products which were previously thought to be on their way to totally phase out the BMP-1 in the Russian Army’s arsenal.

The size of the vehicle pool concerned by the BMP-1AM modernization also remains very small – merely 37 vehicles were ordered, and as of now it is unknown if any further orders of the type are to be undertaken.

Another reason for giving a green light to the modernization of the BMP-1s might be the tight defence budget. The Russian MoD simply has no money to replace all of the obsolete materiel, hence the interim solutions to somehow rearm military units at the secondary theaters, such as the Mongolian border. As of 2022, this interim solution, as many others Russian armored fighting vehicles, including some uncommon one, is now finding itself thrust onto the battlefield as the Russian Army attempts an invasion of Ukraine.

BMP-1AM prototype during the ARMY-2018 military show. Illustrated created by Pavel “Carpaticus” Alexe based on work by Tank Encyclopedia’s own David Bocquelet
A BMP-1AM with V markings, seen in use by Russian forces in Kupiansk, Kharkiv oblast, Ukraine, April 21/22 2022
BMP-1AM in Russian Army green. Illustration by Vesp
A BMP-1AM with V markings, seen in use by Russian forces in Kupiansk, Kharkiv oblast, Ukraine, April 21/22 2022 . Illustration by Vesp

BMP-1AM specifications

Dimensions (l-w-h), m 6.735 – 3.150 – 2.250
Road clearance, mm 420
Weight 14.2 metric tonnes
Engine UTD-20S1 6-cylinder 4-stroke V-shaped airless-injection water-cooled diesel (300 hp at 2,600 rpm)
Suspension Torsion bars
Maximum speed, km/h (road) 65
Maximum speed, km/h (water) ~7-8
Operationnal Range ~550 km (road)
Fuel capacity 420 l
Crew 3 (Commander, gunner, driver)
Dismounts 8
Radio R-128-25U-2
Main armament 30 mm 2A72 autocannon
Metis ATGM
Secondary armament 7.62 mm PKTM
Armor ~19 mm maximum
Obstacle crossing
– Climb
– Trench
– Wall

– 35 deg
– 2.5 m
– 0.7 m

Sources

Tankograd:
https://thesovietarmourblog.blogspot.com/2017/03/field-disassembly-bmp-1.html
https://thesovietarmourblog.blogspot.com/p/30x165mm-cartridges.html
https://thesovietarmourblog.blogspot.com/2016/05/bmp-2.html#mob
https://thesovietarmourblog.blogspot.com/2014/10/bmp-3-underappreciated-prodigy.html
ArmyRecognition:
https://www.armyrecognition.com/weapons_defence_industry_military_technology_uk/bmp-1_upgrade_to_extend_life_cycle_in_bmp-1am_variant_-_part_1.html
https://www.armyrecognition.com/army-2018_news_russia_online_show_daily/army-2018_new_bmp-1am_tracked_armored_ifv_fitted_with_btr-82a_30mm_turret.htmlOvertDefence:
https://www.overtdefense.com/2019/06/24/russia-is-modernizing-the-bmp-1/
Topwar.ru:
https://en.topwar.ru/176409-ot-bazy-do-basurmanina-problemy-modernizacii-bmp-1.html
https://en.topwar.ru/147643-bmp-1am-basurmanin-praktichnaja-modernizacija.html
https://kad.arbitr.ru/Document/Pdf/4817e4e9-f151-4cdc-87d0-eb1d2e99981c/37d41749-703a-4030-b167-aaa992676b2f/A40-81475-2020_20201026_Reshenija_i_postanovlenija.pdf?isAddStamp=True
The source with the statement about 1000 BMP-1 in service
https://nvo.ng.ru/armament/2020-10-22/1_1114_armament1.html
The first spec sheet
http://bastion-karpenko.ru/bmp-1-basurmanin/

Categories
Modern Russian Armor

BTR-T

Russia (1997)
Heavy Armored Personel Carrier – Unknown No. Built

In December 1994, Russian forces assaulted the Chechen capital of Grozny in what would later be known as the First Chechen War. After suffering enormous casualties, the Russians finally managed to capture the city, only to be forced out of it again by a Chechen counterattack in 1996. The war ended with the withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya following a negotiated settlement.

There were lots of lessons to be learned from the first Russian experience in Grozny (1994-1996). Among these were the importance of training ground troops in the use and maintenance of existing and new equipment, the importance of gathering intelligence that can provide correct estimations of the enemy’s capabilities, the importance of assault planning and coordination as well as plan flexibility, and the poor performance of Cold War era Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) against modern anti-tank weapons. Often in this conflict, Russian APCs, such as the BTR-70, and even Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs), such as the BMP-2, found their protection hopelessly outmatched by weapons such as RPG-7s and Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) used by their Chechen adversaries.

A Chechen fighter passes by a knocked out Russian BMP-2 in Grozny, Chechnya. Source: Wikimedia commons

The latter lesson did not go unnoticed by the Russian high command either.

As a result, the need for increased protection for APCs became more urgent. In response, the Design Bureau of Transport Engineering under the direction of the chief designer of the project, D. Ageev, developed and produced (in conjunction with the State Production Association “Transport Engineering Plant”) a prototype of a heavy armored personnel carrier (BTR-T) based on the T-55 tank chassis, of which there was an abundance in reserves.

The BTR-T heavy armored personnel carrier. Source: www.dogswar.ru

It should be noted that the Russians were not the first to convert an existing tank chassis into an APC. Examples of such conversions date as far back as the Great War, with the world’s first APC, the Mark IX, which was based on the Mark V tank. World War II saw many examples of this concept as well, such as the Canadian Kangaroo series. The Russians were not even the first to convert the T-55 into an APC. The Israelis, for instance, had their own conversions of T-55 tanks captured from their Arab adversaries, among which were Egypt and Syria, in 1967 and 1973 during the Arab-Isreali Wars into the Achzarit heavily armored personnel carrier.

The Achzarit heavy armored personnel carrier was an Israeli conversion of captured T-55 tanks. Source: Wikimedia commons

An Outdated Workhorse

Developed at the beginning of the Cold War, the T-55 medium tank was one of the most famous tanks produced in the USSR. It was a capable and reliable design with fairly competent protection and firepower for a medium tank of the mid 50s and early 60s, as well as some new technologies, such as an integrated NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) protection system.

Around 60,000 tanks were built, making the T-55 the most numerous tank built in the Soviet Union. However, the T-55 was starting to show its age by the 1960s and 70s, especially in terms of firepower, protection, and mobility. As a result, after its replacement by more modern tanks, such as the T-62 and T-64, the Red Army was left with hundreds of T-55s in storage or with reserve units.

The T-55 tank. This example can be found at the Imperial War Museum, Manchester, UK. Photo: Wikimedia commons

Development

The BTR-T (Russian: Бронетранспортёр-Тяжелый “Bronetransporter-Tyazhelyy”) under development was supposed to provide mechanized infantry brigades with a more protected way of traversing the battlefield, which would be vital for increasing their combat survivability, especially in urban environments, all while keeping up with other tracked vehicles in terms of mobility.

The BTR-T was demonstrated for the first time at the VTTV-97 weapons exhibition in Omsk in 1997. However, due to financial difficulties and lack of adequate testing, the vehicle never entered service in the Russian military. There is very little information on the number of vehicles converted.

Design

The T-55 medium tank was already obsolete when the need for a more heavily armored APC arose, and thus many changes had to be implemented in order to prepare the old design for its new role.

The Turret

The removal of the T-55 turret and its 100 mm gun was the most important change of the BTR-T conversion. The old turret was replaced with a lighter low-profile turret that was shifted slightly to the right-hand side of the vehicle for better use of internal space. The turret could be fitted with various remotely controlled weapon types such as autocannons, machine guns, ATGMs (Anti-Tank Guided Missiles), and grenade launchers. It also featured a turret basket that would allow the gunner to rotate with the turret and protect those inside from being hurt during turret rotation

A new lightly armored turret was made to replace the T-55 turret. Source: topwar.ru
A side view of the BTR-T. Source: Unknown

The Hull

The hull of the vehicle saw extensive modifications, with the intention of increasing the protection, as well as the volume of the hull. The roof plate of the hull was replaced with a new one that incorporates hatches for the mounting and dismounting of infantry.

The frontal plate was up-armored through the addition of Kontakt-5 ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor) armor, which was designed to combat the effects of shaped charge warheads as well as APFSDS (Armour Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot) ammunition. The new ERA armor is bolted on top of the existing vehicle glacis in the form of individual blocks. When a round impacts the ERA block, the block explodes, creating a counter charge that helps to either weaken or completely negate the impacting penetrator. The addition of Kontakt-5 to the BTR-T is claimed to have improved the frontal plate’s protection to the equivalent of 600 mm of RHA (Rolled Homogeneous Armor).

Spaced armor, rubber side skirts, as well as ERA were added to the side of the vehicle, thus increasing the vehicle’s survivability against attacks from the side.

Left, Kontakt-5 ERA blocks attached to the front plate of the BTR-T. Right, additional armor on the side plate. Photo: topwar.ru

The side plates also featured additional storage space through the use of large boxes located along the sides of the vehicle. Additional fuel tanks were also introduced. However, unlike the T-55, these fuel tanks are stored in armored containers in the rear of the vehicle. Not much information is available regarding the capacity of said fuel tanks, but it can be assumed that they would have had a similar capacity to the T-55’s additional fuel drums, 200 liters, which would give the BTR-T a net fuel capacity of 1,100 liters of fuel.

Smoke grenade launchers were also added in the form of four sets of three 902V Tucha that launch 81 mm smoke grenades on both sides of the vehicle.

As for the floor armor plate, it was reinforced with anti-mine protection, though not much information is available on the type and efficiency of this protection.

A top rear view of the hull shows the enlarged chassis and the added Tucha smoke grenade launcher. Source: topwar.ru

For the interior of the vehicle, the basic layout remained similar, with the crew compartment situated in the front and middle parts of the vehicle, and the engine compartment in the back. The interior also featured an air conditioning system and an NBC protection system.

However, minor changes and improvements were made, such as increasing the number of hatches to four: the commander’s on the left, the driver’s on the right, and two in the back for passenger mounting and dismounting. Another improvement came in the form of a set of periscopes on the top of the vehicle for the passengers. The interior space could accommodate 5 personnel alongside 2 crew members (the commander/gunner and the driver). It should be noted that this is a very low capacity for an APC, which is one of the problems this design had.

Crew layout of the BTR-T. Photo: Wikimedia commons

As for the engine, the V-55 12 cylinder diesel (the same found on the T-55 medium tank) was kept without changes. It has a power output of 600-620 hp, giving the vehicle a top speed of 50 km/h and an operational range of 500 km.

The V-55 engine. Photo: thesovietarmourblog.blogspot.com

The transmission also remained without changes. It was manual, and it included the main multi-plate clutch, five-speed synchromesh gearbox, final drives, and universal turning mechanisms. Overall, the mobility of the BTR-T was largely unchanged from the medium tank it was based on.

Armament

As mentioned before, the BTR-T was designed to be capable of carrying a multitude of different weapon systems to ensure the survival of the vehicle against the numerous threats it might encounter on the battlefield. The turret’s weapon systems can be configured and customized based on the desire of the buyer. These weapons include the 2A42 30 mm Autocannon, the 2A38 anti-aircraft gun, the AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher, the NSVT heavy machine gun, and the 9M113 Konkurs ATGM. Furthermore, a combination of these weapons could be configured based on the desire of the buyer.

BTR-T weapon choices. Source: Wikimedia commons

30A 2A42 Autocannon

The 30A 2A42 dual-feed open-bolt gas-operated autocannon is chambered for the Soviet 30×165 mm cartridge. It is designed to combat lightly armored targets at ranges up to 1,500 m, lightly armored enemy structures at ranges up to 4,000 m, as well as air targets flying at low altitudes up to 2,000 m with subsonic speeds and slant ranges up to 2,500 m. The BTR-T has the capacity to carry only 200 rounds for this gun, which is a notable disadvantage in the design of the vehicle.

The 2A42 Autocannon. Source: www.tulamash.ru

It features two firing modes: fast at 550-800 rds/min, and slow at 200-300 rds/min. The weapon fires a multitude of rounds:

    • 3UBR6: Armor Piercing Tracer for engaging armored targets. It uses the 3BR6 projectile. At a 60 degree angle, this projectile can penetrate 20/18/14 mm of RHA at the ranges of 700/1,000/1,500 meters respectively. This performance is considered mediocre against older light armored vehicles such as the American M113 APC, but against more modern vehicles such as the M2A2 Bradley, the 3BR6 would be less useful. The tracer burns for 3.5 seconds. At 1.5 kilometers, the round has a 55% probability of hitting an APC-type target.
    • 3UBR8: Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot Tracer for engaging armored targets with much better performance than the 3UBR6 in terms of penetration, velocity and accuracy. It achieves this by using a plastic discarding sabot with an aluminum plug in its 3BR8 projectile which contains a tungsten alloy penetrator. The penetrator lacks a ballistic cap which would weaken its performance against composite, sloped and spaced armor. It can penetrate 35/25/22 mm of 60 degree angled RHA at distances of 1,000/1,500/2,000 meters respectively. At a range of 1.5 km, the probability of hitting an APC-type target with the 3UBR8 is 70%.
    • 3UOF8: High Explosive Incendiary for neutralizing enemy infantry, soft-skinned vehicles, lightly armored structures and helicopters. It can also be effective at disabling optical and sighting systems of heavily armored vehicles. It contains a 49 g charge of A-IX-2 explosive filler and uses the A-670M PD (Point Detonating) nose fuze, which would detonate 9 to 14 seconds after the round is fired. The round is loaded in a 4:1 ratio of 3UOF8 to 3UOR6.
    • 3UOR6: Fragmentation Tracer for complimenting the 3UOF8 for fire correction purposes. To make room for the tracer element, the mass of the explosive filler was reduced to 11.5 g, which reduces its explosive capacity. The tracer burns for 14 seconds.
.
The 2A42 autocannon on the BTR-T. Source: Unknown

2A38 Anti-Aircraft Gun

One of the weapon options offered by the BTR-T turret is a dual twin-barrelled 2A38 30 mm anti-aircraft autocannon like the one found on the Pantsir-S1 air-defence system. Entering service in 1982, the 2A38 is a 30 mm autocannon produced by TulaMashZavod. It is designed primarily to combat low-flying aircraft and helicopters as well as soft-skinned ground targets. It features twin water-cooled barrels supplied by a single belt-feeding mechanism. Like the aforementioned 2A42, it is chambered for 30×165 mm and uses similar ammunition types with similar muzzle velocities. However, it has a much higher rate of fire of 4060 – 4810 rds/min to fulfil its anti-air purpose more effectively. It should be noted that there does not appear to be any form of radar guidance for the 2A38 on the BTR-T, which would decrease the weapon’s effectiveness against enemy aircraft.

The 2A38 twin-barrelled autocannon. Source: weaponsystems.net

AGS-17 Grenade Launcher

Developed in the late 1960s, the AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher is capable of firing 30 mm HE (High Explosive) rounds, designed to deal with enemy infantry and light-skinned vehicles. The rounds are fed by a steel belt, and the weapon uses recoil to power its automatic cycle through a blowback mechanism. It is capable of a 400 rds/min rate of fire, and has an effective range of 800-1,700 meters.

AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher. Photo: Wikimedia commons

NSVT HMG (Heavy Machine Gun)

The NSVT is a version of the NSV heavy machine gun modified for installment on armored vehicles. It is a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun designed to deal with infantry and low-flying aircraft, designed in the 1970s. It has a rate of fire of 700-800 rds/min and a muzzle velocity of 845 m/s. It can engage ground targets at a range of 2,000 meters or less, and 1,500 meters or less for air targets. The weapon would be remotely controlled from inside the vehicle.

NSV HMG. Source: www.imfdb.org
The NSVT heavy machine gun on the BTR-T. Source: topwar.ru

ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile)

The ATGM system chosen was the 9M113 Konkurs, which was the main Soviet ATGM weapon of choice since the mid-70s. Launched from the 5P56M missile launcher unit, the missile was designed to combat enemy armored vehicles and structures.

It is a Semi-Automatic Command to Line of Sight (SACLOS) wire guided missile that is aimed and guided to its target through the use of a sighting device that is constantly pointed at the target. The missile has an operational range from 75 meters to 4 kilometers. It flies to the target at a speed of 208 m/s. The missile carries a HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) shaped charge warhead, which, upon contact with the target, detonates its explosive charge, forcing the inner metal sheet to collapse on itself, forming a high-velocity superplastic jet, which punches through the target’s armor. This gives the Konkurs the ability to penetrate up to 600 mm of RHA (Rolled Homogeneous Armor). Later variants of the Konkurs, such as the 9M113M, use a tandem shaped-charge warhead in order to penetrate armor that is protected by ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor).

The 9M113 Konkurs ATGM. Source: reddit
Konkurs on the BTR-T turret. Source: Unknown

Problems

The design of the BTR-T presented many flaws, the most important of which was the small size of the hull, which only allowed for 5 passengers to be transported. Another flaw is the poor positioning of the mount/dismount hatches for the 5 passengers, which would require them to climb over the engine deck to access the hatches. This, coupled with the small size of the two hatches, made mounting and dismounting the vehicle a difficult process.

These problems were the result of the layout of the hull, as it remained largely unchanged from the base T-55 hull, which had the engine compartment in the back of the vehicle. Another problem was the lack of firing ports for the passengers. Additionally, the lack of a small-caliber weapon, such as the 7.62 mm PKT present on other Russian armored vehicles, including the BMP-2, proved problematic. This decreased the versatility of the vehicle against soft-skinned targets. The small amount of autocannon ammunition carried (200 rnds), resulting from the vehicle’s cramped interior, was also troublesome.

A rear view of the BTR-T which shows one of the main problems in the vehicle’s design, the impractical placement of the passenger hatches. Source: topwar.ru

Service

The information regarding the testing, operational history, and the numbers of BTR-Ts converted is very scarce. The financial crisis that the Russian Federation suffered in the late-90s prevented even sending an initial batch to the frontline for experiments. As a result, the BTR-T remained out of service. The manufacturers resorted to offering the transformation of existing T-55s serving under foreign militaries, of which there are more than plenty. These potential conversions will be carried under license by the buyer if they were ever to happen.

Some sources claim that in 2011 Bangladesh was the first country to convert 30 of its T-54A fleet into BTR-Ts. Further details on this contract are not available.

Conclusion

The BTR-T was a step in the right direction for its purpose. It featured decent protection and a diverse selection of armament. Almost more importantly, it offered all of this for the cheap price of converting already existing T-55 medium tanks, without the need for major overhauls or redesigns. However, due to design flaws of the BTR-T and financial hardships that the Russian government was suffering from in the late-90s, the vehicle was never approved for production. It did, however, inspire and influence other projects for the same purpose, such as the BMO-T, which was adopted by the Russian military for specialized flamethrower squads.

The BMO-T heavy armored personnel carrier which is based on the T-72 chassis. Source: Vitaly Kuzmin


Illustration of the BTR-T by Tank Encyclopedia’s own David Bocquelet.

Specifications

Dimensions 6.4 x 2.85 x 1.8 meters
Crew 2 + 5 passengers
Propulsion V-55, 12-cylinder V-type liquid-cooled diesel, 570 hp
Suspension Torsion bars
Speed (road) 50 km/h
Range 500 km
Armament 30A automatic gun 2A42 Ammunition: 200 rds
135 mm ATGM “Konkurs” launcher, 3 missiles carried
12 smoke grenade launchers
Armor ERA armor
RHA equivalent – 600 mm over the frontal 30 degree arc

Sources

www.arms-expo.ru (RU)
О современных разработках высокозащищенных машин пехоты (RU)
BTR-T from the tank (RU)
Тяжелый бронетранспортер БТР-Т (RU)
В Бангладеш переделали 30 Т-54А в омские БТР-Т (RU)
30-мм автоматическая пушка 2А42 (RU)
ДЗ Контакт-5 (RU)
АГС-17 «Пламя» – автоматический станковый гранатомёт (RU)
T-54
ПТРК «КОНКУРС» (RU)
30x165mm Cartridges
2А38 (RU)
30mm 2A38 (RU)
Military Parade magazine – 1998 p 38-40 (RU)
Armor magazine – 2001 p 13-14
Infantry magazine – 2000 p 16-18
T-54 and T-55 Main Battle Tanks 1944-2004 Steven J. Zaloga
Russia’s Chechen Wars 1994-2000 Olga Oliker


Categories
Modern Russian Armor

BMPT Terminator

Russia (2002)
Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle – 15-20 built


BMPT Terminator being showcased at an expo.

Philosophy of a Russian heavy IFV

The BMPT Terminator (the name “Terminator” is not an official designation, but used by the designers for publicity reasons) is a support combat vehicle which is mainly meant to be used in urban areas. It is, quite obviously, based off the T-72 without the iconic hemispherical turret, which is exchanged for an unmanned platform with a single machine gun, four anti-tank missiles and dual 30 mm (1.18 in) auto-cannons. The hull has a superstructure built onto to it, which allows for more space for the crew.
Since tanks aren’t really suited for use in urban areas, this is a great alternative to the regular MBT, because it possesses a rapid enough rate of fire to react to any enemy vehicles in its surrounding and the four missiles are excellent when fighting against heavily armored targets. However, this vehicle is not a tank substitute, as it cannot perform as well in non-urban areas. While it is still lethal against other softer targets, it is unsuited to the extreme ranges that tanks battle at. Another advantage that the BMPT has over regular tanks is the elevation and depression. The gun is able to elevate and depress enough to hit at any targets, like building tops and other tall structures.

Early developments

Before the Terminator, two earlier prototypes were placed in competition for the BMPT requirements. These were the Object 781 and the Object 782, both made by Chelyabinsk and lead by V.L. Vershinsky. The main reason these two vehicles were ordered was the performance of IFVs in the Soviet War in Afghanistan. IFVs such as the BMP-1 and the BMD series proved to struggle against infantry when faced with portable anti-tank weapons, such as the well-known RPG series. Another downfall of the BMP-1 was the lack of elevation (the BMP-2 fixed this problem) which allowed the enemy to take a major advantage when engaging it from above. The Object 781 and the Object 782 were based off the T-72B, with major modifications.
Object 781 Object 782
Object 781 and Object 782 stored at the Kubinka Tank Museum
The Object 781 was dual turreted, each turret having a 30mm 2A72 (basically a simpler 30mm 2A42, which is seen on Soviet/Russian helicopters and IFVs) with a PKT 7.62mm machine gun as a companion. It also mounted an anti-tank missile system of an unknown type (most likely the 9M133 Konkurs). Its competitor was the Object 782; it had an actual turret, as opposed to the two unmanned turrets of the Object 781, with a very similar hull. The profile was smaller and it was armed with a 100mm 2A70 low recoil gun and a 30mm 2A72 auto-cannon which were directly connected to each other (similar system and weapons on the BMP-3). It was also armed with two 40mm grenade launchers (one on the hull and the other on the turret). The Object 781 won and was probably considered for mass-production, but the break-up of the Soviet Union ruined that prospect.
Object 787
Object 787 at the Kubinka Tank Museum
About five years later, another prototype was made and built by Chelyabinsk; this prototype was based off the T-72AV. This project was built because of tank performance in Chechnya (which was abysmal). The project kept the turret but removed the big 125mm main gun for a pair of 30mm 2A72 auto-cannons and six unguided rockets on each side. It also added extra structure at the back, in order for the armament to work properly and shield it from flanking fire. This tank was praised by many of the designers and some military officials. Unfortunately, work on the project was canceled because it was being advertised on radio and on television. Everyone who was working on the project was accused of “giving away Russia’s secrets” (keep in mind that Russia was in chaos during the 90’s). While they weren’t allowed to work on this vehicle, in particular, this did not stop the urge for an armored fighting vehicle with missiles, auto-cannons, and lots of armor.
Original BMPT model with one 30mm autocannon and older ATGMs. Final BMPT prototype design presumably being tested.
The BMPT Terminator prototypes
In the early 2000’s, work started on a new project called the Object 199, with the name “Ramka” attached to it. The Object 199 is the tank that came to be known as the BMPT Terminator. It was shown to the public in 2001 as a mock-up and the real project was unveiled to the masses in 2002. The early design was armed with a single 30mm 2A42 and four 9M133 “Kornet” ATGMs with two AG-17 grenade launchers and one 7.62mm PKTM as secondary armaments. Further development accompanied the 30mm auto-cannon with another 30mm auto-cannon and replaced the 9M133 “Kornet” ATGMs with  9M120 “Ataka” ATGMs.

Design of the BMPT

Armament
Instead of the 30mm 2A72 seen on the first 3 prototypes, the BMPT was equipped with the more complex 30mm 2A42 autocannon (effective range of 4000 meters). This auto-cannon is stabilized on two planes and has a rate of fire ranging from as low as 200 rounds per minute to 800 rounds per minute, with both having -5° and +45° and 360° of turret rotation. The BMPT’s second primary armament is the 130mm 9M120 “Ataka-T” anti-tank missile (industrial code is B07S1), with claims from the manufacturer that it can penetrate 800 mm (2’7”) of homogeneous armor with ERA with its HEAT ammunition (good enough for the side or rear of any modern tank). There are four of these anti-tank missiles, with two of them being placed vertically on both sides of the 30mm auto-cannons. This anti-tank missile is guided by a semi-automatic laser beam with flexible elevation angles (-10°/+25°). The missile has a flight velocity of 550 m/s with a maximum range of 5800 meters; it is controlled by the VIAM.461112.001 ground control equipment inside the BMPT. Since this is not a 9M120F variant (anti-personnel variant), it does not have the ability to carry anti-personnel missiles or not supposed to.
BMPT_turret_at_Engineering_Technologies_2012
A closeup of all the BMPT’s weapons except for the two 30mm grenade launchers
One of the BMPT’s secondary armament is one 7.62 PKTM machine gun that is situated between the two autocannons, with an aiming range of 1500 meters, muzzle velocity of 850 m/s, and a theoretical rate of fire of 700-800 rounds per minute. This machine gun has the same elevation and depression as the 30mm auto-cannons since it’s fixed on the same oscillating platform with the 30mm auto-cannons. The BMPT’s second secondary armament are two 30mm AG-17D grenade launchers. These grenade launchers are placed at the front of the tank on the far side of each other. They have the ability to fire 400 rounds per minute with a low muzzle velocity of 185 m/s and are able to kill a person up to 7+ meter radius from 1700 meters away. The grenade launchers on the right have 5° to the left and 27° to the right and the grenade launchers on the left have 27° on the left and 5° on the right with horizontal stabilization. Both of the grenade launchers have -5.5° depression and +20° elevation (no vertical stabilization). The BMPT is truly a killing machine with nine weapons (four different weapons) at the BMPT’s disposal
Mobility
The BMPT is powered by a V-92S2 (2000 rpm, V12, 4-stroke, multi-fuel, liquid cooling, and turbocharger) engine that churns out about 1000 hp. Combined with the weight (48 tonnes, 53 short tons, and 47 long tons) of the BMPT, it has a power-to-weight ratio of 20-21 hp/t, with a range of 550 km and a speed of 60 km/h on hard roads. The gearbox has seven forward gears and one reverse gear. The BMPT’s suspension is a torsion bar suspension (like most tanks designed from the 50’s and onwards) with shock absorbers, six rubber-lined road wheels, one front idler wheel, one rear drive sprocket, and three return rollers on each side. Ground clearance is 406mm and it’s able to ford water as deep as 1.8 meters with preparations and 1.2 meters without preparations. It is also able to climb over obstacles up to 0.85 meters at 30 degrees and able to cross trenches of 2.6-2.8 meters wide.
Protection
Since the armor is based on the T-72, it will most likely have the same armor as the T-90 or a modernized T-72. It also has Relikt ERA, which is said to be stronger than Kontakt-5. The side skirts are covered with soft material armor, cage/slat armor at the rear, and hard panels made of different materials. The crew is NBC protected from nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, as the acronym suggests. It also has an automatic fire extinguisher and System 903A smoke grenade launchers to conceal itself when spotted by the enemy or against guided weapons using infrared.

Active service

While the BMPT is not in Russian service since it is based on old Soviet tank designs, it is being used and bought by Kazakhstan and Algeria. Kazakhstan even went further by signing an agreement with UralVagonZavod in September of 2013 to co-produce the BMPT. Kazakhstan is providing decommissioned T-72s while Russia, specifically UralVagonZavod, will provide modules and spare parts with which Kazakhstan will assemble these tanks in their nation. This is a great way for UralVagonZavod to make a profit and for Kazakhstan to revive their old Soviet-era T-72s to current standards.
Peru also expressed interest to UralVagonZavod during Peru’s SITDEF (Salón Internacional De Tecnología Para La Defensa Y Prevención De Desastres Naturales) expo in 2015, with an interest to upgrade their aging T-55s with BMPT turrets and other possible modifications to the hull. However, these T-55s may be replaced or at most accompanied by Russian T-90s, Spanish Leopard 2A4s, or Dutch Leopard 2A6s. In addition, various Israeli companies and the Peruvian Desarrollos Industriales Casanave, with the association of the Ukrainian Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau, have also offered upgrades for the Peruvian T-55s.
Kazakhstani BMPTs being used during a parade. Algerian BMPT that is being trialed in Algeria.
BMPTs in Kazakhstani or Algerian service.

BMPT-72 Terminator-2 (2013)

This support combat vehicle was first revealed at the Russian Arms Expo (RAE) at Nizhny Tagil, Russia in 2013. The Terminator 2 is being sold as an armor upgrade package, rather than an actual tank, with two engines available. The two engines are the V-84MS (840 hp, 2000 rpm, V12, 4-stroke, multi-fuel, liquid cooling, and gear driven centrifugal type supercharger) and the V-92S2 (1000 hp, 2000 rpm, V12, 4-stroke, multi-fuel, liquid cooling, and turbocharger). These upgrades removed the two frontal 30mm grenade launchers; this reduced the crew from five to three, but also lightened the load from 48 tonnes to 44 tonnes.
The armament of the BMPT-72 Terminator 2 is the same (except for the removal of the two 30mm grenade launchers), however, the armament is better protected and the structural support of the four ATGMs is enhanced and positioned horizontally instead of vertically. The FCS has also gotten an upgrade with a new multi-channel gunner’s sight that is equipped with a thermal channel, night vision, laser range finder, laser guidance system for missiles, and independent 2-plane stabilization of field of view with a sighting range of 5000 meters. The BMPT-72 received a new digital ballistic computer with weather and topographical support and the armament is stabilized on two axes with electromechanical traversing and elevating drives. Lastly, improved NBC protection is provided for the crew.
BMPT-72 Terminator 2 showcased at an expo
BMPT-72 Terminator 2 unveiled at RAE 2013

BMPT-72 Terminator 2 in service

While the Terminator 2 isn’t in service as far as we know, Azerbaijan held an arms expo named ADEX (Azerbaijan Defense Exhibition) in 2014, which allowed arms dealers to show off their weapons to the armed forces of Azerbaijan. Since Azerbaijan has territorial issues with Armenia about the Nagorno-Karabakh region, the small Caucasian nation is looking for potent weapons in case things get heated again between the two countries. During the expo, Azerbaijan had stated that they’re interested in the Ka-52 attack/scout helicopter and the BMPT-72 Terminator 2 and numerous other weapons. In 2013, various unspecified Persian Gulf nations also expressed interest in the Terminator 2 during the Russian Arms Expo (RAE).
The Russian Federation has however refused the second iteration of the BMPT as well. The reasoning is that since the T-15 Armata exists, there is no reason to adopt the Terminator 2, with possibly less armor and no infantry carrying capacity. Lastly, during India’s DEFEXPO in 2014, UralVagonZavod proposed two upgrades to India’s obsolete T-72s. UVZ (UralVagonZavod) proposed the BMPT-72 package on India’s T-72s, which would extend their service life. They also proposed an Arena-E APS upgrade on Indian T-72s. Active Protection Systems fire a small projectile at cumulative and explosive missiles from portable/non-portable anti-tank weapons such as RPGs, Kornet, Konkurs, TOW, etc, detonating them before impact.
An article by Joshua Martinez a.k.a. SovietTenkDestroyer

BMPT specifications

Dimensions 7.2 x3.37 x3.80 m (23x 11x 12 ft)
Total weight, battle ready 48 tonnes
Crew 5 (driver, gunner, commander, 2 operators)
Propulsion V12 multifuel V-92S2 diesel, 1,000 hp (736 kW), 20 hp/t, turbocharger
Suspension Torsion bars
Speed (road) 60 km/h (37 mph)
Range 550 km (340 mi)
Armament 2 x2A42 30mm autocannons
4 ×130 mm Ataka-T launchers
Coaxial 7.62mm PKTM
2x AG-17D grenade launchers
Armor See notes
Total production At least 15 built

 

BMPT-72 specifications

Dimensions 7.2 x3.33 x3.6 m (23x 10.92x 11.81 ft)
Total weight, battle ready 44 tonnes
Crew 3 (driver, gunner, commander)
Propulsion V12 multifuel V-84MS diesel, 840 hp (626 kW), 19 hp/t, supercharger
V12 multifuel V-92S2 diesel, 1,000 hp (736 kW), 20 hp/t, turbocharger
Suspension Torsion bars
Speed (road) 60 km/h (37 mph)
Range 500 km (310 mi)
Armament 2 x2A42 30mm autocannons
4 ×130 mm Ataka-T launchers
Coaxial 7.62mm PKTM
Armor See notes
Total production Couple built for exhibitions but generally unknown

Kazakh BMP-T
Kazakh BMP-T
Russian BMP-T demonstrator
Russian BMP-T demonstrator

Video: The Terminator in Action (live footage)

Gallery

BMPT-Kazakh-3
Kazakh BMPT in a parade, 2011.
BMPT_Missiles_closeup_at_Engineering_Technologies_2012
BMPT 9M120 Ataka ATGM launcher tubes closeup, Engineering Technology Day 2012
BMPT-Kazakh-2
BMPT Terminator at the Engineering Technologies days, 2012.

The Terminator as shown at Eurosatory, 2012.
Bmpt_REA_2009
BMPT at REA 2009



Links

More information about the autocannons
Armored Warfare presentation of the BMPT
The Terminator 2 featured on Sputnik News
Terminator 2 specifications from UralVagonZavod
More info about the BMPT on BTVT.Narod.ru
The BMPT predecessors presented by Armored Warfare
More info about the ATAKA missiles
More info about the ATAKA-T missiles
More info about the AG-17 rocket launchers
More info about the PKTM machine-gun
The V-92S engine on Army-Guide
The V-84MS engine on Army Guide
Announcement of the cancellation of the BMPT programme 
News about the Terminator/T-55 Peruvian hybrid
The ADEX expo as reported on Vice News
News about the Algerian testing of the BMPT (in Romanian)
The Russian-Kazakhstani cooperation on TASS.ru
More news about the same
The proposal of the Terminator/T-55 hybrid
More info about SITDEF 2015
Rumours about Gulf countries being interested in the Terminator 2
News about the official interest in the Terminator 2 in Azerbaijan
Information about the ammunition of the 30 mm autocannons