What Is Russia’s “Terminator” Armored Vehicle? – As the war in Donbas intensifies, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy describing the situation as “hell,” Russian forces are reportedly using an armored tank-support vehicle known as the “Terminator” to break through Ukrainian defenses and continued their advance westward.
Known as tank support combat vehicles, or BMPTs, the Terminator armored vehicles have been seen entering the main battlefield in Donbas.
The British Ministry of Defence confirmed sightings of the vehicles in the Donbas region. Some analysts also noted that the use of the vehicles means that the Central Grouping of Forces, which were the same military units that once attempted to surround and conquer Kyiv, are now fighting in the Donbas region instead.
Terminator: Why Did It Take So Long?
With thousands of tanks lost and tens of thousands of troops killed, the deployment of Terminator BMPTs may be too little too late. Designed for urban warfare, the Terminator could have provided vital support to Russian troops in central Ukraine in Kyiv and other urban areas.
The vehicle is designed to help troops fighting in urban spaces. Terminators were deployed in 2018 to help Russian forces after Chechen fighters destroyed many Russian armored vehicles, and the vehicles are now providing similar support to Russian troops in Donbas.
The Kremlin’s decision to deploy the Terminator could be seen as a sign of desperation, but pro-Kremlin journalists praised the move as “progress” on the war.
“Thank God! We’ve got Terminators!” Russian reporter Aleksandr Sladkov said on Telegram.
If the Terminators don’t achieve what the. Russians need, however, it will not only hurt the credibility of the Russian military but could result in even more severe losses of crucial weaponry.
Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly hesitated to deploy the vehicles earlier in the war, but facing increasing losses in the area, the Terminators will give Russian troops an additional boost as Ukrainian fighters continue to prove capable and effective.
What is the Terminator?
Russia’s BMPT “Terminator” is an armored fighting vehicle designed to assist troops and tanks in urban areas. Heavily armored, the vehicle is also equipped with four 9M120 Ataka missile launchers, two AG-17D grenade launchers, two 30mm 2A42 autocannons, and a coaxial PKTM machine gun.
In service from 2011, an upgraded version of the Terminator was revealed in media reports on May 18 of this year.
The Terminator was first developed during the Soviet-Afghan War. The vehicle is typically deployed alongside battle tanks. Each Russian battle tank is deployed with two BMPTs for support and protection.
Terminators can withstand artillery fire and are typically tasked with reducing tank losses – and with a reported 695 tanks lost so far, Russian forces need all the support they can get.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.