The BMPT Terminator armored fighting vehicle looks quite fearsome and futuristic.
This platform is one of the most advanced weapon systems in the arsenal of the Russian military.
It has been fighting in limited numbers on the frontlines of Ukraine.
At the time, the Russian military was pushing hard along the Kreminna-Svatove line of contact.
The Ukrainian forces were on the outskirts of Kreminna and trying to capture the town.
Having captured Kreminna, the Ukrainian forces would be within range of Svatove, a key logistical node in the east that supplies Russian units not just in the area but in the Donbas too.
In the forested terrain outside Kreminna, Ukrainian marines of the 140th separate reconnaissance battalion managed to incapacitate a BMPT Terminator with small-arms fire.
Then, the Ukrainian troops called in artillery fire that destroyed the incapacitated BMPT Terminator, marking the first known kill of the advanced weapon system in the war so far.
“Hasta la vista, baby! Soldiers of the 140th separate reconnaissance battalion of the marines found the detonated Russian BMPT ‘Terminator,’ transferred the coordinates to the artillery units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and further adjusted the fire,” the Ukrainian military had posted on Twitter at the time.
The BMPT Terminator provides important firepower in support of mechanized infantry. But if cornered without its infantry support, it’s an easy target for the enemy.
“So, we see that this allegedly ‘invincible’ and ‘unique’ combat vehicle burns just as well as the rest of Russian scrap metal. Glory to the marines! Glory to Ukraine!” the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense had added.
The BMPT Terminator
The BMPT Terminator is built on the chassis of the T-72 main battle tank and packs both anti-tank and anti-infantry weapons.
The armored fighting vehicle is armed with four 9M120 Ataka missile launchers, two 30mm cannons, two grenade launchers, and a 7.62 machine gun.
In addition, the BMPT Terminator is equipped with the necessary sensors to make it competitive on a modern battlefield.
At the start of the war, the Russian Ministry of Defense didn’t deploy any of its most advanced weapon systems in Ukraine, such as the T-14 Armata main battle tank and Su-57 Felon fifth-generation fighter jet. As the war progressed and the Russian forces started taking extremely heavy losses, the Russian Ministry of Defense maintained the same posture and didn’t deploy its most modern weapon systems on the frontlines.
Today, despite extreme shortages in weaponry of all types, the Russian military leadership continues to use its most advanced weapon systems in a very limited role.
Why is the Kremlin doing that? Most likely because it assesses that despite marketing narratives, its most advanced weapon systems aren’t as advanced as it portrays to the world. And if they are used in the fighting, they will be destroyed and lose market value.
A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. He is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Strategy, Cybersecurity, and Intelligence at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.