​How the russians Tried to “Restart” the BMPT “Terminator’s” Failed Debut

A column of russian BMPT "Terminators" in Luhansk region, Ukraine / Open source illustrative photo
A column of russian BMPT "Terminators" in Luhansk region, Ukraine / Open source illustrative photo

The BMPT "Terminator" tank support vehicle had its baptism of fire in Eastern Ukraine. Defense Express has analyzed how the russian propaganda tried to cover this de-facto fiasco of the much-praised "wunderwaffe"

In a battle near Severodonetsk, Ukraine, the russian armed forces had used their BMPT "Terminator" tank support fighting vehicle for the first time ever. These "marvelous weapons" couldn’t stand the fire of Ukrainian artillery.

Nevertheless, this fact had not discouraged russian propaganda media, though actually those were pretty much disappointed despite efforts to hide it.

Read more: Russian BMPT "Terminator" Had to Flee Their First Combat in Ukraine

One of the first propagandists to talk the first combat of BMPT "Terminator" was military expert Alexey Khlopotov. On May 27 he wrote in his blog about it. As follows from the discussion, the blogger got upset that BMP-2 equipped with the "Berezhok" combat module turned out to be more of a "wunderwaffe" than the "Terminator".

The first time BMPT
The first time BMPT "Terminators" were seen in real combat, date published: May 27, 2022 / Photo credit: Yurii Butusov, Censor.net

Firstly, Khlopotov didn’t manage to get a video of BMPT "Terminator’s" first combat. Thus he published just three screenshots and some photos of the vehicles after the fight. It was labeled as "exclusive material" from the "Milinfolive" channel. The caption on this channel goes: "An exclusive from the frontline near Severodonetsk. BMPT ‘Terminator-2’ have already partaken in the battle. Comments from the combatants who worked beside the vehicles are the most positive. ‘Terminators’ have spent all their ammo on the enemy".

In response, Khlopov sharply replied that the authors of "Milinfolive" don’t know much about the design differences between a "Terminator" and "Terminator-2"; that it was the "Terminator" that got adopted by the russian army, not the "Terminator-2" which remained a solely "for display" modification.

Russian "for display only" "Terminator-2" modification / Open source illustrative photo

Secondly, there is the fact of the full ammunition spending during the fight. Is it really a good sign? Actually, it shows that BMPT "Terminator" does not have enough ammo stock for real fighting. There are only 850 projectiles for two guns, while a "classic" BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle has 500 projectiles for one gun.

Another comparison – two BMP-2M IFVs equipped with "Berezhok" modules have significantly more ammo in stock than a single "Terminator". That is, 30mm guns will have 1,000 rounds (BMP-2M) vs. 850 rounds ("Terminator"), 8 guided missiles vs. 4 GMs, and the same amount of automatic mortars with the same stock.

Moreover, the BMP-2M equipped with "Berezhok" has 1,5 times better vertical angle ranges than its "opponent" – 74 vs. 45 degrees.

This is a russian BMP-2M infantry fighting vehicle equipped with a
This is a russian BMP-2M infantry fighting vehicle equipped with a "Berezhok" combat module / Pre-war photo credit: Vitaliy V. Kuzmin, Wikimedia Commons

Twenty years ago, when BMPT was still in development, it had an advantage with its viewing angles. But when "Berezhok" kicked in, this advantage vanished, since two sights provided by BMPs with thermal imaging observation is a better option than the one provided by a BMPT without a thermal imager (yes, there is no thermal imager on a "Terminator’s" sight).

Theoretically, BMPT is more secure. But in case a modern weapon is used against it, whether it’s a BMPs or a tank, both get hit equally well, as we could see from the battles of Ukrainians against russians. At the same time, one BMPT costs as much as two "classic" tanks. This should showcase how "effective" this fighting vehicle is.

BMPT "Terminator" / Open source illustrative photo

By the way, there are no troops in these photos: besides BMPT there are only T-72B3 tanks. The above-mentioned comment from "Milinfolive" about the "satisfied combatants" is nothing but cheap propaganda.

These photos feature only two of the four previously shown BMPTs. Judging by the used ATGM tubes, those were coming out of the fight. And it looks like russians have "halved" their four "Terminators" into two tactical groups.

The first time BMPT "Terminators" were seen in real combat, date published: May 27, 2022 / Photo credit: Yurii Butusov, Censor.net

Interestingly, the job of commenting on the combat with the participation of BMPTs was made by a non-profile Avia.pro propaganda web portal. It wrote that fighting vehicles under the T-15 "Terminator" ID were sent to battle, and the fact of combat use of these was confirmed by the photographs made by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. According to the media outlet, T-15 "Terminator" vehicles have "proved themselves well".

Yet maybe the most interesting part of it is that Avia.pro authors have "visioned" 10 units of T-15 "Terminator" at once at russian army’s disposal.

BMPT "Terminator" / Open source illustrative photo

It’s clear that those authors don’t know what's what in armored equipment or else they would recall that the T-15 is in fact a heavy IFV on an "Armata" basis, which hasn’t yet entered serial production.

So, why did the ruscists even suggest that BMPT "Terminator’s" real combat debut was a success? No idea at all. Instead, when Ukrainian artillery began to play its part in this particular episode, BMPTs quickly fled the battlefield.

As for the examples given above, they tell us that russian propaganda media have either no data (thus completely making up the stories of "effectiveness"), or these data are so upsetting they prefer not to write about it. Nonetheless, for us, the absence of information – is the information as well.

BMPT "Terminator" / Open source illustrative photo
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