The BMPT embodies new design solutions, which are based on modern scientific advances and technological capabilities. As a new direction of development of armored weapons and equipment (armored vehicles), it is of interest to both specialists in the organization of hostilities and to the developers of weapons and military equipment.
The BMPT was created to increase the effectiveness of the performance of combat missions by infantry units and subunits, significantly reducing the losses of personnel, armored personnel carriers. The TTZ laid the possibilities higher than that of the existing heavy armored personnel carrier models, in terms of the density of fire impact on enemy infantry at distances up to 1500 meters, crew mobility and security. Design features provide combat survivability better than in the tank and even more so in the BMP.
The machine has a circular defense, a powerful armament complex designed to defeat and suppress enemy anti-tank weapons (PTS) in the "saw-fired" mode, capable of destroying tanks and other protected equipment and low-flying targets to a distance of up to five kilometers.
But to this day, most military experts considered BMPT solely as a means of reducing the combat losses of tanks. To this conclusion pushes the name of the car. Unfortunately, it was this that caused the negative attitude towards BMPT. Critics argued simply: what kind of support could a machine with two 30-mm cannons provide to a powerful tank?
The experience of using tanks in the First and especially in the Second World War showed that without the support of infantry "armor" bears great losses. In connection with this, a so-called tank landing force appeared. He covered the enemy infantry, armed with light anti-tank weapons, and solved the problem of mastering settlements, defensive lines and objects, using tank breakthroughs in the tactical zone of the enemy’s defenses and operations in the operational depth.
The need for a comprehensive organization of interaction between tanks and infantry was clearly expressed in the order of People's Commissar of Defense of the USSR No. 325 of October 16 from 1942 of the year “On the combat use of tank and mechanized units and formations”. It states: the practice of war with the German fascists showed that we had serious shortcomings in the use of tank units. Our tanks in attack attacked the infantry, lost interaction with it. And the cut-off infantry did not support the armored vehicles with their fire and artillery fire. As a result, tankers and infantrymen suffered heavy losses.
Now the situation is much harder than in World War II, due to the wide distribution of automatic rifle weapons. The rate of fire of machine guns and machine guns increased, small-caliber guns appeared, but with the most effective effect of ammunition on the target. Automatic hand-held grenade launchers became standard weapons in each infantry unit, and reactive anti-tank grenades and RPGs with cumulative and high-explosive fragmentation munitions - each soldier. The presence of such an arsenal of weapons on the battlefield creates intolerable conditions for the soldier, no matter what individual means of protection he is equipped with.
A deeper analysis of the nature of modern battles gives every reason to consider the BMPTs as the main means of reducing the losses in the first place of the personnel of mechanized and motorized rifle units in a collision with the enemy. But then why is so thorny the way BMPT into a series with its undeniable need?
The logic of opponents of innovation is simple: what kind of tank is it if it needs cover and support? It quite often worked at the highest level and determined the further attitude to the development.
To find out the truth back to stories create tanks. Their appearance on the margins of the First World War is not accidental and is associated with the advent of semi-automatic and automatic small arms, primarily machine guns and mortars, the increased power of engineering barriers, and the saturation of the warring armies with artillery.
The main task of tanks - to support the infantry in the breakthrough of the enemy defenses. They moved ahead of the attackers, destroying the barricades with cannon and machine-gun fire, paralyzing the will of the enemy with a frightening air. The effectiveness of the impact of the breakthrough of the German defense on the Somme River 15 September 1916-th (32 tank) and the battle of Cambrai 20 November 1917-th (476 tanks) was stunning. However, then it did not produce the expected results. Having breached the defenses on 10 – 15 kilometers, the tanks stopped, because without the support of infantry and light artillery their advance was choking. In the operational pause, the Germans counterattacked and returned the lost positions.
In World War I began to create tank groups. They included a heavy breakthrough tank, ammunition and fuel conveyor tanks, artillery tractor tanks ... By the end of the 1917, the MK-9, an infantry transporter tank, appeared. In World War II, large tank formations and formations, "wedges", appeared. They have already developed operational success in the depth of the enemy defenses. This experience has made significant changes to the weapons system of the Ground Forces. An intensive search began to counter their main strike force. The creation of a powerful anti-tank defense system came to the fore. It was based on new portable “Khmel”, “Baby” type ATGMs, hand-grenade launchers and anti-tank grenades (from RPG-7 to RPG-23, RPG-26, RPG-28), and other means. Similar weapons appeared also in the enemy, began to be used en masse.
The concept of "tank-dangerous living force" was born - personnel, armed with modern portable anti-tank systems, RPGs, conventional and large caliber automatic small arms, capable of effectively using it at a distance of up to 1000 meters and well-protected. The threat was fatal. Possessing powerful, but essentially single-channel armament, tanks could not effectively combat such a significant and massive factor as “tank-dangerous manpower”, —the design features affected.
In addition, in tanks, armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, only one crew member can fire from the main type of weapon, even if others have detected more dangerous targets. Ammunition of tanks is relatively small, it is irrational to use it to perform essentially artillery missions - defeating area targets, including those saturated with poorly observable "tank-dangerous manpower."
Opposition to it is relevant in the conduct of hostilities not only with regular armies, but also with illegal armed formations, as evidenced by the experience of local conflicts in Iraq, Yemen, Syria. PTS, capable of inflicting damage to armored vehicles, insurgents have a quarter more than in the regular army, and their proportion sometimes amounted to 95 percent of all the weapons available in the illegal armed formations.
In this regard, to effectively perform combat missions in the forward echelon, it became necessary to have a machine running in line with the tanks (or slightly ahead) with powerful multi-channel automatic weapons capable of assuming the destruction of the enemy’s tank-dangerous infantry. the probability of hitting personnel and armored vehicles.
Targets and targets
The need to solve the problems of the interaction of infantry and tanks in the new combat conditions led to a remarkable idea - to create a special armored vehicle. This is how the BMP appeared, the main purpose of which was to transport motorized infantry units to the place where combat missions were performed, to increase mobility, firepower and security of mechanized units on the battlefield, as well as joint operations with tanks, including the use of weapons of mass destruction.
In the Soviet army, infantry fighting vehicles appeared in the early 60's, then they began to equip the ground forces of many countries with them. The BMP, BMD and vehicles on their base increased the combat effectiveness of both combined-arms formations and units, as well as formations of the types and types of troops of the Armed Forces primarily due to greater mobility. BMP-1, BMP-2, BMP-3 became the basis of motorized rifle formations and units. In the USSR Armed Forces, by the end of the 80, there were about 20 thousands of infantry fighting vehicles. They are rapidly improving.
But at the same time with the BMP intensively developed means of defeat. An attempt to save a soldier in a light-armored corps led to the opposite result. Even one small-caliber projectile cannon hit, a reactive anti-tank grenade, a mine exploding or an IED caused detonation of ammunition, fire and the death of more than one soldier, as happens in open areas, but groups up to 10 people. As a result, motorized infantrymen were afraid to move inside the car even on the march, in the absence of danger of shelling.
In the conduct of hostilities in Afghanistan, in the North Caucasus, it was impossible to ensure that the landing BMP housed in regular places. All were on the "armor", as well as during World War II. Particularly convincingly the unsuitability of infantry fighting vehicles as a means of supporting and protecting infantry was demonstrated in Grozny in December of 1994-th - January of 1995-th.
Not only upgrading, but also attempts to create a new type of heavy infantry fighting vehicles to increase the protection of the crew and the landing force were made earlier and are quite active now. As a rule, they end with a significant increase in weight and dimensions of the BMP, which not only reduces its main advantage - high maneuverability, but also retains the same probability of death of the motorized infantry unit inside the machine.
We must not forget that the saturation of the battlefield with promising, more powerful means of fire impact will increase and they will “get” to the personnel inside the armored vehicles before approaching the line of attack.
In such conditions, the infantry will dismount and travel long distances with a march, which will significantly reduce the effectiveness of motorized rifle subunits and units. With the transition to the attack, the probability of death of the BMP will be even higher due to the massive use of RPG by the enemy in the first line of defense.
As a participant in the hostilities in Afghanistan, I know that not a single operation, including the posting of columns, fighting in the mountains or Zelenka, providing guard posts and posts, guarding points of deployment and routes, was not carried out without the participation of armored vehicles. Then the question of the need to have in combat formations, in addition to regular tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, a special highly protected, primarily from an RPG, machine with powerful small arms, became acute.
The modernization carried out - strengthening the protection of the T-62 and using it as a fire weapon to cover the motorized rifle subunits did not solve the problem. Tankers, acting at a great distance, especially in the mountains, among duvala and mud buildings, could not timely detect and localize firing means of close combat. The tank became a priority target for the dushmans. But most of all battered BMP loaded with infantry. The defeat of one BMP immediately claimed the lives of five to seven paratroopers. A striking example of the heavy losses of personnel in the BMP is the operation of the 860-th separate motorized rifle regiment in Afghanistan in 1984.
There was an acute need for a car with powerful fire weapons capable of destroying the enemy’s dangerous manpower at a distance of up to two kilometers, covering infantry and paratroopers with its fire. This was then the four-barreled anti-aircraft self-propelled installation of the ZSU-23-4 "Shilka", nicknamed Dushmans "Shaitan-Arba".
The targets of the defeat were the Mujahideen, who were seated with machine guns, machine guns, hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers, MANPADS behind the duels, in the mountain slots, karises, buildings, "Zelenka". The Shilka fire literally swept away the enemy and was the best defense for the infantry, wherever it was located: in the field, in the BMP, BTR, on cars. Whenever possible, ZSU-23-4 was used everywhere: when setting up columns, conducting combat operations, in the desert and “Zelenka”, in guarding communications and guard garrisons, and disposing of troops. She had a drawback in booking too weak.
The first experience of creating a machine that provides more reliable protection of the crew and support for infantry than the BMP, was carried out in the Omsk design bureau of transport engineering.
A large number of obsolete T-55 tanks available in Russia, which were converted into BTR-T (heavy armored personnel carrier), would fill the army with relatively inexpensive and highly protected infantry fighting vehicles.
What made them different? On the BTR-T reinforced bottom of the hull to increase the survival of the crew during the detonation of anti-tank mines. This was provided by an additional reservation, while the sheet was welded indented, the air gap significantly reduced the effect of the blast wave. The conversion of the T-55 to the BTR-T was cheap. But the car was poorly armed and did not enter the troops.
Out of the "framework"
In the middle of 80-s, taking into account the experience of operations in Afghanistan, the specialists of the Military Academy of Armored Forces and the 38-th Research Institute of the USSR Ministry of Defense formulated the main directions for the creation of BMPT. A concept and operational-tactical justification (GR) was developed for its use in tank and motorized rifle subunits.
The head contractor of the work in 1987 was identified the GSKB-2 Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant. When modeling the technical appearance of the machine, designers developed several layout options, differing in the location of the engine compartment, the composition and placement of weapons.
To clarify the general relativity of using BMPT and its technical appearance, 1989 tested three experimental options for solving fire and tactical tasks, chose the optimal look of the vehicle and in 1991 developed tactical and technical tasks (TTZ) to carry out OCD under the code "Frame".
Under the direction of the chief designer of GSKB-2, Valery Vershinsky, they quickly completed the technical design, created the working design documentation. However, due to the difficult financial situation, the work was stopped.
The next message to the creation of BMPT was the results of the use of armored vehicles in the first Chechen war. When troops entered Grozny 31 in December 1994, the Tunguska air defense missile system was used as part of the motorized rifle subunits to increase the fire impact, as in Afghanistan. But they turned out to be the first targets of the militants with the RPG-7. Naturally, the task of fire cover the troops did not solve.
Again, as in Afghanistan, there was talk of the need to have machines with powerful firing capabilities in the combat formations of the troops. Requirements were clarified, but the main ones, as before, were:
the achievement of the level of protection of the crew and combat survivability of the machine is higher than that of tanks;
equipping with a multi-channel armament complex capable of concentrating fire and simultaneously striking several targets around;
ensuring continuous circular observation of the battlefield and effective detection of tank-dangerous targets;
giving the car a level of mobility higher than that of tanks;
high ergonomic performance;
maximum possible operational and production unification with tanks in service or in development.
However, an attempt to continue work at ChTZ was not crowned with success. The plant went into bankruptcy and stopped developing armored vehicles.
In 1998, the OCD under the code “Frame-99” was resumed at the Ural Transport Engineering Design Bureau (UKBTM) in Nizhny Tagil. At the stage of technical design, we analyzed a lot of schemes, both our own and predecessors, in order to select the optimal variant combining multi-channel weapons with large ammunition, machine protection from all angles, a highly efficient search system, target detection and fire control using the T-72B tank base / T-xnumx.
By the beginning of 2000, an experimental sample was created. After analyzing the comments of the representatives of the Ministry of Defense and specialists from other departments, the TTZ was clarified. In the next two years, the BMPT design was significantly reworked, and by July 2002 had produced a prototype. The design finds realized in it contributed to a significant increase in the combat and technical characteristics of the product.
Kazakhstan upgrade T-72
A distinctive feature of our design in comparison with foreign counterparts is that it is not a means of transporting infantry; the branch from the 10 motorized infantry units does not fit into it, as was the case, for example, in the BMP. The absence of the landing was filled with combat capabilities. Five firing channels ensured the simultaneous destruction of three targets at a distance of up to 1700 meters. In terms of firepower, the vehicle exceeded two motorized rifle platoons, the BMPT was capable of striking not only enemy infantry, but also armored vehicles, long-term fire installations, shelters, and low-flying aerial targets thanks to the cannon's elevation angle in 450. A large arsenal has provided combat operations for a long time.
Low-profile corps, uninhabited fighting compartments create a level of security and mobility higher than that of the tank. Four optical channels of observation and aiming, a panorama of a circular view, a high speed of turret rotation, constant readiness for firing automatic armament, the possibility of long non-stop shooting - all this ensures timely detection and destruction of the enemy’s "tank-hazardous" manpower. The range of aimed shooting from a cannon with an armor-piercing projectile is up to 2000, high-explosive fragmentation is up to an 4000, an automatic course grenade launcher is up to 1700 meters. Two guns and machine guns installed in the conning tower provide circular destruction of manpower, armored objects and well-protected shelters. The elevation angle of the 450 armament unit allows you to shoot at targets on the upper floors of buildings or at commanding heights in the mountains. The four launchers of the supersonic Attack-Attack-Attack Units, with a semi-automatic, highly-protected, inter-automatic guidance system in the information laser control field, have a firing range of up to six kilometers and punch up to 1000 millimeters of homogeneous armor. The radius of the continuous destruction of high-explosive fragmentation grenades - seven meters.
The machine successfully passed state tests in 2006 year. The State Commission was headed by the Deputy Head of the Ground Forces, one of the most authoritative experts on the conduct of hostilities in local conflicts, twice wounded in Afghanistan and received the “Golden Star” of the Hero of the Russian Federation for leading the counter-terrorist operation in the North Caucasus, Colonel-General Vladimir Bulgakov. Despite this, the decision to equip the Land Forces BMPT was not taken.
UKBTM designers continued to improve BMPT, firmly confident in its usefulness. A new requirement has been added - use BMPT to combat terrorist groups. To do this, it is necessary to clarify the conditions of combat use and adjust the design of the vehicle, the sighting and observation complex, the SLA, remove the task of destroying armored targets, adapt the BMPT to combat at short distances against infantry equipped with small arms and grenade launchers.
A further impetus to the development of BMPT for NPO Uralvagonzavod, as in its time with the T-90 tank, was the signing of an agreement to supply BMPT abroad.
Tests conducted by specialists of the army of Kazakhstan to assess the combat capabilities of the machine both against regular troops and against illegal armed groups confirmed its uniqueness, versatility and high efficiency. By combat potential, it replaces the 2 – 2,5 BMP or 3 – 4 BTR. According to one of the leaders of the Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan, BMPT is a wagon to support personnel of motorized rifle and tank units in offensive and defensive actions.
It came to signing a bilateral agreement on the creation of BMPT. At the same time, it was decided to develop a cheaper version based on T-72 tanks, which are available in sufficient quantity in the Republic of Kazakhstan. As a result, UKBTM created BMPT-72, which later received the name "Terminator-2". The peculiarity is that the alteration of the T-72 tank is minimal. This and a number of other events can significantly reduce the cost of the machine, increase its combat effectiveness. Doubts are caused only by the fact that in the “Terminator-2” design there are no two installations of automatic grenade launchers located in the forward part of the machine body on the right and left sides.
For a couple with "Suntop"
Another of the directions in the development of BMPT is the expansion of the sphere of combat use. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, a new threat emerged: shock troops of terrorist groups. To combat them, UKBTM proposed a simplified version of BMPT - BKM-1 and BKM-2 (combat counter-terrorism machine). When they were created, the designers proceeded from the conditions of use, which made it possible to abandon expensive fire control systems, observation devices, target reconnaissance and aiming. Optimized and complex weapons. At the same time, protection for combat in urban environments is being improved. The machine has the ability to covertly approach the positions of terrorists and deliver a powerful blow from the place of shelter. It has less fuel, which means higher fire safety, more ammunition. To dismantle debris, fences or barricades, the installation of a dozer blade is provided.
Of course, for the effective use of the machine in the battle formations of the Ground Forces, a developed regulatory and methodological base is required. Based on the experience of Afghanistan and other local conflicts, specialists from the Military Academy of Armored Forces named after R. Ya. Malinovsky, 38 of the Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense and the Main Command of the Combat Training of the Army worked out the methods of using BMPT, defined a niche in the organizational structure of motorized rifle and tank units. It was supposed to create a motor-armored group consisting of tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and BMPT. Tanks and BMPT - on the front line of military contact with the enemy, destroy firing points and strong points. BMP with infantry - in the second echelon, hold the taken lines.
Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces, General of the Army Alexey Maslov, in 2008, indicated the place of the BMPT in the structure of the Ground Forces and the order of its combat use: “Various options are being worked out for using these machines, the need for which to appear in the combat formations of the troops has long been overdue. Either as a third vehicle in each tank platoon, or as a separate unit supporting the actions of the tank battalion. Previously, the protection of tanks against destruction by anti-tank weapons on the battlefield was provided by motorized rifle troops. Now this task will be carried out by BMPT armed with two 30-mm cannons, two automatic grenade launchers and a machine gun. ”
The most effective, in my opinion, variant of the use of BMPT was demonstrated at the exercises by the armed forces of Kazakhstan. There, a special flamethrowing system TOS-1A "Solntsepek" and BMPT were introduced into the special unit. Acting in tandem, the "Sunlight" burned the enemy, for the BMPT was the subsequent "cleansing" of strong points. Motorized rifle units at the same time occupy and retain sections of terrain or specific objects.
It would seem that there are more than enough arguments in favor of equipping the Armed Forces of the RF Armed Forces with a tank support vehicle. Why so far BMPT is not in the army?
Probably, everything was decided by the position of the ex-chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Nikolai Makarov. The former leadership of the Ministry of Defense did not find a place for BMPT in the army structure.
The previous defense ministers and chiefs of the General Staff - Pavel Grachev, Igor Rodionov, Viktor Dubynin, Anatoly Kvashnin, active participants in the hostilities and leaders of the Armed Forces during the creation of the BMPT, were in favor of putting the vehicle into service with not only the Ground Forces. The decision on the creation of BMPT, recall, took place in the wake of the events in Afghanistan and the Chechen Republic, when it became obvious that this machine was extremely necessary for the warring units. But if the real experience gained in the hot spots is not an argument, then, as a rule, they turn to scientific research that determines the nature of the hostilities and weapon systems necessary to achieve a given result. Unfortunately, this has not happened yet either.
After completion - the robot
On the basis of many years of research, military scientists and specialists developed a concept for tank-infantry integration, in which they made recommendations for changing the organizational structure of troops. In particular, it is proposed to move from a purely tank unit to integrated armored units and parts of the Ground Forces. The project was completed and proposed for consideration by the author of the fundamental work "Tanks" (2015), Major-General Oleg Brilev. Doctor of Technical Sciences, professor, he devoted his whole life to research on the creation and combat use of tanks. The concept is based on the theory of combat and military-economic efficiency as the main tool used in making decisions to equip the Armed Forces with types and types of weapons and military equipment. It is supported by mathematical analysis of hostilities and data modeling the process of creating models of weapons and military equipment. The necessary result was also taken into account, achieved by combining the costs incurred in the combat use of a certain number of different types of armored personnel carrier vehicles with their properties. As a result, the combat value of each sample was determined in the general grouping of armored weapons and equipment. The researchers came to an unequivocal conclusion: it is advisable to combine various types of armored personnel carriers with their combat characteristics and properties, a certain quantitative ratio in the structure of the subunit and units of the Ground Forces.
The theory of combat and economic efficiency makes it possible to determine the optimal combination of types and types of weapons and military equipment in the structure of the Ground Forces to achieve maximum or acceptable combat results in actions against various enemy groupings depending on the terrain conditions, qualitative and quantitative ratio of the opposing sides. Instead of a purely tank, several options are offered for creating integrated units (company, battalion) acting against heterogeneous enemy forces with the task of achieving maximum success.
He confirmed the need to have an armored vehicle differing in combat properties from a tank and another prominent scientist in the field of tactics of tank forces, Doctor of Military Sciences, Professor of 38 of the Central Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation Nikolai Shishkin in the front line of the defending or advancing tank units. In his work “Tanks in local wars and armed conflicts,” he writes that the BMPT, operating in the battle line ahead due to greater invisibility and special weapons, makes it possible to maintain interaction with tanks and prevent their destruction, starting from the turn of the transition to attack, as well as when breaking through fortified positions at the front edge and deep in the enemy defenses.
In this regard, it is necessary to add that powerful protection from all angles makes BMPT an impenetrable target, which allows it to operate effectively in the conditions of mass use of anti-tank weapons. The presence of a large ammunition for the 30-mm automatic cannon (850 shots) makes it possible to fire for a long time at a high rate (600 – 800 shots / min) and creates a high-explosive fragmentation field significantly exceeding the capabilities of the Shilka ZSU.
It is also worth noting that the design of BMPT allows, with minor modifications, to make the machine a fully robotic combat complex.
Remotely controlled rendered armament of the BMPT combat module is the first step towards creating a robotic Terminator based on it. The development of such a machine will remove a person from the front line and thereby significantly reduce losses among personnel.
Today the problem is not whether BMPT is needed or not. Delay in its adoption for service and delivery to the troops can turn into a lot of blood spilled by our tank crews and motorized infantry on the battlefield.