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  1. Consider this metaphor: Pres. Trump´s bodyguards to perform their tasks need to be not only as agile or fast as he is, but rather much more since they are not just to take a walk in the park with him but have a different purpose. Thats why a TSFV in a given environment needs to be as mobile as the units it is escorting but that is just the MINIMUM requirement (whe could also arge that BMPT should be as mobile as a BMP 3 too, since i believe it can go very fast in reverse). Also, i don´t think that the TSFV mission will consist only of escorting MBTs. Remember that american tank destroyers in WWII were used in a variety of tasks that were in hand, not only hunting down incoming german panzers (actually in very few instances they played that specific role). An armored unit commander in combat will use the BMPTs (or whatever tools he has in hand) in the most practical way possible. Imagine that you are a BMPT platoon commander in a "Grozni" or "Black Hawk Down" scenario: you begin your day with the mission of escorting tanks from A to B. Then you get the emergency assignment of supporting an infantry unit that is being ambushed at C, after that go rescue a downed helicopter crew at D, and so on. That would be a hellish but feasible scenario which requires the most flexibility built into the design of the vehicle, meaning among other things to be able to move perhaps to places that MBTs where not designed to go. Thats why i stand on my opinon of the BMPT needing to have neutral turn and good reverse speed (although i do recognize that maximizing parts commonality with existing MBTs is also a huge plus ). I´m not so sure about that. The only kind off important disadvantage of T-14 layout is that the commander can´t get an unrestricted top view of the battlefield when he pops out of his hatch. That is not a big deal in open field battlefields but in urban environment seems to me thats a different case. On the BMPT itself, the layout would not benefit much from having a fully unmanned weapons stations in terms of weight saving since the commander and gunner are already placed under the hull roof, there is no armor "wasted" in protecting the weapons themselves. So its kind off in the middle situation where you get top vision for the commander and also a lightweight weapons station. About the 2 "extra" crewmembers they are usefull or not depending on what you use them for. Granted, everyone agrees that the grenade launchers being forward fixed, and the lack of fully rotating vision devices represent a lot of wasted potental. But still you have 2 more pairs of eyes, arms and legs that in a dynamic and unpredictable battlefield such as a city may come really handy, provided you have the creativity to make full use of them. For startes, during extended and utterly extenuating "working hours" either in combat, patrolling or even providing area security it would be very nice if you could make the bow gunners rotate with the driver and main gunner so that they can have a little rest: a fresh crewman is a much more useful crewman for whatever task he may have. In another example that i just came up, you can order the bow gunners to dismount for various reasons (go peep around the street corner, go help evacuate a damaged vehicles crew, etc.) and the BMPT would still be fully functional. Heck, a platoon of BMPTs could produce its own organic squad of dismounts.
  2. Seems to me that most likely the BMPTs will be organized as a sort of independent battalions in the russian army, to be attached to larger formations only when they need it. Thats why the BMPTs would add work for the "mother formation´s" maintenance units. If thats the case, then the best design choices would be for BMPTs to have maximum commonality with the rest of the armored vehicles present in said formation. Hence, its better to use the ubiquitous 30mm intead of exotic or unique caliber (57mm) and also automotive parts (essentiallly the same as T-90s). One aspect that hasn´t been discussed is the training for the BMPT crews. I don´t know if Russia has the specialized facilities (for example, "fake cities" for urban training) to train such specialized units.
  3. Hi im new to this forum and i found the debate on the BMPT very interesting. I think that in this debate there are two levels or aspects that should be discussed separatedly. From now on i will refer to BMPT concept as Tank Support Fighting Vehicle (TSFV). Firstly, the theoretical need for such a dedicated vehicle and the economical and logistical cost of it. So far, two armies have recognized the need for a specialized tank support vehicle which are Russia and Israel based on their experiences in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Lebanon and Gaza in asymmetrical type warfare. In that sense a TSFV should provide defense primarily against enemy infantry in the same way a SPAAG provides air defense, i like to think about it as a "bodyguard" for tanks. It has been said that Infantry and their IFVs can fulfill this role very efficiently, which is true (BTW, in the conflicts aforementioned, tanks suffered casualties when they were in poor and often non existent coordination with infantry), by definition infantry is one of the most multipurpose units for ground warfare. However, mechanized infantry also has its limitations: in case of an ambush the moment infantry dismounts they instantly become easier targets to enemy than tanks, in case the infantry doesn't dismount and chooses to fight from within their IFV they can´t be nowhere near as effective with their weapons and also IFVs have lesser protection levels than tanks. In both theoretical cases, we would end up with 3-4 tank crewmen, 7-9 infantry dismounts plus 3 IFV crewmen in danger for a total of 13-16 possible cassualties. If you replace the IFV with a TSFV you get not only less people involved but also better protected and with superior firepower. From that perspective and for that specific mission, a TSFV makes sense and is preferable over mechanized infantry. Secondly, about the specific BMPT to be adopted for Russian army. In general, i like it but i think that its far from perfect, i´ll make a list of the things i would change and/or improve: - To navigate either urban or mountainous terrain you need high maneuverability as well to be able to escape ambushes. This means to be able to NEUTRAL TURN and GOOD REVERSE SPEED, which are two things that T-72/90 can´t do. So BMPT should have had a different transmission system to allow this. - APS with 360 degree protection. ARENA APS (or a modernized variant) could have been perfect for this and its already available. Can´t believe the russians didn´t equip the BMPT with it. - Sensors to locate enemy snipers and ATGM teams. Its not a new technology and could be integrated into the APS. - Better stations for bow gunners. I think that having bigger crews is a good idea, 5 pairs of eyes see a much more than 3 provided the have the correct tools and the right crew layout. In this case, the bow gunners hatches should have have been rotatable (like old school commanders cuppola) and/or the grenade launchers should have been mounted differently on fully rotatable RCWS. I can imagine several simple solutions to this. Currently the bow gunners and grenade launchers in the BMPT are mostly wasted potential. - At last i would have made a slight modifications to the ATGM mounts: perhaps some sort of hard point mounts (like on the wings of attack helicopters and airplanes) to mount not only ATGMs but also MANPADS, rocket pods, flamethrowers, recoiless guns, etc depending on the mission. This way you can give the vehicle much greater flexibility and utility in any scenario outside its specific purpose of providing defense against enemy infantry using guerrilla type tactics. About the discussion of main armament: I think that 30mm autocannons are currently the best compromise. Firstly you have logistics commonality with the rest of the armored fleet. Secondly, you can fire up to four types of ammunition. Thirdly, you can carry much more ammo than, lets say a 57mm autocannon. Fourth and very important: the 30mm autocannons don´t protrude much from the vehicle which is a VERY important aspect for urban warfare often overlooked, actually one of the reasons the israelis kept the 120mm L44 gun is because it almost doesn´t protrude much from the Merkava and doesnt hinder as much its ability to take sharp corners in dense cities (or traverse its turret to actually use the gun). TLDR: I think that the concept behind the BMPT has solid foundations but the actual BMPT to be adopted, while overall good, can be improved a lot. Sorry for my english, its clear that it isn´t my mother language.