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On 4/19/2018 at 2:22 AM, alanch90 said:

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.  

Fully agree. 



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.

If the BMPT’s task is to support T90 squadrons, it’s not a problem. 

It would have been a problem if it was suppose to support a more mobile tank. 



- 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. 

The limited travers of AG17 is a point to improve. But the current design offers the best protection and is very affordable. 



- 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. 

Russian companies are always producing missiles with different warheads. So, it can already provide what you call for. 


Manpads are specific.

If you want to improve the AD capability, you must transfert your BMPT to the AD artillery C2. 


An other option could be to adopte ISTAR kit to be mounted in place of the Attaka launchers with dedicated operators in place of both bow gunners.

Mixted with classical BMPTs, units can provide both close in fire support and close in EW support. 



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.


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On 4/19/2018 at 10:51 AM, LoooSeR said:
  • Bow gunners are questinable decision in a first place. I guess i can live with 1 such gunner with control of AGS in RCWS in frontal part of BMPT with ~200 degrees arc. But having for example commander equipped with RCWS would make that additional gunner kind of less usefull.

Having one or two gunners is very different. Two men can concentrate on two directions. One man can only have one of them under control.

With an improved AG travers, it can become very interesting because it’s possible to cross both arc of fire. 


If you transfert one bow gunner task to the tank commander, you will burden its job. Never forget that, into a troop, one of the tank commander is a troop commander too (even a patrol commander too).


Having a 5 men crew is a big advantage. 

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How I see it:
Based on the same MBT platform that it is supporting, potentially up armoring it.
A super structure with a unmanned turret with a single 30mm gun in the middle and a 7,62mm MG that can elevate up to 75 degrees. On each side is a RCWS, with a 12,7mm HMG and a grande launcher. The right RCWS is integrated with the commanders panoramic sight, while the other RCWS could carry heavier armament. 
The commander has a towed UAV which can be elevated above the vehicle for a Birdseye view of the environment.

On  each side of the turret are mounting racks for ATGMs and similar armaments. It can be elevated above the turret for ambushes and shooting above walls.

I am not sure about the manning though. Only way to get a good traverse out of the extra guns is to mount them up on the turret, or else you risk ripping them off accidentally with the main gun. On top, there is only really two spots to mount the RCWS. And this presents the problem of where to mount the CPS. You could put it at the center-back of the turret, but then it would be blocked by the gun when elevated, and both RCWS's. 


For me, the best bet is a driver, gunner, commander and weapons operator. Where the commander mans one RCWS, and the weapons operator mans the other and guides ATGM and operates other equipment like drones. 

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Otvaga, Marinir made photos of BMPT. 


I am interested how much armor frontal part of superstructure have. Armor cover for ATGM launcher will protect ATGM tubes from rain and probably hailstones.


















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On 4/23/2018 at 11:49 PM, Serge said:


Having one or two gunners is very different. Two men can concentrate on two directions. One man can only have one of them under control.

With an improved AG travers, it can become very interesting because it’s possible to cross both arc of fire. 


If you transfert one bow gunner task to the tank commander, you will burden its job. Never forget that, into a troop, one of the tank commander is a troop commander too (even a patrol commander too).


Having a 5 men crew is a big advantage. 

   5 man crew was dropped during and/or shortly after WW2 and nobody is making any tank or IFV with 5-6-7+ man crew. I guess there were reasons for this and any "advantage" was outweighed by disadvantages. Instead every major AFV developing country designers tried to minimize number of crewmembers inside of single vehicle. Nobody today produce T-35-alikes, other than this BMPT thing.

   Bow gunners are fucking WH40K-level of tank design, good for killing hordes of imaginary aliens, not so useful in real combat.


   Having ability to fire in 3 directions doesn't help you to win combat in Urban fights. Just yesterday example from Syria:


   During SAA push to Yarmouk camp, Hayat Takhrir Ash-Sham manage to take out several AFVs. After 1st "wave" of AFVs were damaged, SAA commanders sended an assault team to bring back damaged tanks (and probably crews, but no accurate info about them that i know). So this is one of those situations for which BMPT is supposedly was made - support tanks in Urban fights and replace infantry (at least partially) during assault operations.

   As you see those guys are doing suppressive fire, fire in several directions with more serious weapons than 2 fucking AGS (which would have hard time to fire in direction in which BMP-2 main gun is firing, because those 2 AGS are facing front and can't do shit to targets at sides and BMP hull doesn't always face those buildings on the left with frontal armor because it can't drive sideways). Did their firing in several directions in the same time helped them? No. 






   HTS "opened" a corridor and ambushed armor in it from sides. SAA crews couldn't fire at enemies effectively because they couldn't fucking see them and figure out where+when to fire exactly. Several tanks lost and plenty of killed soldiers are results of that. BMPT could probably survive that becaue of Relikt ERA, but this is specualtion that can be made about any tank with proper side protection modules installed like T-72B3 UBKh. 


   Ability to fire in several directions means nothing in cities if you don't have:

1) ability to detect enemies in your LOS, taking into account that enemies put effort in maksing their movement, positions and so on

2) ability to destroy positions and hit enemies in protected areas\cover 


  Puting MORE people in those boxes in urban fights is asking for more casulties per single vehicle, especially because UVZ BMPT have no serious sighting system for AGS gunners and their limited arc, limited firepower, limited capabilities to spot AT infantry in their LOS making them nearly, if not completely, useless. 30 mm autocannons would have hard time to penetrate those houses and do serious damage in deep parts of them, even if bad guys infantry was spotted getting to ambush positions or cover.


  And if you really want to use UVZ-made BMPT's AGLs, give those things to infantry! They can put them inside of buildings, between houses, fire them indirectly from safe positions and suppress areas, without driving into direct LOS of enemy infantry and asking for tandem RPG or ATGM. 


   Thats are reasons why i think current BMPT is useless and waste of money and time. Should be re-designed with 3 man crew*, smaller vehicle with higher protection of sides, bottom and roof; better sensors and completely 360 degrees observation system with software assistance in spotting targets (and even target tracking/aiming like Boomerang-BM claimed to have); better integration with other units - incl recon units via battlefield managment systems; high-velocity and relatively high penetration cannon/autocannon, airburst munitions. Ability to detect and quickly "service" targets on the level of SPAAGs, being capable of shooting down ATGMs/RPGs, including on considerable range during combat in field. If you need to deal with enemies from several directios - use more vehicles instead, as they also can maneuver and pick better angles, cover and positions, than 1 BMPT trying to find place to keep LOS to several enemy positions while having part of weapons locked into limited arc.


   *As "The Chieftain" noted - a platoon of generic "T-72s"/3-man crew tank have 4 vehicles to fight, while a platoon of generic "Abrams"/4-man crew tanks have 3 vehicles to do their job on battlefield, and platoon of T-72s in result have higher firepower. Thats why crews should be made smaller.  

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31 minutes ago, eggs benedict said:

quick question , are the hull sideskirts on the t-90m ERA or rubber ?


Its heavy ERA on top of rubber. 

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T-72B3 has the same basic side skirts. Claimed to be steel + two layers of glass-fibre reinforced plastic + steel with integrated ERA panels (and optional heavy ERA mounted in bags).

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