Armor: September 7, 2000


Russia's Nizhni Tagil tank factory has designed a new vehicle to be known as the Combat Vehicle for Tank Support or BMPT. Based on a T-72 chassis, the vehicle is not what one would expect (an armored personnel carrier on a tank chassis) but is in fact an "escort" vehicle for other tanks, designed to protect them from enemy infantry using short-range rockets. This is, perhaps, a return to the old British World War I system of "male" and "female" tanks on the same chassis. The BMPT has a raised superstructure with a new turret with an externally-mounted 2A42 30mm cannon and a four-round launcher for the 9K113 Konkurs (AT5 Spandrel) anti-tank missile. A computerized fire control system is provided to engage various targets. The 30mm cannon has a wide variety of ammunition, and the 9K113 has several types of warhead including blast-fragmentation. The turret has a PNK rangefinder, day and thermal sights, and Agat-MR stabilized day and night sights. There is a 7.62mm machinegun mounted on either side of the superstructure; a crewman behind each weapon uses it to provide suppressive fire. The BMPT has a crew of five (commander, turret gunner, two machinegunners, and driver) and a combat weight of 47 tons. The vehicle is extensively covered with explosive reactive armor panels on the front and sides. It has a maximum road speed of 65km/h (40 mph) and a cruising range of 550km (with external fuel tanks). The engine is a 1,000hp four-stroke B92C2 multi-fuel diesel. The driver has a day-vision system as well as a TBH5 night vision scope with a range of 60-180m.--Stephen V Cole 


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