Russian army unveils new BMPT fire support armored vehicle at military parade rehearsal

On April 6, 2018, during the rehearsal of military parade for Victory Day 2018, taking place every year May 9 in the center of Moscow, Russian army has unveiled new BMPT fire support vehicle. During Army-2017, the International Military Technical Forum that was held in August 2017, Russia’s Ministry of Defense has signed a contract for the supply of the first BMPT fire support combat vehicles to the Russian army.

Russian army unveils new BMPT fire support armored vehicle at military parade rehearsal 925 001
New BMPT Fire Support Combat Vehicle of Russian army at reheasal for Victory Military Parade 2018, April 6, 2018. (Picture source

The first version of the BMPT was based on the chassis of the T-72 main battle tank (MBT). The development of the first variant of the BMPT was launched in the late 1990s. The vehicle is designed to support tank units. The idea to build new heavily armed tank support vehicles emerged on the basis of experience acquired by the Russian military during the First Chechen War in North Caucasus, especially during the urban fighting in Grozny in 1995 when Russian troops lost a large number of combat vehicles to “guerrilla warfare” tactics used by Chechen separatists.

A new version of the BMPT was unveiled in 2013 during a defense Exhibition in Nizhny Tagil under the name of BMPT-72, which seems very similar to the version showed at the military parade rehearsal of April 6, 2018. But according to our first analysis, the new version is fitted with new reactive armour mounted on each side of the hull.

The main armament of the BMPT presented at the Russian military parade rehearsal 2018 consists of two 30 mm 2A42 coaxial automatic cannons with an ammunition load of 850 rounds, two launchers for anti-tank guided missiles are mounted on each side of the turret guided missiles. Second armament includes on a 7.62 mm PKTM coaxial machine gun.

The BMPT has a crew of three including driver, commander and gunner. The gunner has a combined sight with optical and thermal imaging channels integrating laser range finder and a laser missile guiding channel. The BMPT has the capacity to identify enemy threats a distance of 5,000 m by day via the sight and 3,300 m by night thanks to the thermal imaging system.

The tank commander has a day-night sight including panoramic TV and thermal imaging sight with an integrated laser range finder and independent dual-axis field of view stabilization. It can recognize a tank-type target at a distance of 5,000 m by day via the TV channel and 3,300 m by night.