Putin deploys his ‘Terminator’ tanks to break Ukraine deadlock… but there’s a huge flaw

Russian military showcases their 'BMPT Terminator' tanks in 2021

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Three months since the start of the invasion, Russia is looking to secure its control in eastern Ukraine with the help of its Terminator tanks. One of Russia’s most advanced armoured vehicles, the Terminator tanks are specifically designed for combat in urban battlefields. 

The Boyevaya Mashina Podderzhki Tankov (BMPT), dubbed the “Terminator”, is a Russian made support fighting vehicle that is designed to protect the Russian tanks against enemy infantry.

Russia has deployed these weapons in an effort to counter the defences of Ukrainian troops, who have successfully destroyed hundreds of tanks using anti-tank missiles supplied by NATO.

According to estimates from almost a month ago, Russian forces have haemorrhaged 873 tanks, thanks to the 5,000 anti-tank Javelin missiles that the US has provided to Ukraine.

Military Analyst Justin Crump, a former Tank Commander, told Forces News that Terminator 2 “should shrug off anti-armour weapons that would destroy a lighter-skinned vehicle”.

He added: “It’s really optimised to suppress the upper stories of buildings, put down a high rate of fire and cover those angles so the tanks can focus on the fight down the street, where they can bring firepower to bear that way without having to look all the directions you can’t look when you’re closed down in a tank.”

The current version of the BMPT, known as Terminator 2 carries three soldiers and is equipped with anti-tank missiles, a pair of 30mm cannons and a 7.62mm machine gun.

Russia developed these vehicles after suffering heavy losses during the wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya.

But while highly effective, experts believe that Russia only has nine Terminator 2s, leaving them vulnerable to Ukrainian counterattacks.

Mr Crump added that Russia has deployed the Terminator unit “towards Severodonetsk” in a bid to support its tanks in what experts believe will be a bitterly fought urban battle.

He said: “What’s really interesting is it shows the Russian focus on Severodonetsk, which is the last part of Luhansk they don’t control.

“I think the real reason we’ve been talking about this equipment this week is it’s a signature piece that shows a focus on an urban battle in the city – which you can see they’re advancing towards now.”

According to military experts, images taken from the battlefield in Ukraine appear to show Russian tanks suffering from a defect which Western militaries refer to as the “jack-in-the-box” effect.

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The fault relates to how the tank stores ammunition and comes after Russia opted to carry multiple shells within the turrets of its armoured combat vehicles.

It is thought this leaves them very vulnerable as an indirect hit could lead to a chain reaction.

The chain reaction could even see the entire ammunition store explode, which could include up to 40 shells.

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