The BMPT tank support combat vehicle belongs to a class of armored fire support vehicles. It is designed to provide fire support to tank and infantry units, primarily detect and destroy concealed, low-observable and dispersed targets on the battlefield – enemy manpower armed with small arms and anti-tank weapons. The BMPT carries armament capable of countering heavily armored targets (tanks and their derivatives), fortifications, and air targets. However, its main mission (and advantage) lies in detecting and destroying low-observable targets before they can inflict defeat.
The BMPT can be used both in conjunction with tanks in the same battle formation and independently. In the case of joint action of tanks and BMPTs, the effectiveness is achieved through rational target allocation: fortified structures and heavily-armored vehicles are destroyed by tanks, whereas enemy manpower, anti-tank weapons, light armored vehicles are engaged by BMPTs. The BMPTs can be used independently without tanks to strengthen and support the infantry, escort and guard convoys and facilities, destroy terrorists.
The crew and its accommodation inside the vehicle, a viewing and sighting system, and armament provide early target detection and destruction at the halt and on the move, under low visibility conditions, day and night. The BMPT’s crew includes three operators which makes it possible to quickly detect and simultaneously engage three different targets at once. The targets are allocated between the crew members by the commander, who, if necessary, can open fire in duplicate control mode.
The main armament’s fire control system, comprising a multi-channel (daylight optical and thermal imaging) sight and a panoramic low-level TV sight, helps the gunner and the commander detect and identify pinpoint targets at long ranges, day and night, in bad weather and engage them with two 30mm 2A42 automatic cannons using high explosive and armor-piercing projectiles.
The main armament suite includes also two launchers with four supersonic laser-beam-riding missiles each, designed to destroy heavily-armored ground and air targets
The BMPT’s secondary armament incorporates a 7.62mm PKT machine gun and 30mm remotely-controlled and vertically-stabilized automatic grenade launchers.
When the vehicle was under development, particular attention was paid to protecting the crew from anti-tank weapons. The frontal armor of the BMPT is comparable to that of an MBT, but, unlike the latter, it has no weakness zone due to the lack of a gun port. Its hull and turret sides are protected by an ERA system placed across the entire sides, armoring of equipment compartments located on racks over tracks, and hull and turret armor plates. In general, the protection level is superior to that of the main battle tank. To protect the vehicle rear against light anti-tank weapons, bar armor is additionally hung. As of today, none of combat vehicles has similar all-round protection against the most common anti-tank weapons.
With its lethal armament system, heavy protection and excellent maneuverability, the BMPT is capable of efficiently accomplishing combat missions in urban areas and mountain-woody terrain. The vehicle’s weapons do not protrude beyond the hull outlines when the turret rotates, while the elevation angles make it possible to easily engage targets located both in basements and in the upper floors of buildings.
Lethal multi-channel weapons, combined with advanced target search and detection devices and all-round crew protection in one vehicle, enable the BMPT to perform fire support missions in all types of fighting against any enemy and in any terrain. The use of the BMPT will considerably enhance the firing capabilities of combat units and reduce materiel and personnel losses in combat.