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Why Russia’s ‘Terminator’ Vehicle Might Be the Next Stage in Tank Evolution

David Hambling
Forbes, Jan. 19, 2023

“A Russian source claimed, with interesting detail, that BMPT had good APS [Active Protection System], had inflicted a remarkable number of casualties and were generally well regarded.” 
Russia’s new BMPT “Terminator” is a novel type of armored vehicle with multiple weapons and may represent the next stage in armor evolution. BMPTs have reportedly been performing well in Ukraine, especially compared to Russia’s other armor. Perhaps Ukraine needs to consider something similar.

The invasion of Ukraine reignited the debate over whether tanks are obsolete with a vengeance. Ukrainian artillery, infantry with portable anti-tank weapons like Javelin, and small anti-tank drones, took a huge toll on the advancing Russian armor. Ukraine is desperate for Western tanks so it can move to the offensive, and many analysts agree that tanks will be essential. But the future may not belong to traditional, big-gun tanks.

Historically, tank battles involved massed fleets of tanks from two sides fighting each other, with infantry and artillery in secondary supporting roles. This was the case from WWII through Desert Storm. In Ukraine though, direct tank vs. tank combat has been a rarity. Indirect fire against targets out of sight, guided by omnipresent drones and smart software, is the rule. Ukraine now uses its tanks more as indirect artillery fire to knock out Russian opponents at long range.

Tanks are still useful for assault, as seen by this Ukrainian tank charging a Russian trench at point-blank range. This is the rationale for the tank: It has mobile, protected firepower, and can bring weapons forward to engage enemy positions. But the tank gun, a large-caliber, HYPER-velocity weapon optimized to hit heavily-armored vehicles, may not be what is needed. … [To read the full article, click here]

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