Friday, September 22, 2017
Subscription Centre
Receive our free e-newsletter.
Click here for more information

Algeria acquiring BMPT armoured vehicles from Russia

A BMPT-72 vehicle.Algeria has apparently ordered BMPT Terminator tank support vehicles from Russia, with deliveries to begin early next year.

Algeria signed a contract for the vehicles in April 2016, according to Pravda, while Mena Defense reports that deliveries will start in the first quarter of 2018 and continue until the end of 2019.

Algeria previously evaluated the original BMPT in 2013 but chose to order the lighter but better protected Terminator II version.

It has not been confirmed how many vehicles will be delivered, but Mena Defense claims 300 have been ordered to accompany T-90SA main battle tanks.

The BMPT is manufactured by UralVagonZavod (UVZ), which offers the T-72-based vehicle with a choice of 840 or 1 000 hp engines. Armament on the original BMPT comprises two 30 mm 2A42 cannons, two 30 mm AG-17D automatic grenade launchers, a 7.62-mm PKT machinegun, and four launchers for 9M120 Ataka guided missiles.

The BMPT was developed for the Russian Army to protect its main battle tanks in urban warfare operations and other asymmetric situations, after experience in Afghanistan and Chechnya, but the Russian military did not initially order the vehicle and Kazakhstan became its first customer. However, the Russian military apparently ordered BMPTs in August 2017.

The original BMPT has a crew of five, with three gunners, driver and commander. Targeting is with a computerised fire control system comprising a stabilised day/thermal sight and a laser rangefinder. The improved BMPT-72 Terminator II was revealed in 2013 and features a smaller crew of three and no automatic grenade launchers. It is also cheaper and lighter than its predecessor as it is based on already manufactured T-72 hulls.

Russia has deployed the BMPT to Syria and in June the type was shown to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad when he visited the main Russian airbase there.

Algeria continues to purchase significant quantities of Russian military hardware. For instance, it is now operating the TOS-1A Solntsepek (Sunheat) multiple rocket launcher, which was seen during a recent exercise. The TOS-1A, using a T-72 or T-90 tank chassis, fires up to 24 220 mm rockets with thermobaric warheads.

Other recent Syrian acquisitions from Russia include Buk-2ME surface-to-air missile systems, T-90 main battle tanks, Su-30MKA fighter aircraft, Tigr armoured vehicles, and 9M311/SA-19 surface-to-air missiles.