This vehicle is sometimes nicknamed the "Terminator". It is being delivered to the Russian army, beginning in 2005. The history of the vehicle began during the First Chechen War. During the failed "rolling thunder" style of urban engagement Russian forces suffered excessive loss of manpower and equipment, and while not all of the losses can be blamed on technology, it became clear that a dedicated anti-personnel fighting vehicle would provide valuable assistance to any force in any circumstances in an urban environment. The temporary solution in Chechnya were self propelled AA guns. However, these vehicles are neither as armored nor as mobile as a main battle tank. Therefore it was envisioned that the new combat vehicle should be built on a tank chassis, and offer the same or better protection as an MBT. To some extent, the protection of the BMPT is superior to most MBTs, as active and passive protection is used.
When used in an urban terrain the BMPT is employed on a 2 to 1 ratio meaning 2 BMPTs protecting one MBT. In rural operations the ratio is 1 to 2 which means that one BMPT is protecting 2 MBTs. This results from the complexity of fighting in urban terrain and the need for a versatile anti-personnel machine that can engage multiple targets at once and on different height levels. The introduction of such a vehicle makes urban fighting less stressful on tanks and can relieve them of some workload in order to concentrate on their main objective of engaging tanks and hardened targets in support of infantry.
The BMPT is based on the chassis of the well-known T-72 MBT which is used in large numbers by the Russian Army and has been manufactured under license by many countries. To the rear of the driver's compartment, at the front of the vehicle, the hull has been raised providing greater internal volume. On top of the hull is mounted a new turret armed with two externally mounted 30 mm 2A42 dual-feed cannons with a cyclic rate of fire of up to 600 rds/min. A total of 900 rounds of ready use ammunition are carried. This 30 mm 2A42 cannon can fire a wide range of ammunition types including High Explosive - Tracer (HE-T), Armor-Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS), High-Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG) and Armor-Piercing - Tracer (AP-T). Mounted coaxial with the 30 mm cannon is a 7.62 mm machine gun. Mounted on the left and right side of the turret are totally four launchers of the Ataka-T Anti-Tank Guided Weapon (ATGW) and can be fitted with various types of warhead. These include a tandem HEAT warhead to defeat targets fitted with explosive reactive amour. To enable targets to be engaged under day and night conditions when the BMPT is stationary or moving, a computerized fire-control system is fitted, which uses proven elements from that fitted to the T-90S series MBT. The armament includes: