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Battle tanks are the only branch of arms which features a combination of the following advantages: high mobility, high firepower, reliable armour protection and ability to produce an armoured thrust. If provided with support of infantry soldiers, battle tanks are able to capture and retain various territories for a longer time period than without support of infantry that could be of use to tanks in defending them against enemy infantrymen with hand-held anti-tank weapons as well as in removing various obstacles the tanks could run across. But if the infantrymen are transported sitting on the tanks, they are exposed to enemy fire and can be easily killed or wounded by small arms fire or shell splinters.

Aspiration to enhance the combat capabilities of the infantry by means of improving lightweight tracked armoured personnel carriers led to developmenmt of armoured vehicles intended to be used as both transportation vehicles and fighting vehicles.

Nowadays these armoured vehicles (armoured personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles and others) fitted with anti-bullet and anti-splinter armour protection are not able to transport infantry soldiers up to the battlefield and can only follow battle tanks at a considerable distance from the latter, as the APCs and IFVs have to stay out of reach of anti-tank weapons of the enemy, being quite vulnerable to all types of anti-tank weapons. Therefore the infantry fighting vehicles are not real fighting vehicles being able to be only used for transportation of infantry soldiers as well as for delivery of gun and machine gun fire to support attacking infantry soldiers. Although heavy armour will enable neither battle tank nor armoured personnel carrier to disregard the anti-tank weapons of the enemy, it will certainly increase the chances of the MBTs and APCs in surviving under anti-tank fire of the enemy as well as strengthening the whole combat formation.

Purpose

The heavy infantry fighting vehicles (HIFV) are intended to carry out tactical operations either as integral part of tank combat formations in close co-operation with battle tanks or to operate on their own. In doing so, the troops can either deliver fire from the vehicle or dismount the vehicle and continue to fight as infantry soldiers. Use of heavy infantry fighting vehicles that feature armament, protection and mobility indentical to those of battle tanks ensures close teamwork of battle tanks and troops on the battlefield, with the combat capabilities of both being optimised. The fire control system (FCS) and armament of the heavy infantry fighting vehicle are equal to those of the up-to-date battle tank in enabling the vehicle crew to efficiently detect and engage armoured fighting vehicles and infantry of the enemy.

The heavy infantry fighting vehicles can be used for carrying out offensive and defensive operations, large-scale tactical operations and operations during local military conflicts as well as peace support operations.

General Layout

The BMT-72 is based on the T-72 MBT and is actually a comprehensive upgrade of the latter.

The unique compact design of the Ukrainian-developed tank diesel engines made it possible not only to considerably increase the power capabilities of the vehicle, but also to introduce into the vehicle design a new compartment, viz. troop compartment.

The troop compartment is located between the fighting compartment and the power pack compartment. In the troop compartment roof there are hatches that allow the troops to get in or dismount the vehicle.

The BMT-72 power pack is based on that of the T-84 MBT.

The vehicle can be fitted with the following:

  • additional protection;
  • auxiliary power unit;
  • air conditioning system;
  • navigation system;
  • etc.

Characteristics of the BMT-72:

Parameter Unit of measure Value
General Data
Combat weight (with troops) t 50
Crew persons 3
Troops persons 5
Power-to-weight ratio kW/t (hp/t) 17.6 (24)
Average ground pressure MPa (kgf/cm2) 0.08 (0.82)
The vehicle can operate in the following ambient air temperature range: °Centigrade -40 to +50
Main dimensions
Length (with gun):    
  • gun forward
mm 10760
  • gun rear
mm 9640
Width (with skirts) mm 3770
Height (turret roof) mm 2285
Ground clearance mm at least 480
Operating data
Average speed on dry natural soil road km/h 40
Maximum speed:
  • on dry natural soil road
km/h up to 55
  • on hard surface road
km/h up to 60
Fuel consumption per 100 km
  • on dry natural soil road
lt 325 - 370
  • on hard surface road
300

Fuel distance
  • on dry natural soil road
km 300
  • on hard surface road
km 750
Obstacles
Gradient degrees 35
Side slope degrees 25
Trench m up to 2.8
Vertical obstacle m up to 1.0
Fording (without preparation), m up to 1.8
Fording (after installation of deep water fording kit) m up to 5.0
Armament
Main gun
Designation 2A46M
Calibre mm 125
Natures of ammunition armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS), high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT), high-explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG), guided missile (GM)
Coaxial machine gun
Number pcs 1
Model PKT or KT-7.62
Calibre mm 7.62
Anti-aircraft machine gun system (AAMGS)
Type self-contained, remote-controlled, can be laid and fired from within the safety of the turret under complete armour protection
Operating mode automatic and semi-automatic
Anti-aircraft machine gun system elevation/depression (limited by means of the electronic limiter):
  • elevation
degrees 68+2
  • depression
degrees minus 3+1

Anti-aircraft machine gun system traverse:

  • limited by rests on the turret
degrees +/-75
  • together with the turret
degrees 360
Anti-aircraft machine gun
Model NSVT12.7 or KT12.7
Calibre mm 12.7
Additional weapons
There are stowages places for AKS-74 sub-machine gun and 26 mm flare pistol in the fighting compartment    
Unit of fire
Main gun rounds: rds 30
  • in automatic loader
rds 22
  • in stowage places
rds 8
Cartridges
  • for coaxial machine gun
rds 2000 (2508)
  • for anti-aircraft machine gun
rds 450 (1503)
  • for AKS sub-machine gun
rds 300
  • for flare pistol
rds 12
F-1 hand grenades pcs 10
Weapons of the troops
AKS-74 sub-machine guns pcs 5
Hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers pcs 2
F-1 hand grenades pcs 10
 

BMT-72 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle (T-72 MBT Upgrade Version)

BMT-72 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle

BMT-72 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle

BMT-72 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle

BMT-72 HIFV alongside the BMP-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle

BMT-72 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle (front view)

BMT-72 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle (left rear view)

BMT-72 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle (right front view)

BMT-72 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle (rear view)

power pack compartment and troop compartment hatches of BMT-72 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle

BMT-72 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle (right rear view)

BMT-72 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle (left-side view) clearly showing additional road wheel with resulting increase of the hull length

BMT-72 (left-side view) clearly showing additional road wheel with resulting increase of the hull length

BMT-72 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle (right rear view)

Troop compartment hatches of BMT-72

Troop compartment hatches

Drawing of BMT-72

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