The Russian BMP-T, nicknamed the “Terminator,” was a design first conceived about 30 years ago after Russia’s disastrous foray into Chechnya. Now, Russia is testing eight “Terminator” vehicles. It plans on also exporting the vehicle.

On Monday, Russia rolled out the vehicle for testing during maneuvers with the 90th Tank Division.

The “Terminator” is designed to defeat anti-tank forces. It was a number of weapons: Twin 30mm guns, which can be used against infantry forces and low-flying aircraft; four (two on each side of the vehicle) supersonic Ataka anti-tank missiles, which have a range of six kilometers; two AG-17D grenade launchers; and one coaxial 7.62 mm PKTM machine gun.

The BMP-T is mounted on the T-90 tank chassis and is heavily armored with reactive armor. It is designed to engage three different targets at once with its four weapons operators; it can carry five crew members in total. 

The Russian “Terminator” was first designed in the late 1980s. Interest in the design peaked after Russia’s disastrous invasion of Chechnya in the mid-1990s. At the time, Russian forces employed Soviet-era tactics which resulted in some of their units being decimated in urban warfare.  

In a piece published earlier this week, Popular Mechanics highlighted the blunders of the Russian commanders during the Chechnya fighting.

“Russian tank and armored vehicle forces took heavy losses fighting against Chechen guerrillas. On New Year’s Eve 1994, an advance by Russian forces into the city of Grozny ended in a massacre. The 131st “Maikop” Brigade alone lost 800 men, 20 out of 26 tanks, and 102 out of 120 other armored vehicles in just two days of combat.”

Their tanks, designed for open terrain, were unable to raise or lower their main gun barrels high enough to engage Chechnyan anti-tank gunners. Without proper infantry support, they were decimated. The “Terminator” vehicles were designed to counter that deficiency by driving alongside armored forces inside urban environments.