After the Russian armored divisions suffered heavy losses during the first Chechen campaign, it became apparent that a dedicated anti-infantry support vehicle would be needed. Before the BMPT was created, Russian forces made use of AA vehicles, due to their high rate of fire, to supress enemy troops during both the Afghan war and the first campaign in Chechnya. However, these vehicles had extremely light armor and proved vulnerable to anti-tank fire. In 1997, at the BTVT exhibition, the first prototype of the BMPT was shown to the public, equipped with a single 20mm gun and the Kornet anti-tank missile system. It was based on the T-90 chassis, but was much more heavily armored.
The BMPT was re-designed, and in 2002 the new vehicle was showcased. The new BMPT, slated for serial production, was equipped with twin Shipunov 2A42 30mm automatic cannons. The 2A42 is a proven armament and is fitted on BMP-2’s, BMD-3’s, Mi-28’s, Ka-50’s, and many other vehicles in service with the Russian military. The 2A42 fires at a rate of 550 rounds per minute and can engage targets at up to 2,500 meters. To defeat enemy vehicles, the BMPT is equipped with 4 Ataka-T missiles, 2 on each side of the 2A42 cannons. These weapons are arranged on a special new crew-less turret on which a 7.62mm PKT machine gun is also mounted. The BMPT is also equipped with 2 AGS-17 grenade launchers on either side of the chassis, equipped with 600 rounds.
With this armament, the BMPT presents a deadly threat for infantry (2A42, AGS-17,PKT), vehicles (Ataka-T), and helicopters (2A42). The BMPT’s heavy armor makes it hard to kill, and it can also be equipped with countermeasures to enhance its survivability. The BMPT is equipped with the V-92S2 multi-fuel diesel engine, rated at 1000 hp, and can engage targets during the day or at night, while stationary or moving. The proposed plan was to issue BMPT’s to tank brigades in small numbers as “bodyguards” against infantry. Currently, Kazakhstan is the only operator of the BMPT. Whether or not the BMPT will be fielded by the Russian armed forces is still in question.