GarryB wrote:The purpose of the BMPT is not to be another type of tank... in many ways it is a fire support vehicle designed to support tanks where small arms fire is too dangerous for infantry out in the open...
So in effect we are talking about a very dangerous multi threat multi target environment, where most of the targets are infantry or very light armour
I agree with this statement Garry, but i am curious about your opinion on the thoughts i just had on the BMP-3 weaponry, the BMO-T as a platform, and general difficulties in adding separately operated additional weapons :
At some point, the designers of the BMPT would have considered the 2A70 & 2A42 combination of the BMP-3/BMD-4M. Seeing as it is a tried and tested weapon system, which is both in service and in production, they must have looked at it as a possible solution. For engaging light armor and infantry, certainly the BAKHCHA COMBAT MODULE provides the required firepower (perhaps in combination with a 40mm grenade launcher integrated on the back of the turret, similar to what we see in the Berezhok combat module). There are obvious issues, which i will point out below :
- The manned turret exposes its crew to the ammunition
- The GLATGM fired from the 100mm gun is inferior to more modern anti-tank missiles. External Kornet launchers could replace it in the anti-armor role, while GLATGM's could still be used to snipe static enemy positions (such as anti-tank infantry).Obviously in the end, they wanted a different armament. But what would you say, is the penultimate weapon solution for the modern and future BMPT ? Or do you think the current 2x 2A42 + 2x AGS setup is the overall best choice?
Furthermore, lets consider the BMO-T as a base platform, and lets consider for a moment that we select the BMP-3 armament for now. In general, we use a manned turret rather than a remote weapon station.
The driver sits at the front in the default position
The turret is integrated where the crew compartment of the BMO-T would be. The commander and gunner take up their usual spots inside the turret, each having an own hatch to enter/leave the vehicle. I don't have technical info at hand about the BMO-T's hull, or the turret itself, but since this only a hypothetical discussion, lets assume that the BMO-T has enough space to fit the BMP-3 turret (or another 2 man turret with similar weaponry of choice).
The commander station of the BMO-T, located between the driver and the crew compartment, could be re-purposed as a weapon station for an extra crew member, which could operate additional weapon system(s). I will get back to this later.
So to summarize the above : A different take on the BMPT, but also based on the T-72 with similar protection levels and firepower, using 4 man crew to operate it.
Anyway... what I am getting at is that the BMPT has a commander, a gunner, and a driver, so it could deal with one target at a time while looking for other threats.
Which brings me to the next part of this brain fart i am having.
The 4th crew member of this hypothetical vehicle could operate a grenade launcher in a low mount integrated into his hatch. For reference of what i am talking about, look at the Fennek AFV used by the Dutch/Germans. Such a mount would cover the frontal arc and sides. It could work if you combine it with the current BMPT turret, but it would not work with the turret of the BMP-3 for example, as it would definitely interfere. If you add a grenade launcher at the back of the turret, slaved to the main gun, it would be operated by the gunner.
Like you said, the 4 the crewmember could operate UAV's or UGCV's, but i dont think the station has room for that, which is another discussion altogether).
Going back to the original discussion : I agree that the commander has his own specific set of tasks. But in the case of the current BMPT, i see no reason why NOT to give him a sight with an integrated weapon anyway. Most Russian/Soviet tank commanders have a machine gun at their disposal, and we see a trend in the West that many IFV's are also replicating this. Now i realize that the BMPT is neither of those, and that West = not always right, but i do see the advantage of having the possibility to engage a soft target of opportunity completely independent from your gunner, if the situation dictates it. However, if you want the commander to only look for targets, then consider the following : If you are able to integrate the grenade launcher into a RWS at the back of the turret, the fourth crew member could operate it with 360 degree coverage. Again there is a downside (other than being more expensive and more technologically complex). The commander would have his own panoramic sight which would be installed in front of his hatch, like we see in the BMD-4M. By adding a weapon station at the back, the commanders view would be partially obstructed by this. However, the extra pair of eyes of the 4th crew member would counter the negative impact.
In the case of the current BMPT however, the problem is again structural. Due to the design of the turret, there are only 2 possible locations for the commander panoramic sight. Space in these locations is limited. The ATGM launchers on the side of the turret, as well as the main guns, are likely to interfere with a RWS in certain scenario's. So again, no real solution there.
So taking all this into consideration, i do understand why they went with the current variation of the BMPT.
Anyway, i am going to conclude this little daydream right now. I am sorry for this wall of text, and forgive me if i missed some obvious points or state some stupid things. I didnt really do the research on this post. Like i said, its more of a brain fart really