13 photos of the 'Terminator,' the armored fighting vehicle Russia reportedly sent to Syria

A few countries have recently shown interest in purchasing Moscow's infantry fighting vehicle known as the "Terminator," according to Sputnik, a Russian state-owned media outlet. 

Israel and Syria are both interested in the BMPT-72, or Terminator 2, which was also spotted in Syria for supposed testing in late June, Sputnik reported last week. 

The FBI is currently investigating whether Sputnik is "an undeclared propaganda arm of the Kremlin," and so their reports should always be taken with a grain of salt. 

Nevertheless, Russia's Terminator infantry fighting vehicles are rather impressive. 

Get an up-close look at what it can do below:

14 PHOTOS
Russia's 'terminator' vehicle
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Russia's 'terminator' vehicle

Russia unveiled the BMPT-72, or Terminator 2, in 2013.

Source: The National Interest

Photo Credit: Vitaly Kuzmin

It's main purpose is to protect other tanks, especially in urban areas, and was designed after the wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya, where Russian tanks were hit hard by anti-tank and rocket systems.

Source: The National Interest

Photo Credit: Vitaly Kuzmin

It's equipped with an impressive array of weapons, including two 30mm 2A42 autocannons, four 130mm 9M120 “Ataka-T” anti-tank missiles and a 7.62mm PKTM machine gun.

Source: We Are The Mighty

Photo Credit: Vitaly Kuzmin

It also features night vision, a laser range finder and an integrated laser controlled missile guidance system.

Photo Credit: Vitaly Kuzmin

Source: Sputnik

While this array of weaponry is impressive, perhaps the most important feature of the Terminator 2, unlike comparable infantry fighting vehicles, is the height of the turret.

The turret sits very high, allowing the operators to fire the weapons from less exposed positions. 

Source: Sim Tack, chief military analyst at Force Analysis, and former Stratfor analyst. 

Photo Credit: Vitaly Kuzmin

Here's a close-up of the height of the turret.

Photo Credit: Vitaly Kuzmin

And here's the back....

Photo Credit: Vitaly Kuzmin

The Terminator 2 is manned by a crew of 3, unlike the first version of the Terminator, which had a crew of 5.

Source: The National Interest

Photo Credit: Vitaly Kuzmin

The first Terminator, seen below, was unveiled in the late 1990s.

 The main difference between the first and second Terminators is that the first came with two hull-mounted 30 mm automatic grenade launchers in addition to all the other weapons. The first version also had a more expensive T-72 tank hull, and a turret with the Ataka missiles mounted vertically. 

Source: Jane's 360

While the Terminator 2 is lighter, cheaper and easier to operate than the first Terminator, it also has less firepower and can only fire at one target at a time, while the first could fire at three targets at a time.

Photo Credit: Vitaly Kuzmin

In any event, the Terminator 2 that was spotted in Syria, seen below with President Assad, is reportedly the only one Russia has that is battlefield ready.

 And the fact that Russia only has one Terminator 2, and seems to have had trouble selling, one can only conjecture as to why Moscow is building a third version. 

Source: Sputnik

Photo Credit: Vitaly Kuzmin

Below is the most recent Terminator, the Terminator 3 or T-15, which is part of the new Armata Universal Combat Platform series.

These Armata vehicles, which includes the T-14 tank, are still prototypes and have yet to be mass produced. As such, it's still unclear which vehicles are part of the Armata series, and what the capabilities of the T-15 or Terminator 3 are. Nevertheless, if this T-15 truly is the third Terminator, it appears to only have one 30mm cannon. 

Source: Sim Tack, chief military analyst at Force Analysis, and former Stratfor analyst. 

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