Dave Majumdar, the Defense Editor of The National Interest, calls attention to the fact that the Terminator-3 is the next iteration of the Boyevaya Mashina Podderzhki Tankov (BMPT) — "tank support fighting vehicle" — series based on the T-72 battle tank chassis.
And still, the Terminator is one of a kind: there is no direct analogue to the BMPT in the US Army and NATO military forces.
"Perhaps the nearest equivalent is the M3 Cavalry Fighting Vehicle (CFV) variant of the long-serving Bradley — but it's a poor comparison at best. A potentially closer comparison might be the Israeli Namer — which is based on a Merkava 4 tank chassis — but the Russian machines are not designed to carry troops. Perhaps the best historical equivalent in terms of roles and missions might be the World War Two-era German Brummbär or Sturmtiger assault guns," Majumdar elaborates.
"The idea was to build a vehicle with the protection of a main battle tank, but which had the ability to engage enemy armor, bunkers and infantry in hiding in elevated positions," the expert explains, stressing that the Terminator's armor protection is traditionally equivalent or even better than that of a main battle tank.
The tank support fighting vehicle is supposed to fight alongside with main battle tanks in the same unit in combat. However, the ratio of battle tanks and BMPTs depends on combat conditions: on the open battlefield a pair of tanks would be accompanied by one Terminator; in constrained environments, such as a city or rocky terrain, two Terminators would support a main battle tank.
Majumdar suggests that the Terminator-3 will most likely "inherit" its chassis, sensors, passive armor, reactive armor and active protection system from the Armata T-14 main battle tank.
"However, there are few concrete details available thus far. Nonetheless, it's safe to assume it will be a formidable adversary," the expert stresses.