The DESIRABLE: BMPT TERMINATOR – Russian Tank Support Vehicle
Based on chassis of the T72 tank, the “Terminator” combat module can also be adapted for the chassis of the T55 tank.
The Nigerian Army own a total of 279 T55 and Vickers MK.3 tanks whose performance in the ongoing “War on Terror” suggests that they are probably inadequate for Nigerian requirements. This is coupled with the critical matter of obsolescence facing both tank models.
Sometime around the year 2003, a total of 36 Scorpion light tanks and 14 Steyr APCs were upgraded at the Special Vehicle Plant in Bauchi by Messrs Marshpearl (Ireland) and EXPOMA(Austria) respectively. As far as I am aware, there has been no other attempt at upgradation by the NA.
Since we cannot dwell on antiquity ad infinitum, permit me to posit as follows;
WAY FORWARD on the fleet of 129 T55 tanks
– Convert 36 units to the TERMINATOR
– Upgrade 36 units by equipping them with ERA Kontakt armor. 12 units of these should be the first tanks fielded by any expeditionary force while 24 units should be put into storage for the benefit of the NA Reserves.
– Convert 25 units to specialised engineering vehicles
– The rest 32 units should be given to allied armies which use the T55 tank as follows; Chad (12), Mali (6), Guinea (6), Rwanda (8)
WAY FORWARD on the fleet of 150 Vickers Mk.3 tanks
– Upgrade 36 units with the addition of reactive armour and retain in regular NA service
– Convert 24 units to 30mm cannon-armed Infantry Fighting Vehicles
– Convert 60 units to 14.5mm MG-armed tracked APCs
– Convert 30 units to bridge-laying and mine-clearing engineering vehicles