Main battle tank T-72

Main battle tank T-72

The Russian T-72 main battle tank was produced at the Malyshev ISB Plant in Kharkov, Ukraine, and at the UKBM in Nizhny Tagil, Russian Federation, and was also produced under license in a number of countries. The T-72 first entered production in 1972, and around 50 were built.

The T-72 was exported to Algeria, Bulgaria, Cuba, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland, Hungary, India, Iran, Libya, Myanmar, North Korea, Poland, Romania, Syria and Yugoslavia.

Hungary handed over 77 T-72 tanks to the Iraqi government in November 2005. As of 2009, the Iraqi government planned to purchase 2000 T-72 tanks along with the modernization of T-72S tanks, while Venezuela planned to purchase 92 Russian tanks. Tanks T-72.

The main battle tank T-72A was produced until 1985 along with export modifications of the T-72M and T-72M1. The T-72B entered production in 1985. The export version of the T-72B, the T-72S, has a new engine and suspension system, and is configured for ERA.

Armament of the main battle tank T-72S

The tank is equipped with a 125 mm D-81 smoothbore gun, a 7,62 mm coaxial machine gun and a 12,7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on the commander's cupola. The T-72S carries 45 125mm rounds, of which 22 rounds are placed on an automatic loading carousel.

The gun fires separately loaded armor-piercing sabot rounds (APDS), high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds, and high-explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG) rounds. Shooting accuracy is ensured by a laser rangefinder sight, a ballistic computer and a barrel thermowell. Dual-axis stabilization ensures effective shooting on the move.

Tank anti-tank missile system - 9K120 "Svir" (NATO code name AT-11 Sniper), developed by the Design Bureau of Instrument Engineering KBP, Tula.

The system is designed to destroy tanks with dynamic protection, as well as low-flying air targets. It has a range of 100 to 4000 m and requires the tank to be stationary in order to fire.

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The missile of the 9M119 complex has semi-automatic guidance on a laser beam. The gun's autoloader will feed both ammunition and missiles.


The hull and turret are protected by armor, including combined armor along the frontal arc. ERA has been established since 1988. The undercarriage is protected by gill-type armored panels.

The smoke screen can be installed with the 902B "Tucha" smoke exhaust system or the smoke exhaust system.

Command tank T-72SK

The T-72SK tank is designed to control a number of tank units and maintain communication with the brigade commander. It is equipped with an additional AB-1-P/30-Ml-U benzene-powered electric generator to supply electricity when the main power plant is not working.

The tank is also equipped with additional communication systems, including the R-713 radio, R-173P radio, R-134 HF radio, R-174 intercom and TNA-4-3 tank navigation aids.

Modernization of the main battle tank T-72

A number of upgrade packages are available for the T-72 series tanks. Kharkov Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering (KMDB) of Ukraine offers T-72MP with SAGEM SAVAN sights. They are also developing a version fitted with a standard NATO 120mm smoothbore gun and an automatic loader.

Uralvagonzavod of Russia is offering a T-72M1 upgrade that includes a new 1000 hp diesel engine. dynamic protection package and Arena countermeasure system.

The Czech Republic has upgraded 30 T-72M1 tanks from its fleet to the T-72CZ standard. The first one was delivered in January 2004. The upgrades include ERA, the Galileo Avionica TURMS-T computerized fire control system, and a new NIMDA of Israel powertrain with a 12 hp Perkins CV1000 engine. and Allison automatic transmission. ZTS Dubnica from Slovenia offers the modernization of T-72 Moderna tanks.

In June 2002, the Polish company Obrum signed a contract with the German Rheinmetall Landysysteme to cooperate on the modernization of the Polish army's T-72 tanks using Leopard 2 technology.

In January 2010, Russia signed a 1,3 billion euro military cooperation agreement with Libya to modernize 200 T-72 tanks of the Libyan army.

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In July 2019, the Polish Ministry of Defense signed a 1,75 billion zloty ($458,13 million) agreement with the PGZ consortium to modernize its fleet of T-72 tanks by 2025. In August 2020, Iran introduced an upgraded T-72M1 battle tank with a modified turret, flat armor on the side of the turret and a simplified forward-opening hatch.

A number of companies offer systems for upgrading the fire control system of T-72 series tanks with the possibility of a thermal imager.

These include: SATES from El-Op from Israel, MT-01 from Indra from Spain, TFCS3-72C from Fotona from Slovenia, Tiger from LIW from South Africa, Drawa-T from PCO from Poland and Sanoet-2 from SAGEM from France .


The main battle tank is equipped with a V-84 four-stroke multi-fuel liquid-cooled diesel engine with a power of 618 kW (840 hp), providing a specific power of 13,8 kW / t, a planetary transmission with a hydraulic servo drive. system, undercarriage with RMSH caterpillar and torsion bar suspension with hydraulic shock absorbers.

The tank develops a speed of 60 km/h on the highway and 35 km/h on dry ground. The cruising range on roads with the main fuel tanks is 500 km. The tank can wad up to 1,2m deep without preparation, and snorkels can be fitted to wad up to 5m deep.

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