Poland provides Ukraine with more than 200 T-72 main battle tanks
According to information published by the "PolskieRadio" website on April 29, 2022, Poland provides Ukraine with more than 200 T-72 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) to equip two armor brigades. The tanks will come from the military inventory of the Polish armed forces.
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T-72M1 main battle tank from the Polish army. (Picture source Army Recognition)
In addition to the T-72 Main Battle Tank (MBT), Poland will also supply Ukraine with several dozen BWP-1 tracked armored IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles) which is a Soviet-made BMP-1 produced under license in Poland.
Citing information published by the "PolskieRadio", Poland has already delivered military equipment to Ukraine for an amount of around €1.5 billion including 2S1 122mm self-propelled howitzers, BM-21 GRAD 122mm MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket Systems), Warmate loitering munitions, Piorun man-portable air defense missile weapon also called MANPADS, as well as air-to-air missiles for MiG-29 and Su-27 fighter aircraft.
Currently, the Polish army has a total of 606 main battle tanks including 142 Leopard 2A4, 105 Leopard 2A5 acquired from Germany, 232 PT-91 Twardy, Soviet-made 127 T-72A/T-72M1 in operational conditions, and 257 more in store.
On April 6, 2022, Army Recognition reported that Poland has officially signed the agreement for the acquisition of 250 American-made M1A2 Abrams SEP V3 main battle tanks that will replace T-72 and PT-91 tanks, currently in service with the Polish army.
The delivery of these T-72 MBTs will not reduce the operational capabilities of the Polish army, which had already decided to replace its old Soviet tanks with American M1A2 Abrams SEP V3 tanks. For the Ukrainian soldiers, the use of these T-72s tanks is no problem because they are already in service with the armed forces of Ukraine.
The T-72A is the second generation of Soviet-made main battle tank MBT in the T-72 family. The first version of the T-72 entered production in 1970. The main armament of the T-72A consists of one 125 mm (2A46) smoothbore gun. The 125mm can fire three main types of separate loading ammunition, APFSDS with a maximum range of 2,100 m, HEAT-FS with a maximum direct fire range of 4,000 m, and HE-FRAG(FS) with a maximum indirect fire range of 9,400 m.
The T-72M1 is an upgraded and export variant of the Soviet-made T-72A featuring minor changes including an additional layer of 16 mm armor plate on the glacis plate and combination armor in the turret with pelletized filler agent.
The armament of the T-72M1 is similar to the T-72A including a 125 mm (2A46) smoothbore gun fitted with a light-alloy thermal sleeve and a bore evacuator.