Poland sent local-made PT-91 Twardy tanks as part of its military aid to Ukraine

According to information published by the "KRESY" website on July 24, 2022, Krzysztof Płatek, the spokesman of the Polish Armament Agency announced during an interview that Poland sent local-made PT-91 Twardy Main Battle Tanks to Ukraine, as part of military aid following the invasion of Russian troops.
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Polish-made PT-91 Twardy MBT Main Battle Tank in a live demonstration. (Picture source Army Recognition)

On July 13, 2022, the Army Recognition editorial team reported that Poland could give to Ukraine 232 PT-91 Twardy Main Battle Tanks in exchange for American-made M1 Abrams tanks. Today, Poland has already provided Ukraine with a total of 240 tanks from its military inventory including Soviet-made T-72M1 and T-72M1R variants.

Citing the latest information published on Internet, Poland could acquire in the next few years South Korean K2 main battle tanks to replace old Soviet-made T-72 and local-made PT-91 tanks.

The PT-91 is a Main Battle Tank (MBT) also nicknamed Twardy (Hard), is a further development of the Soviet-made T-72M1, an export version of the T-72A, which has been produced under license in Poland for many years. The first prototype of the PT-91 was completed late in 1992 and underwent trials with the Polish Army. The tank is also in service with the Malaysian army.

The layout of the PT-91 is similar to the Soviet-made T-72A but with many improvements in terms of protection, mobility, and internal combat systems. The tank has a crew of three including a driver, commander, and gunner. It keeps the same armament as the Soviet-made T-72A including a 125-mm smoothbore gun 2A46 fitted with an automatic reloading mechanism that allowed for removing the gun's loader as a crew member and gave a rate of fire of 8 to 10 rounds per minute. Additional armament includes a 7.62-mm coaxial PKT and 12.7mm anti-aircraft NSVT machine guns.

The main improvements of the Polish-made PT-91 Twardy include the Installation of the Polish-developed explosive reactive armor Type ERAWA-1 and ERAWA-2 to the hull and turret, four laser warning antennas are fitted around the turret which alert the crew if it is being targeted by a laser range-finder or designator, 12 smoke-grenade dischargers are mounted on each side of the turret.

In terms of mobility, the PT-91 Twardy is motorized with a new diesel engine developing 850 hp as well as a new improved cooling system. The engine and crew compartment have been fitted with more modern fire detection and suppression system.

The PT-91 Twardy is fitted with a new computerized fire-control system installed, with the gunner's passive image intensification sight having the option of being changed for a Drawa thermal sight. A laser range-finder is fitted as standard and the 125 mm smoothbore main armament is stabilized in both elevation and traverse. The fire-control system has been developed by PCO of Poland. The commander (POD-72) and driver (PNK-72) have new passive night observation devices.