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Upgraded T-72 and T-90S main battle tanks remain the Azerbaijani Army's key striking power TASS 30404165

Military Defense Industry Technology - Russian main battle tanks
Upgraded T-72 and T-90S main battle tanks remain the Azerbaijani Army's key striking power
Upgraded T-72 main battle tanks and T-90S tanks purchased from Russia in 2011-2013 remain the Azerbaijani Army’s key striking power. According to military experts, Azerbaijan’s T-72A and T-72M1 tanks have been modernized by Israel’s Elbit Systems and Rafael and designated as Aslan (Lion). The modernized version of the T-72A and T-72M1 tanks is very close to Georgia’s T-72SIM1 tank.

Unlike the T-72A and T-72M1 tanks, their upgraded version features improved sights. In particular, the upgraded version of the T-72A and T-72M1 tanks has a thermal imaging camera to allow the gunner and the tank commander to operate at night efficiently.

The digital ballistic computer can detect the target range, the type of munitions, etc. It has also started using wind sensor data to allow the tank to fire more accurately on the move. The T-72A and T-72M1 tanks were also furnished with thermal imaging cameras to operate at night and in insufficient light conditions.

The tanks also received NATO-made communications systems to replace obsolete Soviet-made radio stations. The upgraded version of the T-72A and T-72M1 also received a friend-or-foe identification sensor and a GPS navigation system.

Despite its profound upgrade, the Lion tank does not meet a whole number of modern requirements, according to military experts.

For example, the tank has an insufficient protection level as it is equipped with the first-generation Kontakt-1 reactive armor that cannot protect the tank from modern tandem high-explosive anti-tank and sub-caliber projectiles.

The tank has retained an obsolete 780 hp propulsion unit, which does not ensure the required maneuverability.

The Azerbaijani Armed Forces made a decision to purchase a big batch of modern Russian-made T-90S tanks and started receiving them in June 2013. In all, Russia has delivered about 100 tanks to Azerbaijan.

The T-90S tank is equipped with a modern fire control system and a thermal imaging camera. The tank can launch missiles to hit the enemy’s tanks at a distance of five kilometers (3.1 miles). The T-90S tank is also equipped with an air conditioner to make it easier for its crew to operate in hot weather conditions.
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