Main Battle Tank - Russia
The T-72B MBT (Main Battle Tank) is developed from the Russian main battle tank T-72A. It entered into service with the Russian army in 1984. Its turret has a new armor package that provides a much higher degree of protection than any previous model of the T-72 MBT. In addition,, the glacis plate is provided with 20 mm of appliqué armor. On November 4, 2022, the United States Department of Defense announced the supply of 45 Refurbished T-72B tanks with advanced optics, communications, and armor packages. The overhauled T-72B tanks are part of a trilateral, coordinated effort with the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. Alongside the United States, the Netherlands will provide 45 additional T-72B Tanks with the support of the Czech Ministry of Defense and in cooperation with the Czech industry.
T-72B MBT variants:
- T-72BK: Commander's model of the T-72B with additional communications equipment fitted and two antennas.
- T-72B1: T-72 MBT without the capability to fire the AT-11 `Svir' laser-guided projectile. The T-72B and T-72B1 are sometimes fitted with the Kontakt explosive reactive armor.
- T-72B3: development of the T-72B with many new improvements including more firepower, protection, mobility, and command controllability
- T-72B3M or T-72B4: an upgraded version of the T-72B3. The T-72B3M is protected with the new Relikt explosive reactive armor. One of the new main features of the T-72B3M is the independent panoramic sight for the tank’s commander, with its own thermal imaging device.
The main armament of the T-72B main battle tank consists of one 125mm special smoothbore gun/launcher 2A46M. The 125 mm gun is stabilized in both planes. The main gun has a stabilizer, designated 2E42-2, with an electro-hydraulic elevation drive and electromechanical traverse drive. The 125 mm gun can fire three types of ammunition, including the APFSDS (Armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding-sabot) with a maximum range of 2,100 m, HEAT-FS (High-explosive anti-tank fin-stabilized) with a maximum direct fire range of 4,000 m, and HE-FRAG(FS) with a maximum indirect fire range of 9,400 m. All rounds of ammunition have a unified charge and a semi-combustible cartridge case. After a shot is fired, the sabot is ejected through a hatch in the turret roof when the next round is being loaded. The ammunition reserve of the main gun is stored in the carousel magazine of the automatic loader with a total of 22 rounds ready to fire. Additional 23 rounds are stored in ammunition stowage racks in the hull and turret. The T-72B can also fire the ZUBK14 round comprises a guided rocket, designated 9M119 AT-11. This ammunition is fitted with the 9K120 guided weapons system, dubbed Svir, which enables the crew to fire the guided rockets while the tank is stationary, day and night to a range from 100 to 4,000m. The rocket is laser-guided semi-automatically. A 7.62mm coaxial machine gun is mounted to the right side of the main armament. A 12.7mm NSV heavy machine gun NSV machine gun is mounted on the commander's cupola. A bank of 81 mm forward-firing electrically operated smoke dischargers is mounted to the left side of the turret. imaging device.
|Design and protection|
The layout of the T-72B main battle tank is similar to the T-72A divided into three main compartments with the driver at the front, turret in the middle with commander and gunner, and power pack at the rear. The conventional armor of the T-72B with a maximum thickness of 280 mm, the nose is about 80 mm thick and the glacis is of a new laminate armor 200 mm thick. The armor-protected enclosure of the front hull section and of the turret is made from laminate compound armor plates which give protection against most of armor-piercing and shaped-charge anti-tank projectiles. The front of the turret of the T-72B is fitted with an explosive reactive armor attached externally to the vehicle. The front of the hull is also upgraded with an armor package. The hull sides are protected from shaped-charge attacks by screens.
|The T-72B main battle tank is motorized with a V84-1 four-stroke high-speed multi-fuel engine developing 840 hp at 2,000 rpm. It is adapted for operations on diesel fuel, jet fuels (T-1, TS-1, T2), and motor petrol grades. A-66 and A-72. The torsion bar suspension on each side consists of six road wheels with the idler at the front, drive sprocket at the rear, and three return rollers supporting the inside of the track only. The springing system employs the individual torsion-bar suspension and hydraulic vane-type shock absorbers fitted on the 1st, 2nd and 6th wheels on either side. The road wheels disks are made from aluminum alloy. The road wheels are rubber-covered and the track-return rollers are fitted with internal dampers. To prevent the tracks from coming off the wheels when the tank is turning, liming disks are welded to the driving sprockets. The T-72B can run at a maximum speed of 60 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 500 km.|
|The T-72B main battle tank is equipped with a fire-control system comprised of a sighting system designated 1A40-1. Its field view is stabilized in elevation. To fire during the night, there is also the weapon laying/sighting device 1K13-49, which makes part of the 9K120 guided weapons system. It operates in the active or the passive mode. The T-72B is equipped with a collective and individual NBC protection system. To increase its protection, the T-72B is fitted with a 902B Tucha smoke screen laying system, anti-napalm defense system, and the ZETs13 Inei quick-acting fire-fighting system. A dozer blade mounted under the nose of the tank is used for clearing obstacles and preparing fire positions and, the T-72B has also brackets for attachment of the KMT-6 w mine-clearing equipment. The T-72 MBT is equipped for underwater driving. It can ford water barriers of to 5m in depth and about 1,000 m in width. The tank is equipped with the Azbat communication system comprising the R-173 USW radio set, the R-173P receiver, an antenna filter unit, and a throat microphone amplifier. The R-173 radio set operates in the frequency range from 30 to 76 MHz. It has a memory unit that enables the crew to preset ten frequencies. The range of communication provided by this radio set while the tank is stationary or moving across rough terrain is at least 20 km.|
|One 125mm gun, one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, one 12.7mm heavy machine gun.||Standard armor, explosive reactive armor, passive armor package|
|Russia and many other countries||44,500 kg|
|Fire control system, laser range-finder, NBC protection system||500 km|
|3||Length: 9.53 m; Width: 6.86 m; Height: 3.46 m|
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