Main Battle Tank - Russia
The T-72B3 is a development of the standard Russian-made T-72B series currently in service in the Russian army. The T-72B3 version was introduced in 2010 and is considered as a third-generation of Russian main battle tank. The T-72B3 has significantly improved its combat characteristics with more firepower, protection, mobility, and command controllability. Besides the improved armor and targeting systems, it kept all the good features of previous versions of the T-72. The modernized version of the T-72, which was a main second-generation battle tank produced in the Soviet Union since the 1970s, is equipped with a new generation of communications and firing systems and a ballistic data computer. The T-72B3 contract was performed by the Russian Defense Company "Uralvagonzavod". A contract was signed in 2012 to launch the modernization program for a total amount of six billion rubles ($150 million). Currently, the Russian army has some 8.000 T-72s in various variants in its arsenal (most of them in reserve). The Russian Ministry of Defense has decided that all of them will be converted to the T-72B3 standard. By the end of 2013, some 270 units were delivered to the Western Military District. The T-72B3 now becomes the backbone of the Russian armor regiments until the new Armata MBT will enter into service. President Vladimir Putin has allocated 23 trillion rubles ($703 billion) to reequip the Russian army with modernized weapons over the next decade. In November 2018, ten upgraded T-72B3 tanks were delivered to a mechanized brigade of the Belarusian armed forces.
- T-72B3 Model 2016: Fitted with new active protection armor mounted on each side of the hull. This version was unveiled in 2016.
The main armament of the T-72B3 is a 125mm 2A46M-5 smoothbore gun fitted with a light-alloy thermal sleeve and a bore evacuator. The tank is fitted with a carousel automatic loader mounted on the turret floor and also on the rear wall of the turret. The tank carries a total of 38 rounds including 22 ready-use projectiles in the carousel. A 7.62 mm PKTM machine gun is mounted coaxially to the right of the main armament and one 12.7 mm NSV machine gun is mounted on the commander's cupola. The guided weapon system for the gunner and commander provides the tank to fire laser-guided missile 9M119 AT-11 `Svir' or 9M119M Refleks at a maximum range of 5,000 m in the daytime and night. A bank of 8 81 mm forward-firing electrically operated smoke dischargers is mounted on the left side of the turret. The T-72B3 is also equipped with an advanced highly automatized fire control system based on the multichannel gunner's sight "Sosna-U" with an optical and thermal channel of the second generation, which provides an increased identification range of targets at night and also applying of the digital ballistic computer with a set of weather sensors. The fire control system includes also an automatic target tracker in the gunner's sight optical and thermal channel.
|Design and protection|
The layout of the T-72B3 is similar to the standard T-72 main battle tank with the driver at the front, fighting in the center, and the power pack at the rear. The driver is seated at the front of the hull and is provided with a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the right. The other two crew members are seated in the turret, with the gunner on the left and the commander on the right. The conventional armor of the turret is upgraded with Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor. Kontakt-5 is a type of third-generation explosive reactive armor (ERA) able to defeat modern armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) rounds. Kontakt-5 is made up of "bricks" of explosives sandwiched between two metal plates. The plates are arranged in such a way as to move sideways rapidly when the explosive detonates. In addition, the glacis plate is provided with 20 mm of appliqué armor. The turret roof between the commander's and gunner's hatches has been provided with additional armor against top attack weapons. Three light steel stowage boxes are mounted on the turret, one at the rear and one on each side of the turret. The protection system of the T-72B3 includes also a screening system to warn the crew of the tank laser emission with a spectral range of 0.65 - 1.540 um and to jam anti-tank systems with semi-automatic guidance systems.
|The sides of the turret are fitted with Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor.|
|The T-72B3 is motorized with a V-84-1 diesel engine, developing 840 hp. coupled to a hydraulically assisted transmission with 7 forward and 1 reverse gears. The T-72B3 can run at a maximum road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 500 km. The torsion bar suspension of T-72B3 on each side consists of six road wheels with the idler at the front, a drive sprocket at the rear, and three return rollers supporting the inside of the track only. Shock absorbers are fitted at the first, second, and sixth roadwheel stations. The T-72B3 can climb a 60% gradient and traverse a side slope of up to 40% fully loaded. The tank can ford hard bottom water crossing up to 1.2 m without a deep water fording kit and up to 5 m with the kit. It can also climb a vertical obstacle of 0.85 m maximum and cross a trench up to 2.8 m.|
|The torsion bar suspension of T-72B3 on each side consists of six road wheels with the idler at the front, and drive sprocket at the rear.|
|The T-72B3 is equipped with an active protection system (APS) Arena-E designed to defeat threats such as the rocket-propelled grenade and the anti-tank missile, including newer anti-tank missiles with longer ranges. The active protection system can protect against missiles fired from both infantry-carried rocket launchers and from helicopters. The Arena-E APS uses a multi-function Doppler radar, which can be turned on and off by the tank commander. In conjunction with radar input, a digital computer scans an arc around the tank for threats and evaluates which of the tank's 26 quick-action projectiles it will release to intercept the incoming threat. A dozer blade mounted under the nose of the tank is used for clearing obstacles and preparing fire positions. A snorkel is carried on the rear side of the turret. The T-72 series takes about 20 minutes to prepare for amphibious use and is ready for action within 2 minutes of leaving the water. Standard equipment of the T-72B3 includes an NBC protection system, night vision equipment, and a satellite navigation system GLONASS.|
|A snorkel is carried on the rear side of the turret.|
|One 125mm gun, one 7.62 PKTM machine gun and one 12.7mm NSV machine gun.||Standard armor with Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor|
|Russia, Belarus||46,000 kg|
|NBC protection system, night vision equipment, satellite navigation system GLONASS, laser warning system, laser range finder, and automatized fire control system||500 km|
|3||Length: 9.53 m; Width: 3.59 m; Height: 2.22 m|
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