Czech Republic to supply Ukraine with 90 renovated T-72B tanks

Czech Republic to supply Ukraine with 90 renovated T-72B tanks

The T-72 is a family of Soviet/Russian main battle tanks that entered production in 1969. The T-72 was a development of the T-64.

According to a Tweet published by the Czech Ministry of Defense on November 4, 2022, the Czech Ministry of Defense in collaboration with the local defense industry will renovate 90 Soviet-made T-72B Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) with the support of the Netherlands and the United States that will be supplied to Ukraine. 

According to the press release published by the United States on November 4, 2022, regarding the delivery of these tanks, there is no information on the origin of these T-72B tanks knowing that the Czech Republic does not have a tank of this type in its military inventory.

Citing information from the Military Balance 2021, the Czech army has a total of 30 T-72M4CZ, a modernized variant of the Soviet-made T-72, and 89 types of T-72 that do not include T-72B models.

The T-72B has the same design as the Soviet-made T-72 tank with the driver at the front of the hull, the turret in the middle, and the engine at the rear. It entered into service with the Russian army in 1984 and is already in service with other countries around the world.

The T-72B is an improved version of the T-72A which has a new Kontakt-1 ERA (Explosive Reactive armor) package mounted at the front of the hull and around the turret. The Kontakt-1 ERA consists of two 4S20 explosive elements which are composed of plastic explosives sandwiched between two flat steel plates. The operating principle of the armor lies in the disruption of shaped charge jets through the violent separation of the steel plates sandwiching the explosive layer upon detonation. The tank has a crew of three including a driver, commander and gunner.

The T-72B is armed with an improved 2A46M 125mm smoothbore gun can fire three types of ammunition, including the APFSDS (Armor-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. It has also an improved automatic loading system able to accommodate longer ammunition including the 9M119 Svir (NATO reporting name AT-11 Sniper) which is a laser beam riding, guided anti-tank missile developed in the former Soviet Union. The missile has a firing range from 4,000 to 5,000 m.

The T-72B is motorized with an improved V-84-1 Diesel engine developing 840 hp. It can run at a maximum speed of 60 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 500 km.

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