Russia upgraded all T-72 tanks after the Army Games

Russia upgraded all T-72 tanks after the Army Games 2

`The Ministry of Defense will implement a plan to modernize the entire T-72 main battle tank force to the T-72B3M standard. The Army Games has brought serious momentum to promote this plan,`

Minister Shoigu said similar moves had been applied in previous Army Games.

Russian team’s T-72B3 tank overcomes a high slope at Tank Biathlon 2020. Photo: Reuters.

`We all benefit from this. Army Games is a large-scale exercise closest to real combat conditions, to test and evaluate not only military equipment, but also military techniques.`

Minister Shoigu said China also continuously upgrades and perfects the Type-96 tank based on experience at the Tank Biathlon, the most notable competition event at the Army Games.

The decision to upgrade the tank was made by Minister Shoigu after witnessing the rather difficult victory of the Russian T-72B3 tank against the Chinese Type-96B in the Group 1 Tank Biathlon final on September 5.

At Tank Biathlon 2019, the Chinese team had to stop in the semi-finals when they continuously slipped on the track and missed their target.

The T-72B3M version has been developed by Russia since 2016 and debuted during the Victory Parade on Red Square in Moscow in 2017. This version is equipped with many defense systems that originally appeared on the vehicle.

Russia upgraded all T-72 tanks after the Army Games

T-72B3M tanks practice parade on the outskirts of Moscow in 2017. Photo: Vitaly Kuzmin.

The most prominent feature of the T-72B3M is the Kaktus explosive reactive armor blocks installed on both sides of the back of the turret, replacing the box containing tank spare parts.

The rubber frills on both sides of the vehicle are also replaced with new steel-rubber armor plates, capable of detonating HEAT warheads before they hit the main armor.

The vehicle uses the 2A46M5-01 main gun, allowing it to be equipped with modern anti-tank missiles such as 9M119 Svir, 9M119M Refleks and many new generation kinetic energy bullets.

The T-72B3M is also equipped with a V-92S2F engine with a capacity of 1,130 horsepower, compared to the V-84-1 model on the T-72B3s, which only has a capacity of 840 horsepower.

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