The Ukrainian battlefield is becoming the most intense conflict flashpoint in Europe since the end of World War II.

According to the latest announcement, Ukraine will receive 90 T-72B main battle tanks from the Czech Republic, while the US and the Netherlands will pay $90 million to refurbish these tanks.

Sabrina Singh, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said on November 4 that this is the first time the US has spent money to bring these tanks back to service in Ukraine. These tanks will be equipped with an improved sight and communication system. It is planned that some tanks will arrive in Ukraine in December. The rest will be sent to Ukraine in 2023.

T-72B was born in 1985 with a length of 6.9m, a width of 3.6m and a height of 2.2m. Vehicle weight is 44.5 tons, an increase of 3 tons compared to the original T-72 version. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, T-72B tanks were divided among member countries, in which Russia and Ukraine accounted for the largest number. Therefore, Ukrainian soldiers will easily operate the T-72Bs received from the Czech Republic.

The T-72B’s 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. The main armament of the T-72B main battle tank consists of one 125mm special smoothbore gun 2A46M. The main gun has a stabilizer, with an electro-hydraulic elevation drive and electromechanical traverse drive. The gun can fire three types of ammunition, including the APFSDS, HEAT-FS, and HE-FRAG.

The T-72B can also fire the ZUBK14 round comprises a guided rocket, designated 9M119 AT-11.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 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.

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. Ukraine, which is pushing offensives in the Kherson, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, has long been asking for additional tanks to sustain its fight against Russia. Both sides have taken heavy tank losses, through destruction, damage, or capture, during Russia’s all-out invasion. The T-72Bs received from the Czech Republic will certainly contribute significantly to improving the combat power of Ukrainian armored forces.


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