In 2020, According to the Iranian military network, the country’s defense industry announced the latest upgraded version of the T-72S main battle tank.
According to some sources, the T-72S tanks are being upgraded according to the standard configuration of the domestic Karrar tank version. The T-72S is an export version of the Russian T-72A. Although similar to the T-72BM, there was potentially less turret front protection.
Iran signed an agreement with Russia on November 13, 1991 to produce under license the T-72S and BMP-2. The first Iranian produced T-72S entered into service in July 1998. To date Iran is operating a fleet of about 1,500 T-72S and more than 441+ T-72M1s.
The new T-72S upgrade package includes the installation of a modern fire control system including: laser rangefinder, ballistic computer, new night vision equipment. The main firepower is still the standard Soviet-made 2A46 125mm cannon, but now it will shoot more accurately, especially against moving targets.
Visually, the T-72S has a design of side and cage armor around the engine area quite similar to the Russian T-72B3 or T-90 tanks. Of course, the aesthetics are not so good, possibly due to the limitations of the country’s defense industry.
The new Iranian upgraded T-72 is fitted with a new remotely operated weapon station mounted at the rear of the modified commander cupola. It is fitted new armor package including explosive reactive armor mounted around the turret and at the front of the hull. There are additional armor plates on each side of the hull as well as slat armor to increase protection against anti-tank guided missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.
The early T-72S tank was fitted with the Russian Kontakt ERA. Subsequent Iranian T-72S have been fitted with a locally produced version of this ERA produced by the Shahid Kolah Dooz Industrial Complex. The T-72S MBT weighs 44.5 tonnes and is armed with the latest stabilized 125mm smoothbore 2A46M gun, IA40-1 computerised fire-control system (FCS) with laser rangefinder and day/image intensification night sighting system.
As well as firing the normal types of 125mm separate-loading ammunition (projectile and charge), the T-72S can also fire a Svir 9M119 (NATO designation AT-11 ‘Sniper’) laser beam-riding guided projectile to a range of 4,000m. The T-72S is powered by the V-84MS diesel engine, which develops 840hp and, with a combat weight of 44.5 tonnes, a power-to-weight ratio of 18.87hp/tonne is obtained. For greater cross-country mobility, the suspension has also been upgraded and mine protection improved.