Starting from October 2011, the T-72B3 main battle tank began to be researched and developed.

To date, the T-72B3 has become the standard of all modern main battle tank upgrades. In fact, T-72B3 has up to 3 different versions. The first version, released in 2011, the second version in 2014 and the third version in 2016. All three versions are called by the name T-72B3, although they have quite different configurations, and of course, combat performance is also clearly different.

The designation T-72B3 has only appeared officially since December 2013, before that, this improved version was called “upgraded T-72B”, or even T-72B1. Also from 2013, the modernization process of Russia’s T-72B began to be assigned to Omsktransmash corporation. The initial upgrade phase took place quite quickly, with the result that 30 experimental tanks were sent to combat units.

T-72B3 MBT
T-72B3 MBT

In the period from 2011 to 2015, an additional 130 upgraded T-72B3 main battle tanks were sent to all armored units, for testing in a variety of terrain, climate and usage conditions. In total, between 2011 and 2016, at least 750 T-72B3 main battle tanks, various upgraded versions, were delivered to Russian combat units or exported abroad.

Basically, it can be considered that the T-72B3 is a cheap upgraded version of the old T-72B tank. However, this upgraded version changes the entire engine, sight and fire control system of the old T-72B. The latest version of the T-72B3 released in 2017, has a better armor protection system than the previous two versions. It is equipped with explosive reactive armor at many of the tank’s weak points.

Another version of the T-72B3 tank is the T-72B3M, currently very little information is available, and only Russia is using it in relatively small quantities. Since 2016, 150 T-72B tanks have been upgraded to the T-72B3M version, which are the first Russian main battle tanks equipped with an automatic transmission, with 7 forward and 1 reverse gears. At the present time, the T-72B3 MBT is serving many countries, but mainly Russia.


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