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PT-91 Twardy

Main battle tank

PT-91 Twardy MBT

A small number of PT-91 Twardy main battle tanks is in service with Polish army

Country of origin Poland
Entered service 1990s
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 45.3 t
Length (gun forward) 9.53 m
Hull length 6.86 m
Width 3.59 m
Height 2.19 m
Main gun 125 mm smoothbore
Machine guns 1 x 7.62 mm, 1 x 12.7 mm
Elevation range - 6 to + 13 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 42 rounds
Machine guns 2 000 x 7.62, 300 x 12.7
Engine S-12U diesel engine
Engine power 850 hp
Maximum road speed 60 km/h
Range 480 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 50%
Vertical step 0.85 m
Trench 2.8 m
Fording 1.4 m
Fording (with preparation) 5 m


   The PT-91 Twardy (hard) is an improved variant of the Soviet T-72 main battle tank. The PT-91 was developed in Poland in the early 1990s. Production of the PT-91 Twardy tanks for the Polish Army were completed in 2002. A total of 233 tanks were delivered. Currently Polish Army also operates 120 older T-72M1 tanks (plus 470 in storage) and a number of ex-German Leopard 2A4 and Leopard 2A5 tanks. The older Leopard 2A4 tanks are planed to be upgraded to Leopard 2PL standard.

   In 2002 Germany donated to Poland a number of Leopard 2A4 tanks from the German Army stocks. Some former units equipped with Twardy, are now equipped with the Leopard 2A4 and 2A5 tanks. In turn units formerly equipped with the T-72M1 tanks are now equipped with the Twardy. It is planned that PT-91 Twardy tanks will be operational until 2030.

   Twardy's protection is enhanced by utilizing indigenously developed ERAWA explosive reactive armor blocks. There is a total of 394 ERAWA blocks covering front of the hull and the turret. These blocks are placed virtually without gaps to each other. It is worth mentioning that explosive reactive armor blocks on the Soviet of the Cold War era usually have 15 mm gaps or even more, thus reducing overall protection. Tests shown that ERAWA blocks improve tank's protection by 30-70% depending on the ammunition type used. However armor of the PT-91 can not withstand modern Western 120 mm tank gun ammunition fired from 2 000 m range.

   The PT-91 Twardy is armed with a 125 mm main gun, which is similar to that, used on the T-72. The gun is fitted with an autoloader. The PT-91 Twardy has new gun stabilization system and new fire control system. Other systems and sights have also been improved.

   Secondary armament consists of coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun and roof mounted 12.7 mm machine gun.

   Vehicle has a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver.

   The PT-91 has more powerful engine, comparing with the T-72. It is fitted with the S-12U diesel engine, developing 850 horsepower. There was also developed a S-1000 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1 000 horsepower.




   PT-91A main battle tank, fitted with the S-1000 engine, developing 1 000 hp;

   PT-91A1 command tank;

   PT-91M Pendekar export version supplied to Malaysia. This MBT is fitted with improved 125 mm gun, S-1000 engine, new hydropneumatic transmission, French fire control system, new communication system and some other changes;

   PT-94 Goryl, further development of the PT-91 Twardy. This program was cancelled due to funding problems;

   Krab 155-mm self-propelled howitzer. A small number of these artillery systems are in service with the Polish Army;

   Loara self-propelled anti-aircraft gun;

   WZT-3M armored recovery vehicle;

   WZT-4 armored recovery vehicle for Malaysian Army, based on the PT-91M tank,

   MID armored engineering vehicle;

   PMC-90 armored bridgelayer;

   UPG-NG special tracked chassis. It uses many components of the PT-91. It was designed for Krab self-propelled howitzer. A prototype was completed in 2001. Low-rate production commenced in 2008, but was later stopped.

   PT-16 main battle tank. It is an upgraded version of the PT-91/T-72 main battle tanks. It was first publicly revealed in 2016. This tank is armed with a 120 mm smoothbore gun, which is compatible with all standard NATO ammunition. Add-on composite armor kit was fitted to the hull and turret. This tank is fitted with modern fire control system. It is proposed with a choice of three engines, developing from 1 000 to 1 200 hp. The PT-16 is proposed as a low-cost upgrade, which would significantly improve capabilities of the ageing Polish tanks.


Video of the PT-91 Twardy main battle tank


PT-91 Twardy MBT

PT-91 Twardy MBT

PT-91 Twardy MBT

PT-91 Twardy MBT

PT-91 Twardy MBT

PT-91 Twardy MBT

PT-91 Twardy MBT

PT-91 Twardy MBT

PT-91 Twardy MBT

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