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PT-16

Main battle tank

PT-16 tank

The Polish PT-16 is a significantly upgraded version of the PT-91 and T-72 tanks

 
 
Country of origin Poland
Entered service ?
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight ~ 47.5 t
Length (gun forward) 9.67 m
Hull length 6.86 m
Width 3.34 m
Width (with ERAWA) 3.7 m
Height 2.6 m
Armament
Main gun 120 mm smoothbore
Machine guns 1 x 12.7 mm, 1 x 7.62 mm
Elevation range ?
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun ~ 40 rounds
Machine guns ?
Mobility
Engine unspecified diesel
Engine power 1 000 hp
Maximum road speed 62 km/h
Range ~ 500 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 58%
Side slope 47%
Vertical step 0.85 m
Trench 2.8 m
Fording 1.2 m
Fording (with preparation) 4 m

 

   In 2016 a new Polish main battle tank was revealed. It is called the PT-16. It is a significantly upgraded version of the PT-91 Twardy, which in turn is an improved and locally produced version of the Soviet T-72. The PT-16 is proposed as a low-cost upgrade that would significantly improve capabilities of the ageing tanks in the fields of protection, firepower and mobility. Currently Polish Army operates 233 PT-91 Twardy and 120 older T-72M1 tanks. Another 470 T-72M1 tanks are in storage. So there are a number of tanks, that could be upgraded to the new standard. Also Polish Army operates 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.

   The PT-16 has an upgraded hull of the PT-91/T-72, fitted with add-on composite armor kit. This add-on armor was supplied from Germany. Lower side of the hull is protected by rubber skirts. Original cast turret was also fitted with add-on composite armor. Protection level of the upgraded tank improved comparing with that of the PT-91 Twardy. Developers claim that maximum protection level of the turret's front arc is equivalent to 1 000 mm of Rolled Homogenous Armor (RHA). Similar level of protection is present on the Leopard 2A5 tank. Protection can be further increased by fitting Polish ERAWA explosive reactive armor.

   The new Polish tank is armed with a 120 mm smoothbore gun, which is compatible with all standard NATO ammunition. The PT-16 is offered with a new locally-designed autoloader, located in the turret bustle. It holds 22 rounds of ammunition and has a loading rate of 12 rounds per minute. The previous carousel-type autoloader of the T-72 allowed to reduce vehicle crew to 3 men, however it had a significant drawback when the armor was penetrated, as all ammunition was stored in the crew compartment, rather than separate compartment with blow-out pannels.

   Developers also propose to fit newly-manufactured welded turrets for the PT-16. It would allow to save weight or improve armor protection.

   Around 40 rounds of ammunition are carried for the main gun. Various types of rounds can be fired, including the latest APFSDS and HE rounds.

   The PT-16 has an entirely new fire control system. Both commander and gunner use new sights. This tank has got a hunter-killer engagement capability. The commander uses a panoramic sight to search for targets. Once the target is selected the gun is laid on the target automatically and the gunner completes al the aiming and firing process. During that time commander looks for the next target. Such hunter-killer engagement method is present on all modern main battle tanks. It allows to acquire and engage targets faster. Also the tank has got a new sensor system.

   The PT-16 is fitted with a number of new new sensors, including laser warning receivers. These can automatically identify direction of the laser source and trigger smoke grenade dischargers.

   Secondary armament consists of a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun and roof-mounted remotely controlled weapon station with a 12.7 mm machine gun.

   The PT-16 is operated by a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver.

   The new Polish tank is proposed to be fitted by an unspecified Serbian turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1 000 hp. It is worth noting that Poland had their own S-1000 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1 000 hp. However since 2012 tank engines are no longer produced in Poland. Two other engines, possibly MTU diesel, developing 1 088 hp and Serbian V46-TK, developing 1 200 hp, are proposed as options. Tracks of the PT-16 are similar to those of German Leopard 2 series tanks. It seems that the PT-16 can be fitted with a deep wading kit, which allows this tank to ford shallow water obstacles up to 4 m deep.

 

 
PT-16 tank

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PT-16 tank

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PT-16 tank

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PT-16 tank

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PT-16 tank

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