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Main battle tank


The T-72B3 is a refurbished and upgraded version of the ageing T-72B

Country of origin Russia
Entered service 2013
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight ~ 45 t
Length (gun forward) 9.53 m
Hull length 6.86 m
Width 3.46 m
Height 2.2 m
Main gun 125-mm smoothbore
ATGW 9M119 Svir or 9M119M Refleks
Machine guns 1 x 7.62-mm, 1 x 12.7-mm
Elevation range - 5 to + 14 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 45 rounds
Machine guns 2 000 x 7.62-mm, 300 x 12.7-mm rounds
Engine V-92S2F diesel
Engine power 1 130 hp
Maximum road speed ~ 70 km/h
Range ~ 500 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step 0.85 m
Trench 2.8 m
Fording 1.2 m
Fording (with preparation) 5 m


   The T-72B3 is a recent Russian upgrade of the ageing T-72B tanks. It can be seen as a low-cost alternative to the T-72B2 Rogatka upgrade to keep older T-72B tanks operational. Refurbished and upgraded T-72B3 tanks are fitted with new engine, new gunners sight, new fire control system and have some other improvements. Now this MBT has a limited hunter-killer engagement capability. First upgraded T-72B3 tanks were delivered to the Russian Army in 2013. By 2016 At least 600 older tanks were upgraded to this standard.

   During 2014 and 2015 the T-72B3 tanks saw combat during a military conflict in Ukraine. At least a couple of these tanks were destroyer or captured by Ukrainian armed forces. At least one captured tank was pressed into Ukrainian service and used against its former owners. In 2017 the T-72B3 was also used in Syria.

   Protection of the upgraded tank was slightly improved. The T-72B3 is fitted with built-in Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor. The same armor is used by the T-80U, T-90 and some other main battle tanks. This armor can effectively defeat most older APFSDS rounds.

   Newer version of the T-72B3, which appeared in 2017, which is better protected than the standard T-72B3. It has an added new add-on explosive reactive armor package, which covers rear part of the turret. This tank is also fitted with cage armor, which covers rear parts of the hull and turret and improved side skirts.

   The tank is armed with the same 125-mm smoothbore-gun as its predecessor. However autoloader of the T-72B3 has some modifications and can use newly-developed munitions. This tank can launch 9M119 Svir or 9M119M Refleks anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary projectiles. Western reporting name for both missiles is AT-11 Sniper. A total of 45 rounds are carried, 22 rounds are stored in the autoloader and ready to use, while remaining are stored inside the hull.

   There is a coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun and roof-mounted 12.7-mm machine gun. The roof-mounted 12.7-mm machine gun is controlled manually by the vehicle commander.

   The tank has new fire control system and new ballistic computer. Gunner uses new Sosna-U sight with thermal imager. This sight has day/night and all weather combat capability. The T-72B3 has a limited hunter-killer capability even though it lacks commander's panoramic sight. Vehicle commander can select a target and lay the gun and let the gunner complete all the aiming and firing process. During that time commander looks for the next target. The tank is also fitted with new digital radio system.

   Some T-72B3 demonstrator tanks were fitted with commander's panoramic sight. This sight appeared as standard on the T-72B4 model.

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

   Initially refurbished and upgraded T-72B3 tanks were powered by original V-84-1 diesel engine, developing 840 hp. However later production tanks were fitted with a new V-92S2F engine, developing 1 130 hp. This tank is also fitted with new tracks.

   In 2016 it has been reported that another 150 T-72B tanks will be upgraded to the -B3 or -B3M standard, and additionally fitted with new automatic transmission, similar to that of the T-90MS Tagil demonstrator. This automatic transmission has 7 forward and 1 reverse gear. The T-72B3 will become the first Russian production tank, fitted with automatic transmission. It was planned that the first batch of tanks with automatic transmissions will be delivered in 2017.




   T-72B3M, is a newer upgrade of the T-72B tank. It is also unofficially referred as the T-72B4. It is a further development of the T-72B3 with some improvements. It has a new 2A46M5 gun, improved fire control system with panoramic commander's sight. It is reportedly fitted with a built-in Relikt 3-rd generation explosive reactive armor. This tank is powered by the V-92S2F diesel, developing 1 130 hp.


Video of the T-72B3 main battle tank







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