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T-72B3M / T-72B4 Medium Tank

Compared with previous versions of th T-72, the new version of the T-72 is characterized, first and foremost, by enhanced protection. Engine-transmission compartment and the rear part of the turret is covered with protivokumulyativnymi [anti-cumulative - ie, anti shaped charge] latticed screen and additional blocks of the "relic" dynamic protection system. Also, the T-72B3M equipped with a diesel engine capacity of 1130 hp, automatic control system, informing the driver-mechanic faults, the new radio station, commander panoramic sight and automatic target tracking. Strengthened anti-mine protection, and automatic loader modified by the use of new ammunition.

Moscow continued modernization of its military forces with full force. The Russian Ministry of Defense refused to purchase of T-90, and in anticipation of the completion of the new Armata combat vehicle by Uralvagonzavod, the Defense Ministry intended to maintain the combat capability of armored forces by a deep modernization of the "best tank of the second half of the twentieth century" - the T-72. So far, the Russian Defense Ministry has signed with "Uralvagonzavod" contract to upgrade 170 T-72 main battle tanks in excess of six billion rubles.

Russia planned to modernize its 150 T-72 main battle tanks to the T-72B3M version. The upgraded vehicles will be comparable to the more advanced T-90, but with much lower costs. As of 2016, there were 500 T-90A and T-90AM tanks in service with the Russian Armed Forces. But the bulk of the Ground Forces rely on the Soviet-era T-72 and its numerous modifications.

The T-72B3M will be equipped with an independent panoramic sight for the tanks commander, with its own thermal imaging device. The tanks will also get the new Relikt explosive reactive armor. It will replace the old Kontakt-5 system and is expected to be two times more effective. Its not clear if the Russians are modifying the vehicles passive armor package but it would make sense it they did. Further, while some sources suggest that the T-73B3M might be equipped with the Arena-E active protection system, its not clear that the production variant does.

The upgraded version will be powered with the new V-92S2F engine and deliver 1,130 hp, which makes the tank very mobile. It will replace the old 780-hp diesel engine. The new engine is paired with an automatic transmission system and improved drive train to improve the tanks mobility. For example, the new digital ballistic computer allows several times to reduce the time made calculations and improve their performance.

The first shipment of 32 tanks will be delivered to the military in 2016. As of 2016, the ground forces had over 500 less capable T-72B3s in service. According to the newspaper, each tank was planned for an investment of up to 79 million rubles [about a million dollars]. This amount was to cover the cost of replacing tools, engine, sighting systems, as well as enhanced protection against armor-piercing shells and cumulative.

"The proposed modernization of the T-72B to the level of the T-72B3" pulls "the tank is not easy to match" modern requirements", but actually makes the T-72 equal to "the latest T-90S, but for much less money," - noted Izvestia. According to the publication, the decision on a large-scale upgrade of armored fleet was made on the basis of the annual sports and technical games "Tank biathlon 2015", where the experimental T-72B3 surassed its Chinese analogue of Type 96A.

With the T-72B3M (also referred to as T-72B4) the main difference is the engine B-93 power 1130 hp. With the mass of the tank 44.5 m power density is 25.39 hp / ton. This engine is also set to export T-90cm weight of 46.5 tons. In addition, the tanks are equipped with advanced 2A46M5 gun that has a better performance than the gun mounted on the previous T-72B.

Compared with T-72B3M other commands act on the T-72BV weighing 44.5 tonnes equipped V-84 engine with capacity of 840 hp Specific power is only 18.88 hp / ton. Chinese tank Type 96A has a mass of 43.7 tons and equipped with an engine capacity of 800 hp 12V150ZAL, power density is only 18.30 hp / t, ie, less than even the T-72BV (according to other sources, the weight of the tank is 50 m, engine power 1,000 hp, giving a specific power of 20 hp / t - approx. "VP"). Thus, T-72B3M has a specific capacity exceeding 40% that of the opponent tank.

T-72B3M / B4 is a variant of modernization of the T-72B3 specifically for tank biathlon. Characterized by the presence of panoramic thermal imaging device commander, increased power of the engine, automatic gear change and motion control system with voice informer critical modes of operation of the units.

The cost of alterations in the T-72B4 conventional T-72B is about 60 000 000 rubles. The cost of bringing the T-72B3 to standard T-72B4 no more than 8 000 000. In this case, for security and survivability of the T-72B4 is the best tank in the world by a wide margin from the nearest competitor.

According to some reports, the former leadership of the Ministry of Defence until 2015 had no intention at all to buy new tanks for the army. The plan was allegedly only carry out routine repairs. But later still, it was decided early modernization in Nizhny Tagil and Omsk T-72 tanks to the level of T-72B3, which differs from the basic sample a new sight gunner with thermal channel, the upgraded gun, communications and others. These tanks in the army began to replace the T-80BV. And if before the tanks with thermal sight were relatively few, now the Russian army, perhaps, one of the first in Europe on this indicator.

Although, of course, itself a modification of the T-72B3 many military experts believe is very imperfect. Therefore, with such joy would counter the emergence of a new version of the T-72, which, according to some sources, called T-72B3M, on the other - has a T-72B4. Russian tank commander now has the ability to detect and engage targets at the level of the world's best models of arms, day and night, in bad weather. Engine power hp -1130 Another new feature is the automatic gear change and motion control system. According to experts, shifting is smooth, very precise machine keeps turning radius.

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