New upgraded T-72B3M/B4 MBT will enter in service with Russian army

Russia is planning to modernize its 150 T-72 main battle tanks (MBT) to the T-72B3M version also called T-72B4. According to Russian military engineers, the upgraded T-72 MBT will be comparable to the more advanced T-90, but with much lower costs.

Russia is planning to modernize its 150 T-72 main battle tanks (MBT) to the T-72B3M version also called T-72B4. According to Russian military engineers, the upgraded T-72 MBT will be comparable to the more advanced T-90, but with much lower costs.T-72B3M/B4 of Russian team at The Final of International Russian army Tank Biathlon 2014

Currently, Russian armed forces use a wide range of T-72 MBT variants. The T-72 is a russian made main battle tank that entered production in 1970. It is a further development of the T-62 with some features of the T-64A (upgraded version of basic T-64) and has been further developed as the T-90.

Russia will spend 2.5 billion rubles ($37 million) to upgrade 150 T-72Bs to the advanced B3M standard, Uralvagonzavod deputy director Alexey Zharich told the Russian newspaper Izvestia.

The T-72B3M (T-72B4) will be upgraded with lot of new components including the new cannon 2A46M5 125-mm smoothbore gun as well as the new Sosna-U sighting system paired with the 1A40-4 fire-control system. The tank will also receive a new ballistic computer to increase accuracy.

Russian Airborne Forces to Receive T-72 Tanks: Here

Excerpt

The Russian Airborne Forces are set to form six armored companies equipped with newly modified T-72B3M tanks in the second half of 2016.

The Russian Airborne Forces (Vozdushno-desantnye voyska Rossii—or VDV) are set to form six armored companies equipped with newly modified T-72B3M (also known as the T-72B3 biathlon) tanks in the second half of 2016. Over the next two years, those six companies will be expanded to battalion strength.

“The Russian Airborne Forces will start setting up tank companies armed with T-72B3 tanks in the second half of the year,” a Russian defense ministry source told the Moscow-based TASS News Agency. “They will be expanded into tank battalions within the next two years.”

Upgraded T-72B3 MBT wil be the backbone of tank companies of Russian Airborne Forces: Here

Excerpt

Upgraded T-72B3 main battle tanks (MBT) will be the backbone of the tank companies being formed by the Russian Airborne Force, according to the Gazeta.ru news portal. The tank companies will receive upgraded T-72B3s. According to Uralvagonzavod Director General Oleg Siyenko, about 200 T-72B3s will have been delivered in 2016 alone. The upgraded tanks are fitted out with more powerful engines and add-on turret, bottom and side armor protection.

Upgraded T-72B3 shown in Victory Day Parade: Here

Excerpt

The upgraded T-72B3 were first seen during rehearsal for the Victory Day Parade which has increased protection than the standard T-72B3 featuring 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.

T-72B3 at Kadamovski Range

T-72B3 column on the way to shooting range, Zapad-2017 military exercises

 

T-72B4_T-72B3M_main_battle_tank_MBT_Russia_Russian_army_military_equipment_defense_industry_details_001Independent commander’s PK PAN sight

The most notable upgrade is the stabilized, panoramic, independent commander’s PK PAN sight with integrated thermal viewer, thought to have similar specifications to the Sosna-U. This gives the tank the ability to engage targets in the “hunter-killer” mode. Source wikipedia.org

2A46M5 125-mm smoothbore gun

2A46M5 125-mm smoothbore gun (the lower cannon) @bastion-opk.ru

The T-72B3M will be equipped with an independent panoramic sight for the tank’s commander, with its own thermal imaging device. (See above)

U sighting system paired with the 1A40-4 fire-control system for gunnerSosna-U installation in a T-72 tank @vsr.mil.bySosna-U installation in a T-72 tank @vsr.mil.bySosna-U installation in a T-72 tank @vsr.mil.by

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.

“Classic” ERA from the USSR and Russia 4S22 (Kontakt-5)

It’s good to start describing “Nozh” with a point of reference first – for example heavy reactive armor types designed in the USSR/Russia, 4S22 (Kontakt-5) and 4S23 (Relikt). The overall working principle of every classic ERA is similar – it’s based on movement of metal elements of the ERA cassette caused by an explosion of reactive elements , this inflicts side stress disrupting the cumulative jet from a HEAT round or bending (optimally breaking) of an incoming KE penetrator. This overall principle is realized by different cassette’s structure. First, let’s look how Kontakt-5 ERA provides protection for Object 188 (T-90S tank).

LiveLeak-dot-com-c47_1421699338-rys1_1421699550

4S22 Kontakt-5 scheme. Dark blue – external hardened metal
plate, violet – elements preventing the explosive inserts from moving, light
green – explosive inserts, light blue – cassette’s back plate and mounting
points. The explosive inserts are shown below the scheme. All pictures belong
to the author if not stated otherwise.

Supremacy of Soviet armor?

The introduction of heavy Kontakt-5 ERA in 1987 caused a gap between the capabilities of NATO’s rounds and the armor of Soviet tanks. From theoretical point of view APFSDS and tandem HEAT warheads capable of penetrating heavy ERA were introduced in 1992-1994 thus creating an almost 6 year disproportion between the Soviet “shield” and the NATO’s “sword”. Another fact worth noting is that the basic armor of Soviet tanks was already largely immune to APFSDS rounds, majority of RPG’s and some ATGM’s warheads. A good example is the basic armor of the hull and turret of the export version of Object 478B (T-80UD from 1991) including both steel and ceramic elements it is over 620 mm RHA vs APFSDS and over700 mm RHA vs HEAT. By adding Kontakt-5 ERA the protection level is further increased – especially against HEAT warheads. Similar high protection is for T-72B model 1989 when the sum of only passive hull armor elements gives over 600 mm RHA vs APFSDS.

Presented situation was theoretically very dangerous for western AT rounds but it was lowered by few factors – rather large weak zones in the frontal armor and not thick enough coverage by ERA cassettes. In reality every tank has various weak zones which can be penetrated by older ammo. In case of T-72 family these are: gun mantled, gun mounting area, coaxial MG, turret roof, commander’s observation copula, turret ring and the lower hull glacis.

These weak zones are shown in a résumé of an article printed in the internal bulletin
of the Armored Forces of the USSR. The article states about advantages of tanks
with welded turrets in terms of better crew survivability. What’s important is
that T-72B (Object 184) was used as a reference point and its weak zones were
presented.

T-72B weak zones

The areas marked in red were considered weak zones and could be
penetrated by 3BM26 APFSDS which was introduced in 1984 and penetrates 380-410
mm RHA at 2000 m for 90 degree sloped target. The marked areas were penetrated
by this projectile from:

– driver’s hatch – 1700 m,
– turret roof – 3700 m,
– commander’s copula – 3900 m,
– gun mantled, gun mounting area and coaxial MG – 1650 m

LiveLeak-dot-com-c47_1421699338-rys3i4_1421699540Photo : Vitajin Kuzmin.
T-72B3 tank. Green – area protected by the Kontakt-5 ERA, red – “weak
zones” from the Bulletin of the Armored Forces from 1991. Except for a small
portion of the roof the areas do not cover each other almost at all. Photo : Vitajin Kuzmin. @liveleak.com Written by : militarysta  Translated by : Bzdziuchanson

Relikt explosive reactive armor

Relikt consist of single explosive tile, sandwiched between 2 plates. At event of hit, explosive detonates and “push” plates in opposite directions. And thats all, there is no second explosive charge. IIRC NII Stali noted that there is a sort of damper layer on armor itself (between ERA main part and armor plate of a tank), to soften up a force from second (“inner”) plate hit. @sturgeonshouse.ipbhost.com

New Relikt explosive reactive armor @sturgeonshouse.ipbhost.com

Nozh offers slightly higher protection than Kontakt-5 against some warheads simply because K-5 module have 0.5 kg of explosives, while one block of Nozh is filled with ~2 kg of explosives. Relikt also have about same amount of explosive filler, but Nozh is mounted directly on tank armor, while Relkit is mounted at some distance, with second inner plate and damper mounted on armor plate to protect it from damage by ERA detonation. @sturgeonshouse.ipbhost.com

Furthermore, the upgraded version will be powered with the new V-92S2F engine and deliver 1,130 hp. It will replace the old 780-hp diesel engine. The new engine is paired with an automatic transmission system and improved drivetrain to improve the tank’s mobility. @armyrecognition.com

Modernized tank t-72B (t-72B3 with additional options). MILEX 2014

Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014

Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (вариант Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями) – Modernized tank t-72B (option t-72B3 with additional options).

V-92S2F engine 

Основные новинки представленного танка заключаются в двигателе (1160 л.с. с автоматом переключения передач), новом панорамном прицеле командира с лазерным дальномером (ВОМЗ), установке телевизионной камеры заднего обзора на кормовом листе корпуса танка и ряде других усовершенствований. –  The main novelties introduced by the tank are in the engine (1160 HP with automatic gear), new panoramic Commander’s sight with laser rangefinder (VOMZ), installing rearview camera on the tank hull fitted sheet and a number of other improvements.

Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014

Решение весьма неудачное, т.к. полностью препятствует усилению бортов динамической защитой – Log an unditching beam placed on the right side (on-the-go tank) in connection with the installation of the rear view camera. The decision is very unfortunate, because it prevents the strengthening boards dynamic protection.

Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014

Установка ДЗ на башне аналогична Т-72Б3. У наводчика установлен многоканальный прицел «Сосна-У» разработанный белорусским ОАО «пеленг». Прицел не уступает уровню современных мировых аналогов. – Installation of the DMZ on the tower is similar to the t-72B3. Gunner installed multi-channel sight “Pine-u” developed by Belarusian JSC “Peleng”. The sight is not inferior to the level of modern analogues.

Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014

Установка ДЗ «Контакт-5» на ВЛД. На первом (слева) фото видна установка ДЗ, вся верхняя плита носового узла корпуса не прикрыта. Чем думали конструкторы УКБТМ при создании такой конструкции остается загадкой. На фото справа крышка для установки элементов ДЗ с установленной резиновой прокладкой. – Setting DMZ “contact-5” on VFD. The first (left) photo visible installation of the DMZ, the whole top plate bow site not covered. Than thought FEDERAL designers when creating such a construction remains a mystery.
In the photo on the right cover for RS installation with installed rubber gasket.

Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014

На фото виден панорамный прицел командира. Удивляет небрежность изготовления, которую читатели могут увидеть на фото по торчащим проводам и платам. – In the photo visible commander panoramic sight. Surprising negligence of manufacturing, which readers can see in the photo of filmmaker Theo van Gogh wire and boards.

Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014

На кормовом листе установлена видеокамера заднего обзора с открывающейся дистанционно шторкой. Можно предположить, что место выбрано крайне неудачное и объектив будет загрязнен весьма быстро. – The aft sheet rear view camera is installed with an opening shutter remotely. It can be assumed that the place chosen is extremely unfortunate and lens will dirty very quickly.
Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014
Модернизированный танк Т-72Б (Т-72Б3 с дополнительными опциями). MILEX 2014
В танке применяется новая моторно-трансмиссионная установка с двигателем мощностью 1160 л.с. и автоматом переключения передач. – In a new tank power pack with an engine capacity of 1160 HP and automatic gear shift.
Source World of tank Розыгрыши танков
Updated Sep 18, 2017
t-72b3m
Advertisements

21 thoughts on “New upgraded T-72B3M/B4 MBT will enter in service with Russian army

  1. Ed Win

    (” But this post was for the T-72B3M/B4 “)

    “T72B3M/B4” is not a title of the tank. Its know as EITHER a T72B3M or a T72B4, Sputniknews is the official state sponsored media and they clearly acknowledge it.
    https://sputniknews.com/military/201705151053640106-russia-t-72b3-tank/

    The tanks you featured here DO NOT have Relikt ERA, slat grilles or extra modules of Relikt fitted to the side turret. ONLY the “2017 T72B3M”, also know as the “B4” are in service. EVERYTHING ELSE before the “2017 model” is an experimental platform or experimental name.

    Sorry, your title may have been correct but the photos show your post is out of date and provides inaccurate information.

    Like

    Reply
    1. nonothai Post author

      See date of post it was posted in 2016 way before the new T-72B3M and the source was actually here http://www.armyrecognition.com/march_2016_global_defense_security_news_industry/new_upgraded_t-72b3m_main_battle_tank_also_called_t-72b4_will_enter_in_service_with_russian_army_12003162.html So what you are saying is the later post that I provided the link for in my prior reply. And sorry because my title came before the current T-72B3M was conceived

      Like

      Reply
  2. Friend of Charles

    Hello, thank you for not removing my comment.

    [“I think the problem is naming of the models I still believe it is called T-723M/B4 because I saw pics of them being modified in the factory with the commanders sight not one but many and certainly not for the “biathlon tank”.]

    This is what I have said all along, I too believe they were named “B3M” or “B4” in the earlier stages between:

    (2014 biathlon “tanks”)
    https://gyazo.com/9e48da42441a1b5a081b4a84d034dc43
    https://gyazo.com/e2b36d15f1a54d9612f058f3e6677e0b

    (2015 Army show games) 18 tanks built of which 12 competed, 6 for reserve.
    READ PRINT in SCREEN SHOT
    https://gyazo.com/751b2bf8eda285e24ec75ccf0d01144c

    However those “tanks” were either “experimental”(2014 biathlon) or “prototypes”(Army show games2015), your own provided link confirms it (http://russia-insider.com/en/military/how-russian-army-will-get-hundreds-new-mean-tanks-just-230000-pop/ri13394 ) – “developed specifically for the 2015 ‘International Army Games”

    I dont read “specifically” for Armed Forces”, you?

    Russian state media proves the latest modification “accepted for service” of T72B3M (2016/17) has the Relikt ERA/turret module ERA/slat grilles. Its not to say the (optional) PK PAN sight couldn’t be fitted to a command tank,YES??

    The PK PAN “falcon eye” was introduced during the 2014 Biathlon period, “possibly” due to the fact the competing Chinese tanks were able to demonstrate better on the move firing than the “basic” T72B + T72B3. The Russians may of wanted to show they too had the tech (from T90AM/MS) to compete, despite the fact they still won without. Check out this video:

    Like

    Reply
    1. nonothai Post author

      Thanks for the info but as I mentioned earlier there is still confusion in the typing of the Russian tanks I cannot change it until it’s official that this is not the T-72B3M/4B. As you mentioned and also my other post the T-72B3M is not the T-72B3M/4B that is the problem until the Russian name it the T-72B3M/4B with no PK sight than I will change the title. As for now I still consider it as a different model. But as you rightly say it seems that currently the Russian are upgrading the T-72B3M and in the end there might be no T-72B3M/4B put into service.

      Like

      Reply
      1. Ed Win

        Further proof the “2017 T72B3M” is the only real model EXCEPTED INTO SERVICE. note the paragraph acknowledges a better “sight for the tank commander”.

        “Recently fielded by the Russian army, the T-72B3M is an updated variant of the T-72.
        Reports indicate it incorporates advances including reactive armor, enhanced communication, better mine protection, more compatibility with advanced projectiles and a better sight for the tank commander. Russian media reported that the Russian Defense Ministry purchased several hundred T-72B3M tanks, receiving the initial 20 earlier this year”

        http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/design/eighteen-countries-have-been-invited-to-compete-in-gigantic-battle-of-the-tanks-in-russia/news-story/8038b98822fdbe365c2c9fb2e4a35693

        remove post if you cant accept it.

        Like

      1. Ed Win

        You only to need to ADD the photos of the “2017 T73B3M” to your article, then its correct.

        By doing this you are showing the “evolution” right up to the IN SERVICE platforms.

        Your article will become one of very few that have accurate information.

        Like

  3. Pounce the Cat

    Morning,
    I was of the impression that the latest iteration of the T72BM (as showcased in April) had additional ERA fitted in that huge gap on the Turret:
    http://www.vitalykuzmin.net/Military/Rehearsal-in-Alabino-05April2017/i-h3bw7KM/A
    http://www.vitalykuzmin.net/Military/Rehearsal-in-Alabino-05April2017/i-CVX5Z63/A
    The above 2 high Qual photos are by Vitaly Kuzmin which explain fully what I mean
    His blog is here
    http://www.vitalykuzmin.net

    Like

    Reply
    1. nonothai Post author

      Thanks I understand what you mean it is a T-72B3 mod but my post is about T-72B3/B4 and I would guess that they would apply the same mod armor to the T-72B3/B4 shortly as it is suppose to be a better tank. Please check article http://russia-insider.com/en/military/how-russian-army-will-get-hundreds-new-mean-tanks-just-230000-pop/ri13394 and thanks again. But I really don’t know that they may have saved money by not adding the commanders sights.

      Like

      Reply
      1. Friend of Charles

        Using your 2016 article from “Russia-insider” quote:

        “The upgrade was developed from an experimental “biathlon tank” developed specifically for the 2015 ‘International Army Games”

        Means the T72B3M featured with in 2016/2017 Victory parades are the latest versions (Relikt/modular ERA/slat grilles).

        According to 2017 article from Sputniknews quote:

        “The T-72B3M, also known as the T-72B4”

        Not trying to be a smart-ass but your article and photos are dated. Possibly you’ll remove my comment like the last one but at least I know I’m not mistaken, thankyou.

        Like

      2. nonothai Post author

        I think the problem is naming of the models I still believe it is called T-723M/B4 because I saw pics of them being modified in the factory with the commanders sight not one but many and certainly not for the “biathlon tank”.

        Like

  4. charles m

    This is NOT The T72B4 or T72B3M.

    These are only the T72B3 models. B4 or B3M have extra ERA modules on side rear turret, slat grille armor on rear turret. Slat grille armor side rear hull and rear hull. Russian army has just been issued with 20.

    Like

    Reply
      1. Charles M

        Hello,
        a) The T-72B3M, also known as the T-72B4, is an upgraded version of the T-72B3 which is the latest modernized version of the Russian-made main battle tank T-72. The T-72B3M is protected with the new Relikt explosive reactive armor. A new gun was added including an upgraded stabilization system and auto loader. It was showcased during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9. – “Sputniknews – Russia’s 1st Tank Army Receives New Batch of Modernized T-72B3 Tanks”

        b) Pictures from 2014 in “this article” indicate it is a T72B3, even with PK PAN sight.
        https://gyazo.com/1b395c9a4487500a49c817ac8921e2e8

        c) Most of the source information on the link you provided are Western based as opposed to State funded media, Sputnik.

        d) Google and translate: http://bastion-karpenko.ru/nov_publikacii_2017-9/ , or read the screen shot. Again, a Russian source.
        https://gyazo.com/a9184e313af34ce28bc4e471f2901f95

        Like

      2. Charles M

        Your welcome,

        Please note the T72B3 shown with (optional) PK PAN sight (Falcon Eye) was installed on “specially designed” T72B3M “racing” tanks that performed in the 2014 International Tank Biathlon in Alabino. Then the “T72B3M” was shown at the “2015 Army Forum” by manufacturer
        Uralvagonzavod, however these were more likely the lead up to the true T72B3M fitted with Relikt ERA/turret module ERA/slat grilles and only shown for the first time in Victory Parade 2016.

        So yes, your “prototype” tanks may have been called “B3M” at some stage, however in 2016/2017 they are not the “latest version”

        Like

    1. nonothai Post author

      Hi I checked some of the Russian websites and found out that the T-72 with the Independent commander’s PK PAN sight is called the T-72B3m/4B. Therefore, the T-72B3M must be the upgraded T-72B3.

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s