More than 50 modernized T-72 main battle tanks will be put in service with mechanized infantry brigades of the 35th Army, deployed in Russia’s Far East, by the end of 2013, a spokesman for the Eastern Military District said Wednesday. “The army will receive over 50 new T-72B1 tanks by the end of the year,” Lt. Col. Alexander Gordeyev said. He said the first shipment of new tanks will be delivered directly from tank-manufacturing plants ithis month.
The T-72B1 is a much improved version of the T-72 main battle tank, featuring a new engine and main gun, additional armor protection and advanced fire control system among other improvements, which makes its characteristics comparable to those of a more modern T-90 tank. The main gun, an upgraded 125-mm smoothbore 2A46M, has improved performance characteristics and uses ammunition with increased armor-penetrating capability.