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Soviet-era T-72 tanks transferred from NATO countries to Ukraine: Report

As the war with Russia enters a new phase, reports have emerged that the United States will mediate the transfer of T-72 tanks from NATO era stocks to Ukraine.

New York Times The potential relocation was first reported. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainians inherited many T-72s, but their troops supported the T-64s and T-80s alongside the T-72s. These tanks point down the Russian army’s own T-72 and other types of tanks, with hundreds of them rolling across the border nearly six weeks ago.

This is not the first report we have seen of this property, but the rumored and ultimately null transfer of the MiG-29 from Poland, which made headlines early in the war.We covered the plan, its complexity, and its ultimate demise with some stories you can find. here..

Photo credits should be read as VASILY MAXIMO V / AFP via Getty Images

The T-72 tank has already had a major impact on the Ukrainian conflict and both sides are using it. Here, the Russian separatist T-72 is watching.

This move, if accurate, undoubtedly represents an escalation of arms transfers to Ukraine. However, unlike fighters, which are at high risk of escalation and can only be moved by their own logistics efforts, main battle tanks are fully assembled and ready to cross national borders and drive by train, truck, or self. ..

More importantly, NATO’s inventory has far more T-72s than Soviet-era fighters. The MiG-29 is a front-line fighter in Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia and needs to be backfilled to maintain the capabilities of these air forces. This is a major task. However, many NATO T-72 owners are either spare or actively replaced by more capable and much more modern Western tanks.


Some of the same players with the unlucky MiG-29 contract also have a T-72. Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia all operate tanks, some of which are stored.

Most of these are improved Soviet export models of the T-72M standard and are not exactly equivalent to the highly modernized T-72B3 version used by the Russian Army. Russia’s latest model features improved armor, fire control, and self-defense systems compared to older exports.But you will see the media avalanche Destroyed Russian tank As an indicator, Ukrainians are more than capable of removing Russian armor. Of those killings, the number of tank-to-tank killings is unknown.

The most obvious potential supplier is Poland. Its army is equipped with nearly 400 T-72M1s as of 2020, all of which have been modernized. In addition to them, there are more than 200 Polish PT-91 Twardy tanks. The PT-91 features an improved digital fire control system, a unique Reactive Armor (ERA), and an improved power plant compared to the original T-72. Some PT-91s are newly built and some are upgraded from the T-72M1.

Polish modding

Polish T-72 seen during training.

Not only are there tanks for movement in Poland, but there are also replacement tanks along the way. Poland also operates 249 Leopard 2 tanks, most of which are 2A4 and 2A5 variations, with 250 orders. M1A2SEPv3 tank designed by the United StatesThe first one will arrive this year.

Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia all operate similar T-72M variants with some local changes. However, no one has more than 100 active units, only Bulgaria has considerable reserves and is reported to have 250 storage.But the Czech Republic is sending 56Pbv-501 Infantry Fighting VehicleIn a deal announced on April 1, they themselves upgraded the former East German BMP-1 to Ukraine.

BRFBlake / Wikicommons

Unlike Poland, these three have not yet purchased modernized Western tanks such as Abrams, Leopard and Challenger. But NATO leaders Rumored MiG-29s-for-F-16s Transaction, Use new tanks instead of supplying Ukraine with old tanks. However, it is unlikely that this will actually be necessary, as the large stock of Soviet-era armor is aging and increasing responsibilities over the years.

Hungary, like Poland, has considerable reserves, with about 130 T-72M1s inactive and 34 still in use. At the same time, they are waiting for the delivery of 44 Leopard 2A7s from Germany to replace some of the Soviet-era equipment, so both spare and replacement are at hand.However, despite these circumstances, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Oban A warmer relationship with Moscow Their transfer is less likely than in most NATO member countries.

Photo credits must read ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP via Getty Images

The Soviet Hungarian T-72 main battle tank will be operational on October 2, 2014, during a joint Hungarian-US military exercise near the village of Osuku in Hungary. From September 8th to October 17th, 2014, 1300 soldiers will participate.

The T-72 is a Ukraine-related option because of its availability, as well as its widespread use and ease of maintenance. The relatively simple design is highly supported in the field without advanced training, and Russia has already handed many T-72s into the hands of Ukraine. There are many others that are damaged, but they are still a good source of spare parts. Ukraine also has extensive experience in upgrading types locally. Thus, this already growing and easily strengthening sustainable force seems to be a very logical move.

Regardless of where the tanks came from or how they came into the hands of Ukraine, fresh armor is the final step in regaining south and eastern territories or blunting the oncoming Russian attacks in these areas. May form the backbone of a typical counterattack.

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