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T72 startup

T72 obsticle course

Crew: 3 

Combat Mass: 41,5 mt 

Armament: 125 mm 2A 46 (D-81TM) Smooth-Bore Gun; 7.62 mm PKT Machine-gun; 12,7 mm DshKM Machine-gun; 12 x 81 mm Smoke Grenade Launcher; 125 mm Ammunition: APFSDS/T; HEAT-FS/T; HE-FS; 

Engine: Model V46-6; V-12 Cyl; Liquid Cooled; Multi-fuel; Diesel; 575 kW (780 hp) at 2 000 r/min 

Transmission: Clutch - Mechanical; Multi Plate; Hydraulic Pressure Gearbox - Two units; Epicycle; Gear train; Five Pressure Clutches; Hydraulic Selection; 7 Fwd 1 Rev Steering - Tiller Bar; Pressure clutches; Hydraulic Pressure Brakes - Mechanical; Pressure clutches; Hydraulic pressure 

Fording: Unprepared 1,4 m - Prepared 5,5 m (Snorkel) 

Speed: Road 60 km/h - Cross Country 45 km/h 

Operating Range: (Without Additional Fuel Drums) Road 480 km - Cross Country 300 km 


Initial production of the T-72 tank began in 1972 at the Urals Military town of Nizhni Tagil in the USSR. It is the most widely deployed main battle tank of the current generation. The first country outside Europe to begin manufacturing the T-72 was India. They are presently (1993) producing the T-72 M I with some 900 tanks known as the ‘Ajeya’. Five variant designs were manufactured with the last USSR version being the T-72 BM. The T-72 variant manufactured in Poland and Czechoslovakia as the T-72 had no equivalent in the Soviet Army. Production in Poland was undertaken at the Bumarlabedy plant in Gliwice. The T-72 has seen combat in many recent conflicts, including the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the Iran Iraq war, the 1991 Gulf war and the Yugoslav Civil war. The T-72 M I on display is one of the two purchased by South Africa from Poland for evaluation. The evaluation trials ‘Operation Carbenet’ took place between 5 March and 18 May 1990. 

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