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T-72 Main Battle Tank by DarkWizard83 T-72 Main Battle Tank by DarkWizard83
First deployed in 1971, the T-72 main battle tank was the latest in the line of Soviet tank design, and was intended to replace the aging T-54/55 tank as well as the T-62. It was also the tank that made a number of design features standard for future Russian tank design, such as the 125mm main gun and its automatic loader, as well as a comprehensive NBC protection system. Otherwise, the T-72 is a more or less typical design, and exemplifies the Russian tank philosophy of simple, easy to maintain and cheap to build vehicles that are to be used in mass attack.

In combat, the T-72 has so far proven to be no match for heavy Western battle tanks such as the US Abrams or British Challenger, with those that have engaged being completely mauled for no Abrams or Challenger losses. However, it has been pointed out that the T-72 should not totally be dismissed, as it was meant to be used as a mass attack weapon, and not a vehicle built for head to head combat. Further, some have argued that since many of the T-72 users who went into combat against Western MBTs were only using downgraded export versions with poorly trained and demoralized crews, there has been no real head-to-head use to judge the tank's effectiveness.

Widely exported, the T-72 has seen combat in Lebanon, the Iran-Iraq war, the Indo-Pakistan conflicts, Persian Gulf War and Yugoslav civil war. Many users of the T-72 have also mass produced the vehicle under liscense and with their own modifications, such Poland (PT-91), Iraq (Assad Babyl), and the former Yugoslavia (M-84).

T-72 MBT Vehicle Stats:
Type: Main battle tank
Manufacturer: Uralvagonzavod
First deployed: 1971

Crew: 3
Length: 9.24 m
Width: 4.75 m
Height: 2.37 m
Weight: 44.5 tons

Armor: Estimated 400mm
Armament, primary: 1 x 125mm 2A46M/D-81T smooth-bore gun
Armament, secondary: 1 x 7.62mm PKMT machinegun, 1 x 12.7mm DShK AA machinegun
Ammo stowage, primary: 45 rounds
Ammo stowage, secondary: 2,000 rounds 7.62mm, 300 rounds 12.7mm

Powerplant: V-46 480hp V-12 diesel engine
Max speed: 80 km/h
Max range: 480km

Operators: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Bulgaria, CIS, Croatia (M-84), Cuba, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, India, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait (M-84), Libya, Malaysia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Syria, Ukraine, former Yugoslavia (M-84).
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buried-legacy Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2018
Great shot. 
JDayton Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2018
Bartun Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2016
Indeed, the T-72 was highly respected due to it's armor and firepower, they proved superior to Western tanks like Chieftain and M60 during the Iran-Irak war, but were not a match for M1 Abramas and Challengers during the Desert Storm. Mostly because they were downgraded versions with poorly-trained crews, but test made on fully-capable soviet-build T-72 tanks showed that they were indeed very capable and an even match for Western tanks.

Nice shot by the way! :thumbsup:
Enforcer57 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
One brought home from Iraq. Ft. Stewart was a neat place after the Gulf War.
KGN2 Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015
Hey! I Was sitting on it, when i was kid!!!
SirMauser Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2015  Student General Artist
I think this tank would have been better off with a separate loading, manual breach operated gun. Autoloaders are a nice idea, but seeing you can only fire so many rounds in one drum, the second it runs out you are pretty much defenseless to enemy fire.
sdal Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2015
44.5 tons + 450hp = 80 km/h
TheArtecko Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I used this tank here -…
Crona27 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2012
What another beautiful piece of Russian Engineering! I really think they deserve more credit. Back in World War 2 they made things that were ahead of their time. 2 which i remember specifically. 1. The T34 Tank
2. The PPsh submachine gun. Both were ahead of their time.
Soundwave3591 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012
they weren't necessarily ahead of their time: they were simply better at what they did. for all it's benefits (armor, speed, firepower) the T-34 had plenty of faults. many of the ones the Germans captured intact were due to mechanical failures.

the Ppsh was actually less refined than such weapons as the MP-40: although stamped steel was more modern than other weapons of the time, such as the American Thompson, it still used a wooden stock and rifle ergonomics, the same as the MP-18 of 1918.

the Katyusha, on the other hand...THAT was ahead of it's time. Stalin's Organ FTW!
Crona27 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012
but every machine has its mechanical failures. I think very highly of the Russians. AK-47's are really nice. they became so popular when they were first introduced.. they can be found all over the world now. Theyre also in practically every shooter type videogame now... theres even a russian gun company in the Borderlands games.. 1 and 2 (2 was just recently released) theyre called Vladof
Soundwave3591 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012
they're also nigh-indestructible.
for instance: a tour group in Vietnam recently found an AK that had been left in the jungle since the war. while examining it, the weapon went off, rapid-fire.
after at least 35 years sitting in the jungle, the weapon still operated.
buried-legacy Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2018
Indeed those thing were built to be indestructible. No matter the circumstances. Hell i heard of two us soldiers in nam stumbling acriss a dead Vietcong soldier with a mud and bloody intrail coverd so they removed the ak and much to there suprise the weapon fired. 
Josh01699 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2012
The crew of the T-72 had to be at a maximum of 5'4 or else they would be too tall to fit inside this hunk of crap lol.
PAPOIUPAM Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2011
I've once heard the T-72 called the "Devil's Tank" because of the propensity of the auto-loaders to maul its crews...
buried-legacy Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2018
Yeah. Not exatly the safest tank to operate.
renjikuchiki1 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2011  Student General Artist
greatest tank ever made/designed in my opinion
Mine would have to be a tie between the mirkava tank and the m551 Sheridan.
JonCatalan Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2007   Photographer
It's not proven if Cuba has T-72s. The T-72 became the Soviet Union's most fielded medium tank simply because of the price of the tank and ease of manufacture - as compared to the T-64 and T-80, reserved for elite Soviet tank forces.

Volhv, the T-72s used by Syria were using top-of-the-line Soviet ammunition in 1982, and had added armor to the turret glacis plate. However, these were penetrated by Israeli 105mm HETZ rounds - and this was proven when captured HETZ rounds were fired at Kubinca. The armor of the T-72 was subsequently improved, but so did Israeli and American 105mm ammunition (and later 120mm ammunition).

But, there's no doubt that Iraqi T-72s were largely obsolete by the Persian Gulf War - Iraqi T-72s are not the same as modernized Soviet/Russian T-72s; although these are largely obsolete, as well. The T-72 cannot achieve the same armor perforation as U.S. tanks, not because round technology is different, but because the length of the penetrator is maximized by two things:

1. Short length of the breech.
2. Use of two-part ammunition.

Interesting enough, Kuwaiti M-48s supposedly were found to be more accurate as compared to U.S. M1A1s (not sure which version) - but at the time they were using top-of-the-line European (not Russian) electronics.
Volhv Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2007
"It was also the tank that made a number of design features standard for future Russian tank design, such as the 125mm main gun and its automatic loader, as well as a comprehensive NBC protection system."

----All this was already made for the T-64 tank, and not for the T-72. The T-72 was in the first line cheaper to build than anything else. Thatís why the tank was sold in so many countries.
"In combat, the T-72 has so far proven to be no match for heavy Western battle tanks such as the US Abrams or British Challenger, with those that have engaged being completely mauled for no Abrams or Challenger losses."

------T -72 had his fights with a "western" M1A1, M1A2 and the MBT2 Challenger only in the Iraq wars. It was able to hit the allied armour, but the Iraqis had 20 years old ammunition that couldnít penetrate it. The 125mm main gun can fire better ammunition but ask Saddam why it was not available.
Apoc-OC Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2007
Have they done a cut-away on the rear of the turret?

It's got a strange sharp edge on the left - I thought the soviets tended to go for smooth all-round for deflection...?

The interior of the turret would be radically smaller if that 's how it is manufactured...
Sovatski Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2007
normally, it is smooth all around with a couple of external storage box looking things, this pic has been edited...
open-flanker Featured By Owner May 31, 2006
Great history on the tank. We saw one that the SAAF Mirages had taken out in Angola.
DarkWizard83 Featured By Owner May 31, 2006
Soviet armor - cannon fodder for the world. :P
BlackTyrannomon Featured By Owner May 31, 2006
T-72: A-10 fodder
DarkWizard83 Featured By Owner May 31, 2006
Indeed. :D
MarkSYNTHESIS Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2009
Hah, for an A-10.....any tank would be fodder. And it's no the only one.

M1A2: MiG-27 fodder.

The lesson is to NOT be in a tank if a tank-hunting aircraft is near...
RBL-M1A2Tanker Featured By Owner May 30, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! For once a vehicle at Aberdeen that isn't going to crap!

Some of your information is a bit off man. The T-72 wasn't the latest in Soviet design. That was a tank made specifically for export, while the T-64 was to be their MBT, and has never been exported. They had troubles with the 64 though, and for whatever reason, the 72 became their the same time that a new MBT was designed and fielded, the T-80.

As an export vehicle, it's been just as successful as the T-544/55 was, with several countries having liscense to build them in country.

I could go on, but only if you're interested. :)
MarkSYNTHESIS Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2009
Plus, it's an older generation of tank, intended to go up against tanks like the M60 Patton, I believe. Of course, you fight the battles you are presented with, not the ones you choose..or...something. They did not do very well against M60 Patton tanks in the Iraq War either.

From what I've gathered, the same Iraqi T-72s ripped apart Iranian M48 Patton Tanks in that earlier war. Of course, those M48s were in such poor shape, it was never really a contest for the Iraqis.

*goes on and on, blabbering pointlessly*

It's a good photograph, captures the tank itself very well.
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Submitted on
May 30, 2006
Image Size
713 KB


222 (who?)

Camera Data

PENTAX Corporation
PENTAX Optio 50
Shutter Speed
3310/1000000 second
Focal Length
7 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jan 8, 2006, 3:27:12 PM