See what Ukraine modifies on the Polish-supplied T-72M1R tanks

KYIV ($1=36.58 Ukrainian Hryvnias) — Poland was one of the first countries to respond to the Ukrainian call for the supply of weapons after February 24. It is known that over 200 tanks were donated by Warsaw to Kyiv. The T-72M1R tank is one of the modifications that Ukraine carries out locally.

See what Ukraine modifies on the Polish-supplied T-72M1R tanks
T-72M1R, Twitter

A photo on the Internet reveals more about Ukrainian efforts on the tank. The first impression is the new Kontakt-1 explosive reactive armor [ERA]. It is a Soviet ERA, but the countries of the former socialist camp in Europe have many elements of it. The Czech Republic, for example, is one of the countries that supplied Ukraine with 4C20 explosive elements, which are part of Kontakt-1, back in May.

Kontakt-1 interacts with the cumulative energy of anti-tank missiles. Armor plays an essential role during and after the blast. Metal plates are at the base of the armor that cross the path of the cumulative jet during the penetration of the cumulative jet. Thus, the energy of the explosion is reduced.

See what Ukraine modifies on the Polish-supplied T-72M1R tanks
Kontakt-1 emulation, Twitter

Additional rubber sheet armor added to the turret/hull is also part of the Ukrainian modification. Exactly what its role is and whether it is effective remains a mystery, but experts say that the specifics of the war in Ukraine may be why these rubber protectors appeared. It is the characteristics of the battlefield that may be the reason for adding rubber sheet armor, because the same thing can be seen on the Russian T-90M and T-80BVM tanks. The mass addition of rubber pads to the ERA came only recently.

Slat armor to the rear of the turret is the next innovation that is noticeable on the photo. This “grille” also plays a role in reducing the cumulative energy effect of an anti-tank gun. Russia, for example, uses similar self-made grids above the tank dome to “harvest” the cumulative energy of drones or anti-tank missiles striking from above. However, this slat armor is also noticeable on other tanks. The T-64BV tank is the tank that most often uses such technology.

Last but not least, Ukraine has made other modifications that are not visible in the photo. Ukrainian sources claim that it is the Polish-supplied T-72M1R tanks that have received new surveillance systems. It is not only a question of day and night scopes, but also thermal cameras. Ukrainians say that additionally new means of communication have been installed. The tank has also received a new electronic engine start system. The engine of the T-72M1R has a power of 780 horsepower.

Currently, only Soviet-designed tanks are fighting in Ukraine. Ukrainian and Russian tanks are continuously modified, based on the requirements of the battlefield. As already mentioned, Poland is the country that supplied the most tanks to Ukraine. However, in addition to the T-72M1R model, Poland also delivered quantities of the T-72M1 model. Most likely, sources say, the T-72M1 has received a similar modification in recent months.


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