Ukrainian T-72AMT tank with placed M2 Browning instead of the NSVT

A photo on Telegram shows a Ukrainian T-72AMT tank with an American-made Browning .50 heavy machine gun, also known as the M2, mounted on its turret. The original heavy machine gun on the T-72AMT is the T-64BV-style machine gun – the NSVT.

Ukrainian T-72AMT tank with placed M2 Browning instead of the NSVT
Photo credit: Telegram

The Soviet NSVT heavy machine gun and the American M2 Browning heavy machine gun are both powerful weapons commonly used in military operations. While they share similarities in terms of their purpose and design, there are several key differences between them. One major difference is the ammunition they use.

Main differences

The NSVT fires the 12.7x108mm round, while the M2 Browning fires the .50 BMG [12.7x99mm] round. The .50 BMG round is slightly longer and has a higher muzzle velocity, giving the M2 Browning a longer effective range compared to the NSVT.

Ukrainian T-72AMT tank with placed M2 Browning instead of the NSVT
Photo credit: XY

Another difference lies in their rate of fire. The NSVT has a cyclic rate of around 600-700 rounds per minute, whereas the M2 Browning has a cyclic rate of around 450-600 rounds per minute. This means that the NSVT can fire more rounds in a minute, potentially providing a higher volume of fire. However, the M2 Browning’s slightly slower rate of fire allows for better accuracy and control, especially during sustained fire.

The M2 Browning heavy machine gun is often considered superior to the NSVT due to its overall reliability and durability. The M2 Browning has a well-established reputation for its robustness and ability to function in various environmental conditions.

M2 is better than NSVT

Ukrainian T-72AMT tank with placed M2 Browning instead of the NSVT
Photo credit: Reddit

It has been widely used by the U.S. military and its allies for decades, proving its reliability in combat situations. On the other hand, the NSVT, while still a reliable weapon, may not have the same level of proven performance and durability as the M2 Browning.

Additionally, the M2 Browning offers more versatility in terms of its mounting options. It can be mounted on various platforms such as vehicles, aircraft, and naval vessels, making it a highly adaptable weapon. The NSVT, on the other hand, is primarily used as a vehicle-mounted weapon and may not have the same level of flexibility in terms of deployment.

M2 for Ukraine

One of the major suppliers of M2 Browning heavy machine guns is the United States, which provides a significant number of M2 Brownings. The deliveries from the United States began in 2015 and continued throughout the conflict.

Other countries that delivered M2 Browning heavy machine guns to Ukraine include Canada, which provided support in the form of military aid. Among the suppliers of M2 Browning for Ukraine are Poland, Lithuania, and Italy.

One of the first countries that decided to supply Ukraine with M2 Browning heavy machine guns was Italy. Rome made the delivery decision four days after the start of the Russian invasion, on February 28, 2022.

In this decision, in addition to the mentioned weapon, Rome decided to supply Kyiv with Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, Spike anti-tank missiles, MG machine guns, and ammunition.

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