On 11 December, the Kharkov Morozov Design Bureau released details of a new upgrade for the T-72 main battle tank coinciding with the bureau’s 80th anniversary.
Designated the T-72MP, the new vehicle appears to feature many of the upgrades developed for the T-72-120, which has a NATO standard 120 mm gun. The modernisation is the result of multinational co-operation and it is known that Ukraine worked with France to provide elements of the upgrade.
The 45.5-tonne T-72MP is powered by a 6TD-2 diesel engine developed and built in Ukraine that provides the vehicle with a power-to-weight ratio of 21hp/tonne and a top speed of 65 km/h. It gives the vehicle a minimum air-filter maintenance interval of 1,000 km and the ability to operate in temperatures up to 55°C.
The T-72MP carries nearly four tonnes of additional armour over the base T-72, which consists of a block of explosive reactive armour (ERA) on the glacis and arrow-shaped ERA on the turret. The armour is likely to be the Nozh system developed in Ukraine and could potentially provide the equivalent of 1,450 mm of rolled homogenous armour on the front of the turret.
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