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Belarus signs contract with Russia for additional T-72B3s

Belarus has signed a contract with Uralvagonzavod for the modernisation of 11 T-72B main battle tanks (MBTs) to the T-72B3 standard, according to a 25 June statement released from the Belarusian Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The press statement says the contract was signed as a result of a meeting at the Army 2019 exhibition held in Kubinka, Russia, from 25–30 June, and that the vehicles will be delivered between now and next year.

The press release adds that a contract was also signed with Russian aircraft manufacturer Irkut, covering the installation of Talisman self-protection systems onto Belarusian Yak-130 aircraft.

The T-72B3 is an economical upgrade designed to turn older T-72 MBTs into a viable platform for the modern battlespace. It provides the vehicle with a Sosna-U sight that includes a thermal imaging channel as well as improved armour and a modestly improved 125 mm main gun.

Belarus has already received at least 24 T-72B3 obr.2016 vehicles, which have a more powerful engine and further improved armour over the T-72B3. It is unclear whether the vehicles referred to in the latest press release will be at this standard.

The Talisman system is designed to both detect and protect against hostile radio emissions and radar/IR-guided missile threats, according to Jane’s C4ISR & Mission Systems: Air.

The T-72B3 upgrade is designed to turn the basic T-72 into a modern fighting platform. This is mostly due to its Sosna-U sight that allows the vehicle to engage targets at 3,000 m using a thermal imager. (Russian MoD)

The T-72B3 upgrade is designed to turn the basic T-72 into a modern fighting platform. This is mostly due to its Sosna-U sight that allows the vehicle to engage targets at 3,000 m using a thermal imager. (Russian MoD)

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