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Czech Army's T-72M4 CZ approaches end of service life, plans for new MBT

The T-72M4 CZ has served in the Czech Army for 20 years and utilises locally built hulls coupled with additional explosive reactive armour, a new powerpack, a fire-control system, a commander panoramic sight, and an upgraded gunner sight, among other modifications. (Maulincio)

The Czech Army will develop plans to address the approaching obsolescence of its T-72M4 CZ main battle tank (MBT), Colonel Jan Kerdik, head of the land forces development division at the Czech Armed Forces, told SAE Media's Future Armoured Vehicles Central and Eastern Europe 2023 conference in Prague.

The plans could see the transition to a new type of MBT for the Czech Army, Col Kerdik said.

The Czech Armed Forces, which is estimated to have 30 T-72M4 CZ tanks in service, faces issues with obsolescence in particular components and a desire for modernisation that will push the T-72M4 CZ out of service in the coming years. Previous modernisation efforts announced in 2018 were aimed at delaying obsolescence-related issues only until 2025. Coupled with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, there is a strong desire to re-arm Czech tank forces.

The Czech Army, which received 14 Leopard 2A4 tanks in October 2022 under the Berlin-Prague arms swap, will likely aim to replace its T-72M4 CZ fleet with NATO-interoperable MBTs.

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