TechUkrainian Forces Seize Advanced Russian T-72B3 Tank in Donetsk Clash

Ukrainian Forces Seize Advanced Russian T‑72B3 Tank in Donetsk Clash

The tank that the Ukrainians captured from the Russians.
The tank that the Ukrainians captured from the Russians.
Images source: © Youtube | Militarny

6:14 AM EDT, April 8, 2024

Ukrainians destroyed a convoy of Russian military equipment near the village of Terna in the Donetsk region. The intense battles resulted in the defenders capturing some valuable equipment, a feat they proudly shared online. The 12th Special Purpose Brigade "Azov" seized a Russian T-72B3 tank with several advanced systems, including electronic warfare devices, mounted on the turret.

Despite efforts to protect the tank from drones using electronic warfare systems tied to it with ropes, soldiers from the 12th SPB "Azov" and the 95th Airborne Brigade were able to overcome the entire Russian column. The attackers had nowhere to hide and could not fend off the assault, forcing them to leave behind all their equipment.

As a result, Ukrainian forces acquired another prized asset. This time, as Defence Express reports, they captured one of the primary tanks of the T-72 family, albeit upgraded to the T-72B3 version. It's important to note that other captures have been reported recently in Ukraine, including the aggressor's army deploying T-80UE-1 tanks, which Ukrainians have had in their arsenal for at least two years (they seized four such tanks in spring 2022, a model of which only a few dozen exist).

Russian T-72B3 now under Ukrainian control

The T-72B3 model 2022, recently seized by the Ukrainians, represents an interesting case. It is an upgrade of the original T-72B but has slightly inferior parameters to the older T-72B3 model 2016. Defense Express revealed that this new T-72B3 was intended as a stopgap to the main T-90A tank until the T-14 Armata was ready to be introduced to the Russian Federation's army.

In discussing the features of this prevalent Russian tank model, it's essential to highlight the Sosna-U sight, which encompasses an automatic target tracking system and third-generation thermal imaging technology provided by Thales' Catherine-FC (notably, the Sosna-U sight was absent in the T-72B3 captured by the 18th SPB). These updates are among the most critical modifications to these variants, as the engine and reactive armor remain unchanged from the T-72. However, according to journalist Przemysław Juraszek from Wirtualna Polska, in some cases, the older Kontakt-1 reactive armor blocks were upgraded to the more advanced Kontakt-5.

This Russian design employs the 2A45M-5 cannon with stabilization and an upgraded ammunition carousel. Unfortunately, these improvements have compromised the tank's side armor, as the manufacturer had to carve out space inside for the new automatic loading system, resulting in thinner armor.

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