TechUkrainian soldiers hail Poland's PT-91 tanks for front-line superiority

Ukrainian soldiers hail Poland's PT‑91 tanks for front-line superiority

Ukrainians in a PT-91 Twardy tank
Ukrainians in a PT-91 Twardy tank
Images source: © X, @front_ukrainian
Mateusz Tomczak

7:28 AM EDT, May 23, 2024

In one of the Ukrainian TV stations, an interview was conducted with local soldiers about the PT-91 Twardy tanks. These machines were sent to the front from Poland and are proving to be very effective during clashes with the Russians. Which elements of the PT-91 Twardy's equipment, according to the Ukrainian soldiers, deserve the most recognition?

The PT-91 Twardy is a tank developed in the 1990s as a deep modernization of the Soviet T-72M1. It was primarily used by Poland and, to a lesser extent, by Malaysia, which purchased export variants of the PT-91M. It was only after the outbreak of war in Ukraine that the local army received the PT-91 Twardy as support from Poland.

The most important elements of PT-91 Twardy according to Ukrainians

One of the most significant changes compared to the original model is the use of ERAWA reactive armor in the Polish tank. This armor consists of blocks made of two armor plates with a small explosive charge between them. According to Ukrainian soldiers, this is the element that makes the PT-91 Twardy significantly superior to the T-72M1 in terms of durability and crew safety.

"If you compare it face to face with the Soviet T-72, the PT-91 Twardy has a much better chance of survival and victory in a duel," assessed one of the Ukrainian soldiers.

ERAWA is distinguished by the relatively small size of its blocks, allowing it to fit well over protected surfaces. This solution reduces the probability of penetrating the main armor of the tank by about 50-70% (in the case of a shaped charge).

Despite the use of ERAWA reactive armor, the PT-91 Twardy tank remains highly mobile. It is equipped with a more powerful engine (about 850 hp), which is also praised by the Ukrainians.

Previously, footage from the front showed that the PT-91 Twardy performs excellently even in very difficult terrain. On paved surfaces, the Polish tank can reach speeds of around 37 mph.

The PT-91 Twardy weighs just under 101,000 lbs. The main armament of this tank is a 125 mm cannon. In addition, the crew has two machine guns at their disposal: a 7.62 mm and a 12.7 mm. Importantly, the Polish tank is equipped with the DRAWA fire control system and the Obra self-defense system that uses smoke grenades.

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