Romania to donate T-72 main battle tanks and spare parts to Ukraine

According to information published by the Romanian Ministry of Defense, on April 19, 2022, Romania could donate T-72 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) and spare parts to Ukraine.
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Romania will donate Soviet-made T-72 main battle tanks to Ukraine. (Picture source Wikimedia)

After, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovenia, Romania would be the 4th eastern country to provide Soviet-made main battle tanks to Ukraine. The Ukrainian army could easily integrate this type of tank within these mechanized units which mainly use combat vehicles of Russian origin.

On February 27, 2022, Romania had already announced a military aid of €3 million to Ukraine including fuel, bullet-proof vests, helmets, munitions, and other military equipment. Bucharest's Defense Ministry also announced that 11 Romanian military hospitals were also ready to take in wounded Ukrainians.

According to the Military Balance 2021, the Romanian army has a total of 400 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) including 243 T-55AM, 103 TR-85, and 54 TR-85M1. Romanian army does not use the T-72 MBT, and according to information published on Twitter by OSINTdefender, the 28 T-72s that Romania has in storage were bought from Israel which captured the tanks during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. The tanks are all in various levels of decay with only 5 reportedly being operational, but could most likely be repaired by Ukraine or used for parts.

The T-72 is a Soviet-made main battle tank that entered service with the Russian army in 1975. It made its first public appearance during a military parade held in Red Square, Moscow, in November 1977.The design of the T-72 is standard for a main battle tank with the driver is seated at the front center of the hull, the turret in the middle of the hull, and the powerpack at the rear. The T-72 is armed with one 125 mm (2A46) smoothbore gun fitted with a light-alloy thermal sleeve and a bore evacuator. It can fire three main types of ammunition including APFSDS (Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot) with a maximum range of 2,100 m, HEAT-FS (High-Explosive Anti-Tank) with a maximum direct fire range of 4,000 m and HE-FRAG(FS) (High Explosive Fragmentation) with a maximum indirect fire range of 9,400 m.

In 1979, Romania purchased 30 T-72 tanks from Russia to develop a local variant under the designation of TR-125 which has many new improvements including a French diesel engine and a new turret. It was fitted with additional armor and new suspension. It keeps the original 125mm main armament.