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Ukraine received a total of 105 modernized T-72EA tanks from allies

According to Forbes on October 29, 2023, Ukraine received a total of 105 T-72EA Main Battle Tanks from its allies since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022. This includes the 15 units pledged by Denmark on October 26, 2023. The designation "EA" in the tank's name represents Excalibur Army, the Czech company responsible for the modernized variant of the Soviet-era T-72 tank.
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The Czech company Excalibur Army has undertaken a modernization project for Soviet-era T-72 tanks, resulting in the creation of the T-72EA variant. (Picture source: CSG Defence)

In recent years, the Czech company Excalibur Army has undertaken a modernization project for Soviet-era T-72 tanks, resulting in the creation of the T-72EA variant. The T-72EA represents an effort to address challenges faced by the original T-72 main battle tank (MBT), including improvements in firing abilities, mobility, and protection. Despite its low silhouette in comparison to more contemporary tanks, the T-72 still provides what is considered enhanced passive protection.

Excalibur Army sources its tanks from non-functional T-72 units within the mobilization stocks of former Warsaw Pact countries, specifically T-72M and T-72M1 models.

The production process involves systematic disassembly of the original tanks, meticulous inspection, selective component replacement, a comprehensive engine overhaul, and the integration of modernization components such as optics, wiring harnesses, and reactive armor. The efficiency of production is noteworthy, with one upgraded T-72EA unit completed every four days.

Retaining the foundational design elements of the original T-72, the T-72EA maintains a crew configuration consisting of three members: a driver, a commander, and a gunner.

Preserving the main armament of the T-72, the T-72EA tank is equipped with a 125 mm 2A46 cannon coupled to an automatic loading system, capable of carrying 24 ready-to-use projectiles. Complementing the primary armament is a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun mounted to the right of the main cannon. Notably, the incorporation of Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) on the turret roof has resulted in the removal of the 12.7mm machine gun from the commander's cupola. Additionally, ERA armor is applied to the front and sides of the hull to enhance the tank's defensive capabilities.

The modernization efforts undertaken by the company, situated in the city of Šternberg, encompass a range of components. The T-72EA features a radio communication system, a digital dashboard for the driver, upgraded night vision systems, a thermal camera, and an Eye-Safe Laser Range Finder. The tank's V12 V-84 multifuel air-cooled engine undergoes enhancements, leading to an increase in output from 780 to 840 horsepower.

Regarding the T-72EA units scheduled for delivery to Ukraine, the adaptation period for Ukrainian crews to familiarize themselves with the upgraded tank typically spans one week before deployment to the front lines.


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