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Ukrainian Army bolsters its tank capabilities with 103 captured Russian T-72B3M tanks

July 1, 2023 — According to information published on Social Network on June 29, 2023, Ukrainian soldiers from the 47th Mechanized Brigade have captured another Russian army T-72B3 mod 2016 also called T-72B3M, the latest generation of Main Battle Tank from the Russian T-72 family. The information was disseminated via a video published on social media on June 29, 2023.
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Russian tank T-72B3M was captured by Ukrainian soldiers. (Picture source Screen Shot Video Telegram)

The video, which captured the seizure of the tank, did not disclose the specific location of the event. However, it is understood that the 47th Mechanized Brigade has been conducting a series of offensive actions towards Robotine, located in the Zaporizhzhia region.

A week prior to this, Ukrainian forces reportedly destroyed several T-72B3Ms when Russian forces made a failed attempt to retake captured positions in the same direction. As a result of the Ukrainian retaliation, the Russians lost three tanks, while another three were forced to retreat.

Since the onset of the war, Ukrainian forces have seized more than 540 Russian tanks. Among these, 103 have been identified as T-72B3 Mod 2016 tanks, also called T-72B3M. Following their capture, these tanks have undergone repairs and have been returned to service within the Ukrainian armed forces.

The recovery and refurbishing of these Russian tanks have become the primary means for Ukraine to replenish its military vehicle arsenal. The significant number of tanks seized not only indicates the resilience of Ukrainian forces but also underlines their strategic maneuvers amidst the persisting tensions. As the conflict continues, Ukraine's ability to turn Russia's resources into their own gives them an advantage on the battlefield, but how this will affect the broader conflict remains to be seen.

The T-72B3M, also popularly referred to as the T-72B4, is a modern iteration of the renowned T-72 family of main battle tanks originating from Russia. Essentially, the T-72B3M is a significantly upgraded version of the T-72B3, featuring substantial enhancements in the realms of firepower, protective measures, and mobility.

In terms of firepower, the T-72B3M is equipped with the same 125mm 2A46M smoothbore gun as its predecessor, the T-72B3. However, the newer model comes with an improved fire control system and an automatic target tracker. It is also capable of firing more modern types of ammunition, thereby providing enhanced firepower on the battlefield.

As for protection, the T-72B3M stands out with its upgraded armor. It features additional 'Relikt' explosive reactive armor which is more effective than the previous versions against various types of anti-tank munitions. The tank is also equipped with an updated fire suppression system to ensure the safety of the crew in case of internal fire incidents.

Concerning mobility, the T-72B3M is powered by an 1130 horsepower engine, a significant upgrade from the 840 horsepower engine in the T-72B3. This provides the tank with superior speed and maneuverability, which can prove to be a strategic advantage during conflicts.

Ukrainian Army bolsters its tank capabilities with 84 captured Russian T 72B3M tanks 925 002
Russian army T-72B3M MBT Main Battle Tank. (Picture source Vitaly Kuzmin)

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