The Czech Republic is stepping up and is set to send T-72B battle tanks to Ukraine. These are Soviet-era main battle tanks that entered production in 1969. It also has a deep history with Ukraine. The original 5TDF engines were replaced by the more modern V-45, which was produced by the Malyshev Factory in Kharkiv.
The T-72B was then produced in 1985 and has a new main gun, stabilizer, sights, and fire control capable of firing 9M1119 Svir-guided missiles. It also has armor, including 20 mm of “applique armour” in the front hull. In addition, it runs on an improved 840-hp engine.
What’s more, these will also receive a ton of upgrades after the US and Netherlands pledged to fund the refurbishment of these tanks. Both countries are sharing the $90 million cost of upgrading these tanks. The US contribution is part of the $400 million allotment to the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) arms package announced last Friday. Pentagon Spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said this marks “the first time we are paying for these tanks to be used in Ukraine.”
The refurbishment will include new optics, up-to-date communications hardware and software, and more armor packages. However, Singh did not disclose how exactly these systems would function.