Iran unveils special production line to upgrade T-72 tanks

The upgraded tank reportedly has the same armaments as the previous version including a 125mm D-81 smoothbore gun and a 7.62mm co-axial machine gun

Iran unveils special production line to upgrade T-72 tanks

Photo: Iranian Defense Ministry

Iranian press agency FARS reported last week that the country's defense minister, Brigadier General Amir Hatami, unveiled a special production line to upgrade and modernize T-72 main battle tanks used by the Iranian Armed Forces.

According to the report, General Hatami expressed hope that the experts of the defense ministry will be able to upgrade all the operational main battle tanks of the Armed Forces, saying that Iran is currently capable of manufacturing tanks equipped with an electro-optical fire control system, laser rangefinder system, ballistic computer, and a system to fire at fixed and moving targets, day or night.

The Army Recognition website notes that the Iranian army has a total of 565 T-72S tanks. The Russian T-72S is the export variant of the T-72A, upgraded to the T-72BM standard by Nizhny Tagil in Russia. Known also as the "Shilden," the upgrade package reportedly boosts performance by 1.7 percent. The hull and the turret are fitted with explosive reactive armor. The main armament of the T-72S includes one 125mm D-81 smoothbore gun, a 7.62mm co-axial machine gun and a 12.7mm air defense machine gun mounted on the commander’s cupola. The T-72S carries 45 rounds of 125mm ammunition, 22 rounds of which are carried on an automatic loading carousel.

According to the website's first analysis, the new Iranian upgraded T-72 is fitted with a new remotely operated weapon station mounted at the rear of the modified commander cupola. The tank seems to be fitted with a new firing control system and optics mounted at the front of the gunner hatch.

The new upgraded T-72 has the same armament that includes a 125mm D-81 smoothbore gun and a 7.62mm co-axial machine gun. It is fitted new armor package including explosive reactive armor mounted around the turret and at the front of the hull. There are additional armor plates on each side of the hull as well as slat armor to increase protection against anti-tank guided missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.

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