Genesis of an advanced upgrade

The T-72 AMT is the latest Ukrainian refurbished and upgraded T-72A main battle tank. Ukraine still today shows in statistics an impressive park of c500 T-72s (1,000 before the war) of various types inherited after collapse of the Soviet Union and placed in various depots across the country. Only a few are active today, and before the war in 2015 an upgrade program intended at first for export was started. The goal was to export all these now obsolete T-72As with a marketable modernization package following the lines of the T-55 AGM. The process ended when the T-72 AMT was first publicly revealed, in 2017.

With the war going on in 2017, and finding no export customer, it was adopted by the Ukrainian Army, but under a procurement of less than 50 units in 2019. In 2021 5 more were delivered to Ukrainian Army and they saw combat in 2022, facing Russian forces. The T-72AMP, like the T-55 AGM is an attempt to completely overhaul and keep relevant the T-72, first studied in theb 1960s. It's an all-out upgrade on protection and firepower, communication systems, the extra weight being coped with a radical engine upgrade.

Ukraine displays today a park of c500 T-72AV, T-72AV mod. 2021, T-72B1, T-72B3, T-72M1=, T-72MR, and T-72 Avenger with 500+ in storage, but prior to the Russian invasion. Perhaps 150+ donated/captured tanks were joined Ukrainian service, notably the T-91 Twardy. However most experts agrees that this upgrade is still inferior to the recent Russian T-72B3 standard.

Design of the Upgrade

General design:

The T-72 was Soviet-designed, introduced in 1969 after being developed by the Uralvagonzavod design bureau as a successor to the T-62 and T-55 tanks, especially the latter. It was widely exported during the Cold War and licensed-built notably by Czechoslovakia and Poland. It featured for the first time a noew type of composite armor (US intel "dolly parton") on the turret front in particular, combining layers of composites, the rest being made in RHA steel and counting of sloped surfaced and a low silhouette.

It was typically armed with a 125mm smoothbore gun, giving it a range of APFSDS (Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot), HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) rounds among others. Later were developed gun-launched ATGMs for it. It is coupled with a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun while a 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun in roof-mounted.

In short the improvements consists in:
-3rd generation night vision device;
-Night sight 1K13-49, and ability to fire Kombat ATGMs;
-Engine B-84-1 instead of B-46;
-Dynamic protection "Knife" and optional bar armour;
-New Aselsan radio set or "Lybid-K-2RB";
-CH-3003 "Bazhalt" navigation system;
-New tracks with reworked hinges and leading rollers;
-New side skirts from the T-80U.
-Remote anti-aircraft machine gun mount from the T-64;


Mobility no longer relies on the flat V-45 V-12 diesel engine (top speed of 60 km/h-37 mph roads) found on the T-72A, T-72B, T-72M, and T-72M1. The powerplant is much improved: It's a refurbished V-84-1 multi-fuel diesel engine which is rated for 840 hp. The T-72 AMT also uses the new tracks adopted for the T-80 tank. They are different by the design of their links, serie hinge and pins, and ruber padded unlike the old sequential hinge tracks. The rest of the drivetrain is stock T-72, with rear sprockets, front idlers and the same torsion-bar suspended doubled rubberized spider type cast roadwheels, six per side.


Graphic cutaway of the type

The tank is fitted with modules identical to the Kontakt-1 and Nozh (Nizh) add-on explosive reactive armor (ERA) used on the T-80U. The Nizh is the HSChKV system of hinged containers on the upper frontal part and side screens, built-in containers for the ERA.

Some sources estimates it equivalent to 850-900 mm RHA (rolled homogenous armor). The rear hull and turret couild receive optional cage armor for RPG/ATGM protection. The side skirts are also from the late T-64/T-80U design. As for the rest, it's the same package as standard T-72Ms: Laser designation alert, collective NBC protection with overpressure and two sets of seven smoke dischargers on either sides, automatic. It's likely the fuel injection on exhaust is kept as well to create extra smoke.


The tank retained its original 2A46 125 mm smoothbore gun. After modernization the T-72AMP was capable of launching Ukrainian Kombat anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary munitions. These have a maximum range of 4-5 km. These missiles extend the range of the 125 mm smoothbore gun, which is not particularly accurate. The T-72A an updated Fire control system and electronics.

The roof-mounted heavy machine gun mount was replaced. The T-72AMT uses a T-64BV style machine gun mount, which is controlled from the inside of the vehicle. This is not a modern remotely controlled weapon station, however the vehicle commander is no longer exposed to bullets and shell shrapnel. Also there is a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. Elevation -5 +14°, Traverse 360 degrees

Night vision systems were improved, though the tank lacks thermal imagers, that are used as standard on most modern tanks. New tactical radios were fitted. Also there is a navigation system. Rear vision camera was fitted. Automatic fire suppression system was updated.

This also includes:
-New ТKN-3UМ commander enhanced digital vision sight
-New 1К13-49 gunner’s sight with integrated night vision mode enabled 500 m, ot 1500 with coupled IR searchlight.
-“KOMBAT” round integrated anti tank guided missile. Instead of an open machine gun turret, the tank has a remote-controlled anti-aircraft machine gun mount similar to those mounted on the Т-64BV.

The equipment is rounded up by the new Lybid-K-2RB digital radio (instead of the R-173) and a Basalt GLONASS/GPS navigation system.

T-72AMT Obr.2022

The modernization initial project started at KBTZ in 2017, with tests performed in 2018, the tank was accepted , but not for service and in 2020-2021, a certain number were transferred to the Armed Forces and according to "Military" estimates, a transfer of eight AMT was publicly announced in February-April 2022 on the frontline. By early 2022, Ukraine reported at least 47 units. The Obr.2022 was developed that year as a simplified version to carry out more upgrades.

This was presented in March 2023 as a "mobilization" version of the tank, which differs from the basic version in a number of improvements and simplifications, was spotted at the "Zaliznaya" facility. The Obr.2022 is downgraded along these lines:
-No "Luna" IR searchlight, more modern night sight such as the TPN-1-49-23UM;
-No RWS: Standard T-72 open-type machine gun mount installation;
-Standard T-72 tracks with a sequential hinges system;

Sme experts expressed this austere upgrade was aimed at the old T-72A and T-72M1. The first were stored in Ukraine, the second was transferred by Poland and the Czech Republic. The Obr.2022 had been deployed with the 3rd Tank Brigade in the current war with Russia and since, the loss of about 15 units was confirmed, and 22 as of April 2023, among which two Obr.2022. Both conversions to this cheaper standard and future losses witll motivate updates to this post in the future months and years.

T-72 AMT

Dimensions9.53 m gun forward, hull 6.9 m x 3.46 x 2.2 m
Total weight, battle ready46 t
CrewSame: Commander, Gunner, Driver
PropulsionV-84-1 diesel 840 hp
SuspensionTorsion bars, hydraulic dampers
Speed (road)60 km/h
Range500-700 km
Armament125 mm smoothbore (44 rds) roof 12.7 mm (300), coax. 7.62 mm (2000)
ArmorERA, Kontakt-1, Nozh, see notes
Total conversionsc55

Combat use

T-72 AMT Obr.2022 in the winter 2023-24
The T-72AMT was marketed $1.2 million apiece. No customer so far; Being fairly recent, the T-72AMT saw action only in the 2022 invasion of Ukraine. So far, Ukraine lost 5 T-72U ("Ural"), 72 T-72M/M1(R), 7 T-72EA, 38 T-72AV, 45 T-72B, and for what we are concerned, 20 T-72AMT and 2 upgraded T-72AMT Zr.2022.



T-72 AMT, factory ready, 2020

T-72 AMT with bar armour, Maydan 2021

T-72 AMT Obr.2022 of the 3rd brigade


Factory T-72 AMTs, 2020

Can you recoignise it ?

In depot, being prepared for the front

Early model in testing, probably 2018

Factory trials

In 2022 Exhibition

In 2022 Exhibition

Sources/Links T72 AMT/T84 Oplot deployments T72 AMT T-72 Obr.2022 list


See also phone footage of the T-72 AMT

Modern Tanks

Modern MBTs posters

Denel Bagder (2018)

Type 16 MCV (2016)

Gepard 1A2 last rounds 2011


Russian AFVs

Main Battle Tanks