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44 minutes ago, Lord_James said:

When did Soviet tanks get independent commander’s thermal sights? I think I remember it was in the 90s, with the T-80U and T-90, but I have some doubts. 

I don't believe anything in serial production by the Soviets had any independent sight for the commander. The only example I can think of now is the T-90M, and that's rather recent. Thermals in general just weren't something the Russians had developed as well or fast as the West.

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   The BT-3F armored personnel carrier will receive new armament in the version for the Russian army - a 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine gun will be replaced with a 30mm cannon. This was reported by TASS in the framework of the forum "Army-2019" by chief designer of JSC "SKBM" (included in the holding "High-precision complexes" of the Rostec state corporation) Sergei Abdulov.

      ...and it will be called BT-82AF :D

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   As reported on June 28, 2019 by Uralvagonzavod Research and Production Corporation (UVZ, part of Rostec State Corporation), it signed three government contracts with the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation within the framework of the Army-2019 International Military-Technical Forum. 

   This is a state contract for a major overhaul with the modernization of the T-90A tank with a reduction to the T-90M type, which will increase the combat capabilities of the tank.


   Comment by bmpd: According to the available unofficial information, the said contract for the modernization of T-90 tanks to the T-90M variant for 100 tank, possibly this contract is about the modernization of T-90 tanks manufactured in the 1990s, and not T-90A indicated in the message.


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T-62 with Schotte Nr.1 and Nr.2 vs 64mm HL(Standsprengung) 


Standsprengung some test SC ? 


Hull front have Schotte Nr.1 spaced at 80mm from it

Hull side have  Schotte Nr.2 spaced at 580mm from it




maybe somebody have info about 64mm SC penetration ?  based on Panzerfaust Lanze grenade ?


T-62 with Schotte Nr.1  vs 96mm HL(Standsprengung Milan) 

Hull side have  Schotte Nr.1 spaced at 580mm from it



T-62 with Schotte Nr.1  vs 84mm HL DM32(Carl Gustav) 



T-62    vs 44mm HL DM22(Panzerfaust Lanze) 



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1 hour ago, Scolopax said:

Any idea what this is exactly?  It seems to be some slight upgrade to the PT-76, as the turret and track support rollers are new. The location here in the image should be the St. Petersburg artillery museum.



   Yes, it is locate outside of museum building (almost in the center of that pic):


   Didn't saw them behind ICBMs near highway. I never actually went there either, so don't know what is it exactly, plus there is no information about vehicles parked outside of museum anywhere (not even on their official site).

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13 minutes ago, Lord_James said:

I read something about a “PT-76M” for the Russian marines, with ‘enhanced displacement’ but wasn’t adopted, on Wiki, but take that with a cup of salt. 

PT-76M should be this thing:




The English wiki does say something about at PT-85 (not the Obj. 906 apparently) with a cast turret that supposedly was used during the invasion of Czechoslovakia.  The above mystery vehicles looks like its turret might be cast, but I can't tell for certain.  The only dubious citation on the wiki is from Jedsite and I haven't been able to find anything on the Russian part of the web mentioning such a vehicle.

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International Defense Review 1977-06, article on T-72 tank



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text version


Details of the Soviet T-72 Battle Tank

Two new tactical weapons systems were shown in the recent November 7 parade in Moscow's Red Square. The first to pass the podium was the BRDM fitted with a raised quintuple mount for new missile launcher/containers resembling those of the Euromissile HOT. The second, and undoubtedly the most impressive, was the T-72 battle tank.

A though the IDR has not yet recieved photos of the parade as this article goes to press, we are publishing here a selection of T-72 pictures whch show considerably more than could be seen in Red Square. They prove conclusively that the tank has considerable differences from the vehicle previously deployed in East Germany, and show for the first time the ammunition for the 125 mm gun and the removable, spring-loaded skirt plates which were not fitted to vehicles in the parade.

The 4-view drawing overleaf and the poorer quality photos showing the earlier vehicles were recently released to us by the US Army Intelligence and Security Command (IN-SCOM), whilst the sharper photos reproduced here were taken by Jean Pierre Quittard, of the Gamma Agency, at a barracks of the Taman Guards Division 45 km West of Moscow, during a visit in October by French Defense Minister Yvon Bourges.

General characteristics of the new tank, provided to the French visitors by the Russians, are as follows: designation — T-72; weight — 41 t; engine power — 700 hp; max. speed — 100 km/h; unrefuelled range — 500 km; crew — 3 men of small size; main weapon — 125 mm gun; coaxial MG — 7.62 mm; cupola MG — 12.7 mm; main gun ammunition — 40 rounds (12 APFSDS, 6 HEAT and 22 HE). Skirt plates on the sides were said to provide protection against armour piercing projectiles, and the front-mounted shovel was described as enabling the tank to dig itself in in a few minutes.

Dimensions and layout of the hull appear very similar, if not identical, to those given on the 4-view drawing for the older vehicle (i.e. 6.4 m long, 3.375 m wide and 1.4 m high). The driver is centrally positioned at the top of the long sloping glacis, which is transversely ribbed and has a deep-v splash board. The gunner's hatch swivels open to the right, and his main vision is provided by a wide angle periscope about 20 cm in front of the hatch, protected when not in use by a cover (see lead photo).

Beneath the glacis is a toothed shovel/dozer blade, presumably operated hydraulically by the driver. The underside of the blade has attachment points for KMT mine clearing gear, for use when the blade is raised in the normal stowed position. Fuel cells cover almost the whole length of the right-hand fender, and the rear half of the left fender. The front half of the left fender appears to carry tool boxes.

The outside of the fenders have rubber mud flaps about 10 cm deep...

#Early model T-72 with turret reversed. Note smaller, narrower road wheels, smaller sprocket (12 teeth), greater number (6) of larger track support rollers, IR searchlight on left of main gun, and different bustle stowage than on new version. Greater number of stowage boxes around turret may also indicate less space in turret, perhaps due to size of early model's automatic loader.
#The T-72 photographed 45 km West of Moscow, during a visit by the French Defense Minister in October. Points of special interest are the sectioned ammunition, shovel/dozer blade, add-on skirt plates and new 12.7 mm MG on the commander's cupola. Soviets claim 700 hp engine gives the 41t vehicle a max. speed of 100 km/h.
#Crew members (below) are notably short, because of limited space, their heights ranging from 1 m 55 to 1 m 60 (5 ft to 5 ft 4 in).
...running their whole length. Four light armour skirt plates can be fitted to quick attach points along the front half of each side. The plates are no more than 6 mm thick, are spring-loaded (presumably to allow the vehicle to brush past obstacles) and project at an angle of some 60°, when not chained back against the sides or swivelled upwards. They provide protection against HEAT rounds fired from the forward arc only, and probably have little effect against APFSDS, APDS and HESH.

The engine and transmission are rear-mounted. Judging from the Red Square parade, the engine is remarkably smooth-running and smoke-free. The transmission drives the rear-mounted, 14-tooth sprocket which is  totally new. It engages between the rubber-bushed single pins of a new wide track running on 6 new and much larger road wheels covering almost the...

#Command variant of early T-72, possibly T-72K, with large radio mast erected. Tank has to be stationary in this mode, since telescopic mast requires supporting stays pegged to ground. Also visible is small round hatch in rear centre of turret, possibly an ejection port for spent ammunition stub-cases. Two snorkels are carried on the turret bustle of this version (the one nearest the turret being for engine air, fitted at right rear corner of chassis), whilst new version has only the turret snorkel, indicating a possible engine change.
#Command variant of early model T-72. Note two radio antennas (one for rear link) and fittings under the bow for KMT mine clearance equipment. Driver's hatch is pivoted open to the right. Photo clearly shows small road wheels and double-pin track of early model, both now changed.
...whole truck width, plus the front idler wheel and at least 3 (probably 4) small truck support rollers inboard of the track teeth. The new sprocket and track were also fitted on a T-62 exhibited to the French visitors, providing commonality with the T-72. Suspension details are not clear from the photos, but certain dampers, visible on older models, seen absent.

The claimed max. speed of 100 km/h seems very high, and expert observers estimate 60-70 km/h as being more realistic, given the weight of 41 t and engine power of 700 hp. They could be proved wrong, however.

The rear of the T-72 hull is fitted for two 200 litre spare fuel drums, and a log for extracting the tank from a bogged down condition. Two cables are also carried at front and rear.

Turret and armament
The 2-man turret is centrally mounted and well shaped, being of cast steel (there is no sign of any special or spaced armour on the vehicle at all). As in the earlier versions, the commander's contra-rotating cupola is on the right, with the gunner’s hatch on the left.

The commander's cupola has a small, forward hinged hatch with 2 rear-facing vision blocks, a small IR searchlight with, below it, an IR/daylight sight, and 2 forward-facing periscopes. It also mounts the new, gas-operated 12.7 mm machine gun which has brackets for a belted ammunition box on the right and for a small overhead reflex sight with a box cover. There is no certainty that the MG (which bears many similarities to the 7.62 mm FN MAG) can be operated remotely whilst closed down, since elevation appears to be manually controlled from the mount. In our photos, the MG is positioned in front of the right hand forward-looking periscope, on the cupola, but in the Red Square parade it was rotated on its ring to behind the cupola.

The gunner's hatch is also forward-hinged. It has 2 forward-looking periscopes, a separate IR sight with its own small searchlight to the front left of the hatch, and further in front there is a box-like structure which may...

#Rear view of the new T-72. Rear turret bustle box has overhang to permit engine access covers to be raised. Very clearly shown are the new, larger sprocket and road wheels, and the new single-pin track. Note absence of visible suspension dampers above rear road wheels, in contrast to earlier models. Turret is extremely low and squat, requiring crewmen to be of small size.
#Rear view of T-62 shown to French visitors alongside T-72. Note fixed 115 mm ammunition and new design snorkel similar to T- 72's. Of greatest interest are the new sprocket, track and road wheels fitted to this vehicle. They appear identical to those of the new model T-72, greatly improving logistical support and cross-servicing. Black and white "patch" on fender is an NBC filter.
#Side view of new model T-72 (foreground) with T-62 behind. A French Brigadier General is seen on the T-72 turret roof. Note difference in gun barrel length between the two tanks, and different cupola machine guns (T-72 has the new 12.7 mm MG, and the T-62 the old DShK 12.7mm). T-72's left side skirt plates are all chained back against fender except smaller front plate.
...possibly house the optics of a laser rangefinder. However, the latter is at the left end of what appears to be the base of the Soviets' first stereoscopic rangefinder, the right-hand optics for this being to the front right of the commander's cupola.

Behind the gunner's hatch are a rear-looking masked light (probably showing the tank's number to vehicles behind) and a rear-looking indicator light. Two new-design bustle boxes are fitted on the rear of the turret, a new design snorkel is carried at rear left, and there are empty brackets on the right side for two 12.7 mm ammunition boxes. Only one radio antenna is fitted, indicating that the tank battalion uses a single frequency band for all internal communications.

To the front of the turret are the main gun, coaxial MG and main IR searchlight. The latter has been moved from the left side of the mantlet, on earlier models, to the right, outboard of the coaxial 7.62 mm weapon. Reason for the move may have been to prevent interference with the gunner's low-angle sight line, or because the searchlight's mechanical linkage is more easily accommodated on the right.

The Russians have now confirmed the calibre of the main gun as 125 mm, and this is marked on the ammunition (photo). The tube projects 4.5 m from the mantlet cover, which is 69 cm deep. A thin thermal tube jacket of light alloy (probably aluminium) is fitted, and the fume extractor is a little over half-way down the barrel. There is no sign of any rifling at the muzzle, indicating a smooth bore.

The 125 mm ammunition is of considerable interest, and is described in the captions to the close-up photos. Unlike that of the T-62 it is separated, and the absence of a fourth crewman tends to support previous reports that it is loaded automatically from a main magazine. This would have to be selective, since 3 ammunition types are carried. The cartridges are semi-combustible, with stub-cases.

#Front and rear close-ups of cut-away 125 mm separated ammunition displayed on T-72 glacis. Front view above left shows, from left to right, Armour-Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot (APFSDS) projectile in secondary cartridge; APFSDS semi-combustible primary cartridge; a new finned High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) projectile; the HEAT caitildge; a new finned High Explosive (HE) projectile; and the HE cartridge. Points of interest:
APFSDS - Finned penetrator is guided in barrel not by full sabot but by prefractured ring sabot at top of combustible secondary cartridge, Latter contains long, hollow tube of booster propellant tied round penetretor to give uniform acceleration up to muizzle velocity of over 1,600 m/sec. 40° bores in sabot  ring allow some gas to escape forwards in tube to give rotation necessary for separation after muzzle exit. Separation in aided by air scoops round sabot front rim. Penetrator body measures some 595 mm long by about 48 mm diameter. This ratio of over 12:1 indicates use of tungsten carbide core material, gives good stability on impact, a wide margin for tensile strangth and effective penetration even at fairly high angles ol incidence.
HEAT - Hollow charge cone is very deep (about 192 mm), explosive charge behind is tapered and a resonator surrounds the tip of the cone. Nose fuze has an ogive to impiove ballistic characteristics and tapered tube behind it probably helps to concentrate penetrating jet. Base fins are forward folded in top of cartridge when loaded.
HE - Backward-folded base fins are contained in a stub case for loading on top of cartridge. Nose fuze appears to have variable time setting, enabling artillery-type ait burst.
#Soviet General Pavlovsky explains T-72 details to French Defense Minister, Yvon Bourges and military aides. Note gun lube jacket; gunner's night sight and searchlight on turret root (right); and chained back skirt plates. Tube projecting into picture upper right is handle for commander's 12.7 mm machine gun, and vehicle in background is BRDM with sextuple Sagger anti-tank missile launcht, raised.
#Rear light quarter view of T-72 with Yvon Bourgas behind. Note fuel cells on fender, armoured skirt plate mountings, turret bustle box and especially, the new 12.7 mm cupola machine gun. This has leaf iron sights, gas cylinder and regulator below banel, and feed tray high in the receiver. Ammunition box would be fitted on bracket to right of receiver. Mount appears to have 2 hydraulic elevating cylinders beneath gun, operated by hand crank on right. Double box on overhead bracket is thought to be a small reflex sight with cover open.



and some pics from it, photographed separately











same pics and drawings from IDR's article, of what actually was T-64, or may be T-64A, are available usually in somewhat better quality in pdfs of Armor magazine 1977-01-02 and 1978-01-02 (scanned by GoogleBooks and other institutions, and available online at hathitrust.org, and benning.army.mil and/or dvidshub.net, and/or there). 


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    • By N-L-M
      Restricted: for Operating Thetan Eyes Only
      By order of Her Gracious and Serene Majesty Queen Diane Feinstein the VIII
      The Dianetic People’s Republic of California
      Anno Domini 2250
      SUBJ: RFP for new battle tank
      1.      Background.
      As part of the War of 2248 against the Perfidious Cascadians, great deficiencies were discovered in the Heavy tank DF-1. As detailed in report [REDACTED], the DF-1 was quite simply no match for the advanced weaponry developed in secret by the Cascadian entity. Likewise, the DF-1 has fared poorly in the fighting against the heretical Mormonhideen, who have developed many improvised weapons capable of defeating the armor on this vehicle, as detailed in report [REDACTED]. The Extended War on the Eastern Front has stalled for want of sufficient survivable firepower to push back the Mormon menace beyond the Colorado River south of the Vegas Crater.
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      Over the past decade, the following threats have presented themselves:
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    • By N-L-M
      detailed below is the expected format of the final submission.
      The date is set as Wednesday the 19th of June at 23:59 GMT.
      Again, incomplete designs may be submitted as they are and will be judged as seen fit.
      Vehicle Designation and name

      [insert 3-projection (front, top, side) and isometric render of vehicle here)

      Table of basic statistics:



      Mass, combat

      Length, combat (transport)

      Width, combat (transport)

      Height, combat (transport)

      Ground Pressure, MMP (nominal)

      Estimated Speed

      Estimated range

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      Secondary armament, caliber (ammo count ready/stowed)


      Vehicle designer’s notes: explain the thought process behind the design of the vehicle, ideas, and the development process from the designer’s point of view.

      Vehicle feature list:

      1.     Link to Appendix 1- RFP spreadsheet, colored to reflect achieved performance.

      2.     Engine- type, displacement, rated power, cooling, neat features.

      3.     Transmission- type, arrangement, neat features.

      4.     Fuel- Type, volume available, stowage location, estimated range, neat features.

      5.     Other neat features in the engine bay.

      6.     Suspension- Type, Travel, ground clearance, neat features.


      1.     Link to Appendix 1 - RFP spreadsheet, colored to reflect achieved performance.

      2.     Link to Appendix 2- armor array details.

      3.     Non-specified survivability features and other neat tricks- low profile, gun depression, instant smoke, cunning internal arrangement, and the like.


      A.    Weapons:

      1.     Link to Appendix 1- RFP spreadsheet, colored to reflect achieved performance.

      2.     Main Weapon-

      a.      Type

      b.      Caliber

      c.      ammunition types and performance (short)

      d.     Ammo stowage arrangement- numbers ready and total, features.

      e.      FCS- relevant systems, relevant sights for operating the weapon and so on.

      f.      Neat features.

      3.     Secondary weapon- Similar format to primary. Tertiary and further weapons- likewise.

      4.     Link to Appendix 3- Weapon system magic. This is where you explain how all the special tricks related to the armament that aren’t obviously available using Soviet 1961 tech work, and expand to your heart’s content on extimated performance and how these estimates were reached.

      B.    Optics:

      1.     Primary gunsight- type, associated trickery.

      2.     Likewise for any and all other optics systems installed, in no particular order.

      C.    FCS:

      1.     List of component systems, their purpose and the basic system architecture.

      2.     Link to Appendix 3- weapon system magic, if you have long explanations about the workings of the system.


      1.     List vehicle features which improve its fightability and useability.

      Additonal Features:

      Feel free to list more features as you see fit, in more categories.

      Free expression zone: Let out your inner Thetan to fully impress the world with the fruit of your labor. Kindly spoiler this section if it’s very long.

       Example for filling in Appendix 1
    • By Collimatrix
      Shortly after Jeeps_Guns_Tanks started his substantial foray into documenting the development and variants of the M4, I joked on teamspeak with Wargaming's The_Warhawk that the next thing he ought to do was a similar post on the T-72.
      Haha.  I joke.  I am funny man.
      The production history of the T-72 is enormously complicated.  Tens of thousands were produced; it is probably the fourth most produced tank ever after the T-54/55, T-34 and M4 sherman.
      For being such an ubiquitous vehicle, it's frustrating to find information in English-language sources on the T-72.  Part of this is residual bad information from the Cold War era when all NATO had to go on were blurry photos from May Day parades:

      As with Soviet aircraft, NATO could only assign designations to obviously externally different versions of the vehicle.  However, they were not necessarily aware of internal changes, nor were they aware which changes were post-production modifications and which ones were new factory variants of the vehicle.  The NATO designations do not, therefore, necessarily line up with the Soviet designations.  Between different models of T-72 there are large differences in armor protection and fire control systems.  This is why anyone arguing T-72 vs. X has completely missed the point; you need to specify which variant of T-72.  There are large differences between them!
      Another issue, and one which remains contentious to this day, is the relation between the T-64, T-72 and T-80 in the Soviet Army lineup.  This article helps explain the political wrangling which led to the logistically bizarre situation of three very similar tanks being in frontline service simultaneously, but the article is extremely biased as it comes from a high-ranking member of the Ural plant that designed and built the T-72.  Soviet tank experts still disagree on this; read this if you have some popcorn handy.  Talking points from the Kharkov side seem to be that T-64 was a more refined, advanced design and that T-72 was cheap filler, while Ural fans tend to hold that T-64 was an unreliable mechanical prima donna and T-72 a mechanically sound, mass-producible design.
      So, if anyone would like to help make sense of this vehicle, feel free to post away.  I am particularly interested in:
      -What armor arrays the different T-72 variants use.  Diagrams, dates of introduction, and whether the array is factory-produced or a field upgrade of existing armor are pertinent questions.
      -Details of the fire control system.  One of the Kharkov talking points is that for most of the time in service, T-64 had a more advanced fire control system than contemporary T-72 variants.  Is this true?  What were the various fire control systems in the T-64 and T-72, and what were there dates of introduction?  I am particularly curious when Soviet tanks got gun-follows-sight FCS.
      -Export variants and variants produced outside the Soviet Union.  How do they stack up?  Exactly what variant(s) of T-72 were the Iraqis using in 1991?

      -WTF is up with the T-72's transmission?  How does it steer and why is its reverse speed so pathetically low?
    • By LoooSeR
      Hello, my friends and Kharkovites, take a sit and be ready for your brains to start to work - we are going to tell you a terrible secret of how to tell apart Soviet tanks that actually works like GLORIOUS T-80 and The Mighty T-72 from Kharkovites attempt to make a tank - the T-64. Many of capitalists Westerners have hard time understanding what tank is in front of them, even when they know smart words like "Kontakt-5" ERA. Ignoramus westerners!
         Because you are all were raised in several hundreds years old capitalism system all of you are blind consumer dummies, that need big noisy labels and shiny colorful things to be attached to product X to be sold to your ignorant heads and wallets, thats why we will need to start with basics. BASICS, DA? First - how to identify to which tank "family" particular MBT belongs to - to T-64 tree, or T-72 line, or Superior T-80 development project, vehicles that don't have big APPLE logo on them for you to understand what is in front of you. And how you can do it in your home without access to your local commie tank nerd? 
         Easy! Use this Putin approved guide "How to tell appart different families of Soviet and Russian tanks from each other using simple and easy to spot external features in 4 steps: a guide for ignorant western journalists and chairborn generals to not suck in their in-depth discussions on the Internet".
      Chapter 1: Where to look, what to see.
      T-64 - The Ugly Kharkovite tank that doesn't work 
         We will begin with T-64, a Kharkovite attempt to make a tank, which was so successful that Ural started to work on their replacement for T-64 known as T-72. Forget about different models of T-64, let's see what is similar between all of them.

      T-72 - the Mighty weapon of Workers and Peasants to smash westerners
         Unlike tank look-alike, made by Kharkovites mad mans, T-72 is true combat tank to fight with forces of evil like radical moderate barbarians and westerners. Thats why we need to learn how identify it from T-64 and you should remember it's frightening lines!

      The GLORIOUS T-80 - a Weapon to Destroy and Conquer bourgeois countries and shatter westerners army
         And now we are looking at the Pride of Party and Soviet army, a true tank to spearhead attacks on decadent westerners, a tank that will destroy countries by sucking their military budgets and dispersing their armies in vortex of air, left from high-speed charge by the GLORIOUS T-80!

      The T-80 shooting down jets by hitting them behind the horizont 
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