An undisguised threat to the "naval" T-72B3M. The consequences of the arrival of the M1A2 SEPv3 in the combat units of the Polish Army
As you know, information about the conclusion between the Polish defense department and the Pentagon of a 3,5 billion contract for the supply of 250 modern main combat forces to mechanized brigades of the Polish Army tanks М1А2 SEP v3 (М1А2С) "Abrams" by the domestic expert circles received an extremely superficial analysis, on the basis of which it is almost impossible to come to any objective and final conclusion regarding the spectrum of threats posed by coastal motorized rifle and tank units of the Baltic fleet in the Kaliningrad region from the mechanized divisions of the Polish Land Forces retrofitted with the latest version of the MBT M1A2.
Hundreds of "Abrams" of the penultimate version near the borders of the Kaliningrad region can radically change the balance of power in the Baltic conventional theater of military operations
Meanwhile, in the light of the upcoming implementation of the above transaction, a detailed assessment of the combat stability of the 18th motorized rifle division, as well as the 11th army corps of the Baltic Fleet of the Russian Navy, motorized rifle and tank regiments of which, over the past one and a half to two years, have been actively re-equipped with modernized main battle tanks T-72B3 mod. 2016 and even more advanced T-72B3M vehicles.
Indeed, in this case, we are talking about the appearance near the Kaliningrad zone of restriction and prohibition of access and maneuver A2 / AD and the Suwalki corridor of about eight battalions of MBT "Abrams" in the penultimate modification of the M1A2 SEP v3, obtained during the modernization of the tank information management system / TIUS and SUV (including updating the critical software of optical-electronic sighting systems and the integration of network-centric terminals for secure voice communication and the exchange of information about the tactical situation JTRS), removed from the conservation MBT M1A1.
And, despite the fact that numerous domestic military experts continue to cultivate the tradition of multiple overestimation of the tactical and technical parameters of the T-72B3 / B3M tanks entering the combat units of the coastal forces of the Russian Navy Baltic Fleet, now and then focusing the audience's attention on equipping this line vehicles with sets of DZ "Relikt", the latest 125-mm tank guns of increased ballistics 2A46M-5 with a 1,15-1,2-fold increase in the accuracy of fire, as well as the promising multi-channel sighting system of the gunner "Sosna-U" in conjunction with the advanced digital TIUS open source, these machines were never devoid of a number of critical flaws that exclude the possibility of their total dominance in the hypothetical confrontation with MBT M1A2 SEP v3.
So, the frontal armor plates of the improved T-4B22M MBT still having 5S72 elements of the Contact-3 VDZ complex (only the side armor plates of the T-4B24M turrets are covered with resistance to armor-piercing feathered subcaliber projectiles of kinetic action in comparison with the T-72B mod. 3, increasing this figure from 15 to 20-72 mm, respectively.
Such a parameter does not provide T-72B3M crews with protection even against completely outdated M829A1 BOPSs, which have armor penetration of the order of 655-700 mm of steel equivalent at a distance of 2000 m (at an angle and speed of meeting of a uranium core with an armor barrier, which is 0 degrees to the normal and 1435 m / s, respectively).
What can we say here about the more advanced armor-piercing feathered sub-caliber projectiles M829A2 / 3, as well as M829E4, the cores of which are able to overcome about 740/830 and 900-950 mm, respectively, at the same firing distance and angle of encounter with shelled armor barriers.
It was at this very time to mention the unique program of deep modernization of combatant MBT T-72B, during which the specialists of FSUE PO UVZ (now JSC Scientific and Production Corporation Uralvagonzavod named after F. E. Dzerzhinsky) received a fully combat-ready prototype MBT T-72B2 / BM "Slingshot" ("Object 184M"), in the gland of which were embodied the most advanced developments of JSC "Research Institute of Steel" in the field of protection of modern armored vehicles from promising anti-tank weapons of kinetic and tandem cumulative effects.
In particular, unlike the T-72B3M frontal armor plates, the frontal projection of this vehicle is covered with wedge-shaped EDZ 4S23 "Relic", which provide full protection of the T-72B2 / BM "Slingshot" tower not only against promising ATGMs with tandem cumulative warheads, but also against BOPS M829A2 at a distance of up to 2000 m, as well as M829A3 at a distance of 2500–3000 m with safe maneuvering angles +/- 15 degrees from the longitudinal axis of the bore.
In this case, the equivalent resistance of the frontal projection of the Slingshot tower from the BOPS reaches 810–820 mm, ensuring effective penetration only with the latest BOPS M829E4.
Unfortunately, the latter can be used from smooth-bore 120-mm M256 tank guns, which will be equipped with M1A2 SEP v3 for retrofitting combat units of the Polish Army.
To our great regret, the T-72B2 / BM "Slingshot" project remained a lonely star of the Uralvagonzavod exposition at the long-forgotten exhibition "Russia Arms EXPO - 2006" (RAE - 2006).
As for the much more simplified (in terms of armor protection) version of "Slingshot" - our today's protagonist T-72B3M, then the whole completeness of the non-iridescent picture here is complemented by the huge 70-100-mm gaps present between the wedge-shaped twin EDZ 4S22 "Contact- 5 "and completely bare miniature (by the standards of the perspective tank building of the third decade of the XXI century) 500-540 mm equivalent of the frontal armor plates of the turret at the angles of safe maneuvering +/- 20-30 degrees from the longitudinal axis of the bore.
This armored obstacle can be easily overcome even with an even earlier M829 BOPS at a distance of 2500-3000 m, or a 105-mm M833 BOPS at a distance of less than 1500 m.
And this is not to mention the almost completely bare sector of the mask of the 2A46M-5 cannon.
Against this background, the equivalent durability of the frontal armor plates of the Polish M1A2 SEP v3 towers, which have "packages" of corundum-ceramic and uranium-ceramic fillers AD95 and UO100, is 940-960 mm, practically establishing parity with the durability of the towers of promising domestic MBT T-90M "Proryv- 3 "(about 1050-1100 mm with a firing angle of 0 degrees to the normal).
Do not forget about the Trophy-HV active protection complexes included in the optional package supplied to the Polish army M1A2 SEP v3, by means of which our enemy will be able to repel several strikes at once by tank guided missiles 9M119M1 "Invar-M1" (ZUBK20M) of tank guided missile complexes armament 9K119M "Reflex-M" from a distance of 5000-3000 m, drawing the crews of the weakly protected T-72B3M into close tank combat using armor-piercing feathered sub-caliber shells.
Consequently, it is not possible to enhance the combat stability of the coastal units of the Baltic Fleet without re-equipping the advanced and more protected MBT T-90M "Proryv-3" and T-14 "Armata", equipped with KAZ "Arena-M" and "Afganit".
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