Military Review

PT-72U: "city tank" in Polish

In armed conflicts of recent decades tanks often had to work in urban environments to which they were not adapted. Shelling from all sides, short distances and the difficulty of timely detection of the enemy led to the appearance of several modernization projects for various tanks. So, in the USA, the TUSK kit was created, designed to increase the combat potential of the M1A2 Abrams tanks; France developed the AZUR kit for its Leclerc; and Germany - a PSO system for Leopard 2 family vehicles. Several years ago, Poland proposed its version of an “urban” tank. The PT-72U project involves equipping the main T-72 tanks of Soviet or Russian production with a set of special equipment that can increase the level of protection, firepower and combat capabilities of the vehicles as a whole.

PT-72U: "city tank" in Polish

The prototype tank PT-72U was first presented at MSPO-2011. When creating the project, concern Bumar (the main work on the project was performed by ZM Bumar Łabędy SA) took into account the experience gained by Polish tank crews while working in Afghanistan. In addition, the features of other recent conflicts that used T-72 family tanks were taken into account. According to some reports, Polish tank builders also studied the August 2008 fighting.

Like foreign kits to increase the survivability of tanks in urban environments, the PT-72U project is designed to improve the performance of combat vehicles in several ways. The project took measures to increase the level of protection, to improve control over the situation and to increase firepower.

The level of protection of the tank PT-72U is increased in comparison with the base machine by upgrading the available tools and applying new ones. Thus, the frontal part of the hull and turret, as well as the sides of the hull are closed with dynamic armor of a new design. Its modules are smaller in comparison with those used on the base T-72, but at the same time cover the tank's armor more tightly. The rear part of the sides, as well as the hull and tower feeds, are equipped with anti-cumulative grids. Grilles located at a distance of more than 500 mm from the hull or tower can significantly reduce the effect of hitting a single-piece cumulative ammunition. Grilles with a total weight of about 420 kg significantly reduce the likelihood of a tank being hit with rocket-propelled grenade launchers like the RPG-7. As an example of the need to use the gratings, one of the episodes of the war in South Ossetia is given when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the side of a Georgian T-72 tank and caused a detonation of ammunition.

To protect against mines and improvised explosive devices tank PT-72U received several new structural elements. An additional reservation is placed on its bottom, which is a block of several materials. Safety of the driver is ensured by a new chair attached to the roof of the case. A special design of the chair is able to absorb some of the energy of the explosion. These chairs are used in modern armored vehicles class MRAP.

One of the main complaints about the T-72 tank associated with the recent wars is the lack of a remote-controlled machine gun installation. To save the PT-72U tank from this drawback, the designers of the Bumar concern used the remote-controlled turret ZSMU-127 Kobuz, developed by ZM Tarnów. The turret is mounted 12,7-mm machine gun NSVT. The new combat module has a fully autonomous control system and can be used independently of other control systems. weapons. It is equipped with its own observation and sighting devices. The design of the turret allows you to direct the machine gun in any direction with elevation angles from -5 ° to + 55 °. Such angles of guidance in combination with large caliber allow you to effectively hit targets in a fairly large area. For example, the PT-72U tank is capable of destroying the enemy's manpower, hiding on the upper floors of buildings.

In the context of urban combat, the issue of timely detection of threats is particularly acute. For this, the PT-72U tank is equipped with the ODF Optronics ODR-HV surveillance system. It consists of eight cameras with a field of view width 55 °, located on different parts of the tower. Thus, all of them provide circular observation, and the cameras' viewing areas partially overlap with each other. The video signal from the cameras is transmitted to the monitor installed on the workplace of the tank commander. On the roof of the tower, between the hatches of the commander and the gunner is a block of the ODR PTZ surveillance system. The unit can rotate in any direction and tilt in a vertical plane ranging from -10 ° to + 70 ° from the horizontal. Optics unit ODR PTZ provides 26-fold increase. The ODF Optronics ODR-HV system provides continuous monitoring of the environment and, if necessary, can be used to aim a machine gun turret.

A number of new equipment, including air conditioning, led to a change in the electrical system architecture of the tank. The PT-72U is equipped with an auxiliary power unit with a power of 17 kilowatts. Its main purpose is to provide systems with electric power without using the main engine, for example, during parking.

Another interesting feature of the PT-72U project is the reduced gun ammunition. Due to the installation of the air conditioner, the free volume inside the crew compartment was significantly reduced. New equipment was installed at the place of laying ammunition. Because of this, the crew of the tank can only make 22 shots using ammunition located in the automatic loader. Such a change in ammunition received an interesting justification. Polish tank builders analyzed the course of the most recent urban battles in which tanks were used, and concluded that there was no need for full ammunition. It should be noted that the upgraded PT-72U tanks are supposed to be equipped with an updated automatic loader developed by Polish companies.

Simultaneously with the auxiliary power unit, the updated Polish tank received a number of new electrical and communications equipment. So, for communication with other tanks and command, it is proposed to use the Radmor RRC9310AP radio station, and communication between crew members should be carried out using a Fonet-IP intercom.

The project of modernization of the T-72 family of tanks to the state of PT-72U is made according to a modular scheme. Due to this, it is alleged that in a relatively short time, a T-72М1, PT-91 or PT-91E tank can be prepared for urban battles. After a similar upgrade, the letter “U” is added to the index of the base machine. In the future, it is possible to adapt elements of the complex for installation on other tanks of the T-72 family.

In May 2013 of the year, it became known about the plans of the Ministry of Defense of Armenia. According to reports of that time, Armenia and Poland created a joint venture in which specialists of the two countries will be engaged in the modernization of the T-72 tanks of the Armenian armed forces. In addition to special equipment for combat in urban environments, in the course of modernization, tanks will receive a new 1000 horsepower engine, which will affect their mobility accordingly. Information about other contracts for the construction or modernization of tanks to the state of PT-72U is missing.

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  1. La-5
    La-5 17 December 2013 08: 22 New
    "Chicks of Petrov's nest" in a modern version. The USSR helped many countries to solve the problem of defense, very often for nothing.
    1. de klermon
      de klermon 17 December 2013 19: 58 New
      Junk!!! You can fool: they put a condo - minus half an ammunition ... Interestingly, did you see enough Polish home-made Tagil exhibitions on the body kit concept?
      PS These are shameless people: the Soviet invaders are always scamming, but they still live largely at our expense! ..
      1. shtirliz
        shtirliz 17 December 2013 21: 01 New
        Junk!!! You can fool: they put the condo - minus half the ammunition ...

        this ammunition load is placed in all free places of the tank, outside the safe zone of the AZ. Thanks to this, such cases of undermining and "flight" of the tower are possible, as in the Georgian T-72 in South Ossetia and in the first Chechen one. And as in other conflicts with the use of these tanks.
        For this reason, it is more advisable to place 22 shots in the AZ, and spend the freed up area on more necessary things.)
      2. smersh70
        smersh70 17 December 2013 22: 59 New
        Quote: de Klermon
        Here are the shameless people: the Soviet invaders are always wailing, and they still live largely at our expense! ..

        You still look - Armenia, being a strategic ally and actually an outpost .... receives weapons from Russia for nothing ... and at the same time creates a joint venture with Poland ... laughing it turns out they have money wassat truly, there is no prophet in his own country)))))))
  2. Prohor
    Prohor 17 December 2013 08: 27 New
    In general, everything is done reasonably, but the cameras are just laughter, how long will they last in battle? It is also unclear what size the air conditioner is, if it "displaces" 20 shots, in my opinion, for 10 m3 of the booked volume, the air conditioner should be a maximum of 3 liters.
    1. mirag2
      mirag2 17 December 2013 13: 31 New
      Obviously not only because of the air conditioner, but also because of the Polish automatic loader.
    2. shtirliz
      shtirliz 17 December 2013 21: 03 New
      obviously. which to increase safety in battle. for to break through, as well as to get into the AZ zone, is much more difficult than in other zones of the tank.
    3. The comment was deleted.
  3. Alexey K.
    Alexey K. 17 December 2013 08: 41 New
    Our tank for urban combat looks more impressive.
    1. Jake danzels
      Jake danzels 17 December 2013 10: 55 New
      Birdhouse instead of uncontrolled anti-aircraft installations?
      Or does he have a better review?
      Or are there no holes in the DZ tower?
      Or I'm a patriot and "nivalnuet", ours is better!
    2. Atlas
      Atlas 8 February 2014 12: 45 New
      I WOULD NOT SAY.....
  4. Lieutenant colonel
    Lieutenant colonel 17 December 2013 09: 05 New
    Alexey K. - what is more impressive? With a "contact" that has "holes" or does not cover sections of the tower at all? Or a dump? Or a piece of iron above the commander's hatch?
  5. tchoni
    tchoni 17 December 2013 09: 08 New
    I agree with Prokhor the protection of the cameras is absolutely insufficient. If only they were placed in some armored box. And then came under mortar fire - and went blind.
    I would like to add that in the case of a reduction in ammunition, they may be right for the case of a "city" tank. Firstly, they freed up space, and secondly, they sharply reduced the likelihood of ammunition detonation. Although for line tanks this is rather a minus ... (although a moot point)
  6. makarov
    makarov 17 December 2013 09: 15 New
    Undoubtedly, the bells and whistles made by the Poles are necessary and useful, it is pointless to deny it. One single question gnaws: - did the system break in during a real battle in urban conditions, and what conclusions were made ??? Or is it all just on paper?
    1. sasska
      sasska 18 December 2013 17: 03 New
      yes, a condo instead of an ammunition - no doubt the necessary twist. and, instead of the second half, you can put a fridge for burgers and a microwave. what
      cameras without protection - the goal for the sniper is not very difficult (in Chechnya, perfume snipers cut antennas with a shot).

      IMHO, no more.
    2. Atlas
      Atlas 8 February 2014 12: 47 New
      It was said the same that the 08,08,08 war was taken into account .. But apparently there was no real battle yet and this is good ..
  7. Bongo
    Bongo 17 December 2013 09: 20 New
    Has the license for the production of the T-72 expired in Poland, or did the Poles not bother with this?
    1. Prohor
      Prohor 17 December 2013 09: 30 New
      Do they produce it themselves? I thought they had 72 since the Warsaw Pact ...
      1. Bongo
        Bongo 17 December 2013 09: 34 New
        Polish designation RT-91 "Tvardy". They were even exported.
    2. sapran
      sapran 17 December 2013 12: 04 New
      If I'm not mistaken, they are already pushing it as an independent car (there is no longer a license, but "based on" the RT-91) The only thing that confuses is the 1000 hp engine. here the B-84 was already a "sissy" about the Russian B-92 controversial information passes. Yes, both Slovaks and Indonesians seem to be waiting for this modification for several years (probably already done)
      1. Jake danzels
        Jake danzels 17 December 2013 13: 25 New
        Greetings, Kamrad.
        By the way, on dviglo and transmission, on the RT-91 it seems like a monoblock comes from the old-timers?
    3. AVV
      AVV 17 December 2013 20: 05 New
      The Poles are on the beaten track of China, and they don’t bother with licenses !!! They’ve created something of their own, and other countries will be able to do tuning !!!
  8. kirgudu
    kirgudu 17 December 2013 10: 36 New
    Yyyy Cameras are a godsend for the sniper. A couple of minutes of work - and the tank is blind.

    1. Tankist_1980
      Tankist_1980 17 December 2013 20: 13 New
      a couple of minutes of machine gun work and no snipers ...
      1. alone
        alone 17 December 2013 23: 31 New
        laughing one TOPOL M and there is no tank, no sniper and machine gunner)) wassat
      2. sasska
        sasska 18 December 2013 18: 38 New
        in your opinion, the sniper is sitting with a placard "Welcome!" will be? winked
        Ah, blessed are those who believe ...
  9. rudolff
    rudolff 17 December 2013 12: 05 New
    If an uninhabited combat module is used on Armata, cameras will be the main means of monitoring the environment, so the question is not whether to use them or not, but how to cover them more reliably. Protecting the cameras with armored housings, and making the backup ones retractable would not be superfluous. The idea of ​​reducing the size of the DZ blocks is quite interesting, although here it is also necessary to proceed from the number of detonated neighboring blocks in the event of a shot hit, what area opens up with such a canopy. A bulldozer blade suggests itself. And for the mechanic drive, protection is additional and it is more convenient to wade through the rubble. In general, good fellows Poles, maybe not an ideal solution to protect a tank in a city battle, but such a "kit" will definitely not be superfluous.
  10. Cruorvult
    Cruorvult 17 December 2013 12: 05 New
    When a ministerial project to modernize a domestic tank comes through, it looks better than ours ...
    At least there are no holes in the remote sensing zone and the top of the wheel closes + the remote machine gun.
  11. sapran
    sapran 17 December 2013 12: 09 New
    Why didn’t they write a word about the new sights - but in the photo there is ...
  12. alex-cn
    alex-cn 17 December 2013 14: 29 New
    Experts, who knows, explain how to quickly process one person, process information from 8 cameras, at least I understand this in the duty room with a large monitor, but in the tank ... Are they giving such a big win?
  13. PANZER
    PANZER 17 December 2013 15: 19 New
    You can stick a tank like a hedgehog with cameras from top to bottom, just the point is from this. Well, the gunner or the tank commander will see into the camera how a bearded mug with a "FLY" protrudes from the window of the third floor, and then what? How will he get this bearded face out of there? NSVT? Or the main caliber? We must not cover tanks with cameras, but teach tactics. A tank in a city is a means of fire support for infantry. And the infantry is a means of supporting the tank. With a well-established and well-tested interaction between infantry-tank-infantry, no cameras are needed.
    1. Rex
      Rex 18 December 2013 03: 46 New
      If there is an opportunity to get it, she will not have time to react before launch
      And do not approach the enemy infantry, without their support, closer than 600-800 meters.
      In general, it is better not to drive a tank into the city - it is not effective there in 90% of cases.
      The exception is wide prospectuses, etc., where it can normally use the main weapon for suitable purposes, and not be detached from the enemy infantry individually
  14. PANZER
    PANZER 17 December 2013 15: 33 New
    Judging by the photo, the tank is not covered with containers with DZ, but pieces of rolled armor, which will not greatly increase its survivability when hit by a TCP with a cumulative warhead. (not to mention tandem ammunition)
    1. Andrei
      Andrei 18 December 2013 02: 32 New
      Similar containers are installed on the RT-91 (and this is DZ and not pieces of rolled armor) they just do not look like ours (they can use more efficient explosives in containers and therefore use less explosives in volume, maybe metal plates from another alloy and therefore more tonic, maybe something else - how the Poles achieved such a small size, I do not know.
  15. visuvius
    visuvius 17 December 2013 17: 37 New
    They hung the cameras, but still better than nothing. And our tank for the city, too, will not be interrupted by a remote machine gun, and not this miracle from above. It would also be nice to have a skirt on the tower. At the expense of the baekomplekt for the city, there can be less agreement, there would be more shells to add a new sample. And there well done though, they’re doing something.
  16. Tetros
    Tetros 17 December 2013 18: 57 New
    I think that ours could hang a laser there - there would be money. It is not known how much such a machine costs and how effective it is in terms of price / efficiency ratio.

    I’m watching the Syrian tanks. There is almost everything that can be defeated by snipers. And here it’s even worse.

    Here is my personal opinion that for battles in the city you need a tank like our Terminator only with guns rising almost vertically + some kind of 50-100mm cannon or even an ordinary grenade launcher capable of breaking through walls and undermining the warhead after breaking through. But the tanks will still need cover infantry, and he generally will not need these cameras, and who will follow them all? On the move, it’s hard to find the enemy in a cluster of windows, but how to fumble with cameras?
  17. uhjpysq1
    uhjpysq1 17 December 2013 20: 11 New
    Yes, at least 100000000 cameras are hung. They will not replace the infantry cover. The purpose is that the infantry indicates)
  18. Hauptam
    Hauptam 17 December 2013 21: 29 New
    Polish army on rovers on x ... and self-gunners. As always in its role. There is no concept, experience in combat use, training for military personnel, it’s not clear what is enclosed.
    1. sapran
      sapran 18 December 2013 00: 16 New
      Not sure?! DO NOT OVERTAKE!
    2. Jake danzels
      Jake danzels 18 December 2013 11: 23 New
      Is the rover a Leopard 2A4 / 2A5?
      By the way, attention toApros, do you know the system, principles and methodology of training l / s Polish troops?
      Ksati what is the main mistake in the war? Not by chance "underestimating the enemy"?
  19. bublic82009
    bublic82009 17 December 2013 21: 30 New
    many interesting solutions. but ammunition reduction to 22 pieces? This is of course an interesting question.
  20. Tankist_1980
    Tankist_1980 17 December 2013 21: 40 New
    put heated seats, music (which is convenience))) and reduce the additional kit to two shells ...
    1. Atlas
      Atlas 8 February 2014 12: 58 New
      Why do they need full ammunition in the city? I think the Syrian tankers in the heat it is more important not to bend in a piece of iron from choking and heat than a couple of extra times to shoot somewhere. The better they have conditions the less tired, and oh, how important it is !!! And when will the shells end in the AZ how to shoot? As far as I know, it’s not very convenient to manually charge and the rate of fire drops a lot, it turns out easier to leave and reload the AZ. Well and most importantly - the probability of an explosion of ammunition is significantly reduced, which is very important for the T-72 series. This is purely my opinion, I do not impose it on anyone ...
  21. Lesorub
    Lesorub 17 December 2013 21: 44 New
    Quote: Alexey K.
    Our tank for urban combat looks more impressive.

    Where is our remote-controlled machine gun on our tank (the fact that there is spherical armor for the machine gunner - this is a holiday for the sniper - even in urban conditions) !!! Yes, the Poles with the cameras are clearly too smart - any dirt is dust and they are useless!
  22. propolsky
    propolsky 17 December 2013 23: 11 New
    Here are hives, then they suck, then they feed themselves, sculpt yourselves and offer them!
    1. sapran
      sapran 18 December 2013 00: 19 New
      Ball skiers suggest buyer picks - a bazaar however. Believe me, if everything is fine in the "city tank" from UVZ, then they will buy it like pies. You don’t have to worry about “shammyzhniko”. ... but if they don't want to .... mmm, we'll blame it on the meanness of the State Department and neighbors ..
  23. wanderer_032
    wanderer_032 18 December 2013 22: 08 New
    In general, in the photo this extra kit looks good (its cost is interesting).
    In our time, such kits are needed for "work" in us.
    The fact mentioned in the article is noteworthy that this modification was made on the basis of the combat experience of Polish tankers (I wonder what they fought there) in Afghanistan, but I personally didn’t come across such information. That already suggests some thoughts. Or is it such a PR move by the manufacturer (unclear than justified), or just nonsense.
    Although this engineering "miracle" has been assembled, it seems as if at a good technological level, but some design flaws that they say "are striking" (which was noticed by many respected users in their comments).
  24. Flibustiero
    Flibustiero 26 December 2013 11: 15 New
    I watched the video from Syria there, the T-72 tanks got decently! It seems to me that it is difficult to detonate a tank ammunition with one hit from an RPG-7. Although these "videos" contain many different compilations and shameful "fakes" I don't even know what to think. Although the Polish tank is good!
    1. Atlas
      Atlas 8 February 2014 13: 06 New
      It’s difficult, but possible, and it’s not uncommon !!! In Tskhinval, the tower from T-72 is still sticking out of the ground (stuck in the barrel after a long flight caused by the explosion of the bk), it was left as a monument to those events. By the way, the tank gasped with one shot Barankevich.
  25. krivedka
    krivedka 24 February 2014 15: 48 New
    Quote: Atlas
    Why do they need full ammunition in the city? I think the Syrian tankers in the heat it is more important not to bend in a piece of iron from choking and heat than a couple of extra times to shoot somewhere. The better they have conditions the less tired, and oh, how important it is !!! And when will the shells end in the AZ how to shoot? As far as I know, it’s not very convenient to manually charge and the rate of fire drops a lot, it turns out easier to leave and reload the AZ. Well and most importantly - the probability of an explosion of ammunition is significantly reduced, which is very important for the T-72 series. This is purely my opinion, I do not impose it on anyone ...

    I completely agree with a friend, because here many talk about the training and professionalism of the crew, but you need to understand that the crew of the tank are living people, and some Syrian tankers are not very young people, but, with great experience in military operations, it’s better to create optimal, comfortable ones for them conditions so that they do not have to fight even with their own body. - I saw one video, it captures how the Syrian fighters clean the areas adjacent to the highway, with the support of tanks, - and so, from time to time, Syrian tankmen drove the tank under a safe building occupied by troops, and climbed out of the tank to rest. Also, the Syrian tankers themselves said that they really needed an anti-aircraft machine gun, which could be controlled without leaving the tower.
    The Polish modification is very good, probably even better than the Russian, for several reasons.
    1) dz, I don’t know how effective the Polish dz is, and I don’t want to check, however, it’s not possible, but it covers the most vulnerable upper projection of the tank tower, in addition, the construction of high-rise buildings is very common, so there’s no the illusory probability of getting an RPG grenade at a fairly small angle is exactly from above, the Polish T-72 dz is there - this is a plus, compared to the Russian version.
    2) a machine gun - you do not need to leave the tower to fire from it (given the fact that buildings in the areas of Syria where the fighting is going on are simply teeming with "rebels", then each such sortie to the anti-aircraft machine gun risks becoming the last, because sometimes between the tank and the enemy, the distance can be less than 20 meters, it will not be difficult to mow the machine gunner in a burst.
    at the expense of cameras - I don’t know, there are a lot of them on the one hand, and you won’t follow everything, the brain will boil simultaneously process the image from several cameras, and there are more important things during the battle, on the other hand due to the quantity, they are for some time able to provide an overview of the tank, in any case, some less important areas can be ignored.
    In addition, the BC is not widespread throughout the tank, which is also a plus.