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Meet the T-72 Optimized for Street Fighting (Video)

Russian engineers have sought with this design to overcome the difficulties they have experienced employing tanks in urban environments.

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This post first appeared on Russia Insider

“Where can we see the new tank?”, asks an article published recently in RI. Right here, in this video taken at the Russian Arms Expo-2013 in Nizhny Tagil in the Urals. And not just it, but multipurpose APCs Rakushka and Atom.

What’s more, the newest incarnation of the T-72 has impressed one of Russia’s most knowledgeable military observers, Viktor Baranets, a retired colonel with a distinguished career in the Soviet and Russian Armies.

He shares his impressions with the readers of Russia’s most popular daily newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda

Uralvagonzavod has presented an exotic vehicle which draws local and foreign military experts around it at the KADEX-2016 arms exhibition taking place in Kazakhstan. The huge steel vehicle looks like a hybrid of a tank and a bulldozer for the uninitiated. People have already called it the "urban tank", though it would be more correct to call it the tank for street fighting.  

This machine was developed in the USSR during the Afghan war. Driving out mujahideen from towns and villages, our tanks would burn in narrow streets or fail to get over debris.

Tankers faced the same bitter experience during the 1995 war in Grozny, when the gunmen fired shoulder-launchers from the windows or roofs. Today Russian tanks bought by Assad for his army are sometimes easy targets for terrorists.

A few years ago, the special services concluded that we needed to use multi-purpose tanks in towns and settlements. Our T-72 was chosen as the basic vehicle. It’s different from ordinary machines of this type not only by its bulldozer-like scoop-blade for shoveling debris. It’s equipped with a radio-controlled IED electronic countermeasure system, which prevents it from being remotely exploded. It has a circular explosive-reactive armor (the tank is covered with these plates, which explode if there is a hostile incoming shell, preventing it from striking the fighting compartment). In addition, special metal screens make hollow-charge grenades explode before contact with armor.

And that’s not all. There is a turret with anti-bullet armor on the commander's hatch for safe control of the environment around the tank and work with anti-aircraft machine guns.

The bottom is enhanced to withstand explosions of land mines with a capacity of several dozen kilograms of triton.  Of course, all that considerably weighs up the tank, compared to a regular one. However, it has 1,000 horse power engines (comparing to 680 horse power with the regular T-72).

The Defense Ministry of Russia, which ordered the vehicles, require that many of the urban tank’s "gadgets" be removable when military vehicles are sent for combat in open terrain.

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