“Tank for war”: Soviet T-72 will remain in Poland

Poland decided to resume the use of Soviet T-72 tanks in the army

According to the director of the Military Property Agency Krzysztof Falkowski, the old T-72 tanks, which were supposed to be modernized and sold to Jordan, will remain on Polish territory. Why did Warsaw decide to keep the tanks for itself?

Photo from the site ru.wikipedia.org

Polish military specialist Wojciech Luczak linked the return of old secular T-72 tanks to service with the increase in the size of the Polish army. In turn, the director of the Agency for Military Property Krzysztof Falkowski believes that “after modernization, they will probably return to service.”

“There are more than three times more tanks in the Polish armed forces than in the German Bundeswehr. In the ranks of the armored forces of Poland, there are currently about 900 combat vehicles, of which one hundred Leopard 2A5 tanks, almost one and a half hundred Leopard 2A4, more than 200 PT-91 Twadry (this is a tank based on the T-72) and almost five hundred T-72 / T -72M1D / T-72M1 (produced at one time in Poland under a Soviet license), “the former head of the strategy department of the Military Academy of the General Staff, a graduate of the Military Academy of Armored Forces, Lieutenant General, told Gazeta.Ru Boris Chernov.

The Polish tank fleet today is the fourth largest in NATO in terms of the number of vehicles (after the USA, Turkey and Greece).

As for the T-72, a significant part of them are currently in storage. “But this machine is very good, and after modernization it will significantly enhance the combat capabilities of the Polish armed forces. From the point of view of the criterion of efficiency and cost, the Polish decision is undoubtedly the right one, ”the general said.

“The Poles turned out to be very practical when it came to the actual operation of tanks,” said the editor-in-chief of the magazine Arsenal of the Fatherland. Victor Murakhovsky.

According to him, combat and operational training forms the basis of the army’s daily activities. During it, tanks are used almost every day. And the issues of the cost of operation and the reliability of weapons come to the fore. As a result, if there is a choice from a number of types and modifications of tanks, then, as a rule, those combat vehicles that are distinguished by good reliability and an acceptable cost of operation remain in service. According to these parameters, the T-72 is beyond competition, if we talk about tanks of the same generation, the specialist believes.

Foreign vehicles that are used to equip the armored forces of Poland – two modifications of Leopard tanks – are significantly more expensive to operate and require sufficiently high qualifications of personnel when carrying out maintenance, routine maintenance and repairs.

“And most importantly, in the course of recent wars and armed conflicts, the listed combat vehicles did not demonstrate the high combat qualities that were expected of them,” Murakhovsky emphasizes. “And the modernized T-72s and the T-90s created on their basis in their characteristics can well be compared with the Leopard and Abrams, and during the battles in the Middle East they proved to be no worse.”

Apparently, the experience of hostilities in Iraq and Syria is carefully studied by the Polish side, and appropriate conclusions are drawn on its basis, the expert believes. It is quite possible that it was on this basis that the main decisions were made to return the T-72 tanks to the combat strength of the armored forces of the Polish Armed Forces.

“Iraq has the ability to simultaneously operate the Abrams, T-72 and T-90 tanks,” recalls Viktor Murakhovsky.

And judging by the zeal with which Baghdad purchases T-90 tanks, it becomes clear that the Iraqi military, who have the practice of using both types of vehicles in combat, are aware of the parameters for choosing combat vehicles for the national armed forces, the interlocutor emphasizes. editions.

“If you need a tank for a war, then this is, of course, T-72 and vehicles based on it, if for a parade, then it is quite possible to purchase other types of armored weapons. There is always a wide selection of Western-made armored combat vehicles, ”concludes Murakhovsky.

“The Poles are on the right track. 70% of the cost of a tank is the price of an armored hull. Everything else is not so expensive and, in fact, in comparison with the corps, is a penny, “- said the former chief of staff of the Leningrad Military District, Colonel-General Sergey Kizyun.

The armored hull, he said, is the basis for building up the combat capabilities of the tank. Therefore, the general believes that the Polish way is absolutely correct – it is necessary to install a modern fire control system, make a good sighting and observation complex, put on the car dynamic protection against armor-piercing feathered sub-caliber projectiles and cumulative ammunition, think over active protection.

“After such a modernization, the tank will still serve for a very long time and will fully meet modern requirements in terms of its characteristics,” Colonel-General Kizyun believes.

By and large, the Polish decision on the T-72 is very pragmatic, the Poles have no extra money today, explained a leading Russian expert in the field of armored vehicles and weapons Mikhail Baryatinsky.

The Poles do not need to be convinced of the high combat qualities of the T-72 tank, they already know this, the expert argues. And this is proved by a tank made in Poland on the basis of a deep modernization of the T-72 – PT-91 Twаdry. The removal of Polish T-72s from storage indicates only one thing – the upcoming increase in the combat and numerical strength of the Polish armored forces. Poland has nowhere to get other, more modern tanks.

“No one will throw anything from the master’s shoulder to Warsaw,” says Mikhail Baryatinsky.

According to the interlocutor of Gazeta.Ru, since serial production of the T-72 and RT-91 was launched in Poland, the Poles are well aware of the advantages and disadvantages of these combat vehicles. And even if they made some loud statements earlier about the tactical and technical characteristics of these machines, then basically these declarations were voiced on the basis of purely political, and not military-technical considerations.

According to Baryatinsky, the tanks stored in Poland certainly need modernization. However, this modernization will not require much organizational effort. The Poles have been operating the T-72 and RT-91 parks for a long time, for several decades, they have production and repair facilities, and experienced personnel. And what is important – and in the armored forces of Poland, this machine has been mastered very well.

Author: Mikhail Khodarenok

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