Morocco is the first African country to donate T-72 tanks to Ukraine

According to information published on the Czech news website “Novinky.CZ”, on December 5, 2022, T-72B Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) modernized by the Czech company Excalibur Army for Morocco will be delivered to Ukraine. Under negotiations with the United States and Europe Union, the Czech Ministry of Defense decided to supply the upgraded T-72 tanks for Morocco to Ukraine.

Citing information from the “Novinky.CZ” a Czech online news website, the modernization of the T-72B Main Battle Tanks by the Czech company Excalibur army was ordered by an African country. The final customer approved the request of the Czech Republic and considers this agreement as help for the Ukrainian government.

Following information published on the “ActuDéfense Maroc” Twitter account on December 13, 2022, the modernization of T-72 tanks had been ordered by Morocco. In fact, according to military open source information, Morocco had 40 Russian-made operational T-72B tanks and 62 in store. Instead of T-72 tanks, Morocco could order other military equipment produced by the Czech company Excalibur army.

On November 4, 2022, the United States announced a new military aid for Ukraine including 45 refurbished T-72B tanks modernized with new optics, communication systems, and armor packages. On November 5, 2022, the Czech Ministry of Defense confirmed that the local defense industry will renovate 90 Soviet-made T-72B Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) with the support of the Netherlands and the United States that will be supplied to Ukraine.

On December 4, 2022, the Army Recognition editorial team reported that he Czech company Excalibur army has developed a new modernized version of the Soviet-made T-72 tank equipped with thermal imagers, night vision systems, and new armor.

In an interview published by the “Novinky.CZ” Czech News website, Excalibur army commercial director Richard Kuběna said, the first batch of five modernized T-72 tanks will be delivered in the next few days and a total of 18 T-72 tanks will be supplied to Ukraine by the end of the year.

Citing Richard Kuběna, the Excalibur Army company needs three working months to modernize T-72 tanks. The tanks of Soviet origin were produced in the past in the Czech Republic, which facilitates the possibility of upgrading this type of military equipment thanks to the knowledge and technical experience learned in the past.

The T-72B is an improved version of the T-72A tank which entered into service with the Russian army in 1986. The Czech upgrade tank layout is similar to the original T-72B. It has a crew of three with the driver seated at the front center of the hull and the commander and gunner in the turret.

In terms of protection, the new Czech T-72 upgrade is fitted with an ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor) kit mounted at the front and on the sides of the hull as well as the front and the roof of the turret. It keeps the same armament as the T-72B consisting of one 2A46M 125 mm smoothbore gun. The second armament includes one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun mounted to the right side of the main armament and one 12.7mm heavy machine gun NSV machine can be mounted on the commander’s cupola. A bank of six-smoke grenade dischargers is mounted on each side of the turret.

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