The Ukrainian Armed Forces have reportedly deployed its recently received T-72M1R main battle tanks with Kontakt-1 explosive reactive armor to the front line, in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region.
Ex-Polish T-72M1R tanks have been photographed driving through Bakhmut in the Donetsk region.
According to Defence24, the T-72M1R is one of the latest upgraded versions of Soviet-era T-72 tanks. The upgrade included installing the KLW-1 Asteria thermal imaging system, along with a passive observation suite for the commander, and the gunner. The MBTs received by the Polish Armed Forces also featured a digital intercom/external communications suite by WB Group, a new navigation system, and other, minor upgrades.
Ukrainian engineers also equipped ex-Polish T-72 with Kontakt-1 explosive reactive armor designed to use C4 explosives sandwiched in between two plates to react to the impact of an anti-tank weapon and reduce the damage sustained.
#Ukraine: Polish 🇵🇱 T-72M1R tanks operated by the Ukrainian army driving through Bakhmut, #Donetsk Oblast – notice one had its smoke launchers removed before installing Kontakt-1 ERA blocks.
These are decent tanks with good thermal scopes, communications and other new systems. pic.twitter.com/FmuTL11eDx
— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) May 31, 2022
New explosive reactive armor packages have been fitted at the front and the sides of the hull and at the front of the turret of the T-72M1R.
In mid-April, Poland’s prime minister confirmed the country supplied its Soviet-designed T-72 tanks to Ukraine to support the fight against Russia, which invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.