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56th Motorized Brigade Bolsters Its Arsenal: A Multifaceted Tank Fleet Emerges

The Mariupol Brigade obtained an assortment of tanks in various configurations. The soldiers of the 56th Motorized Brigade exhibited their tanks during simulated combat. In 2022, the Motorized Brigade also procured captured Russian main battle tanks. The Brigade acquires Soviet-style tanks as well, which are supplied to Ukraine by Western allies.

The soldiers of the Brigades assert that all tanks are operational, and their crews are prepared for combat. “Some dream of ‘Leopards,’ while we already boast real lions in our ranks! The armored fist of our brigade is always prepared to strike the enemy’s teeth,” the brigade stated. Besides Т-64BV tanks, which served the Brigade prior to the full-scale invasion, tank operators were given T-72M1s.

The T-72M1 tanks were provided to Ukraine by Western allies, with Poland transferring Т-72М1 and Т-72М1R tanks in particular. Tanks from this series were extensively exported to Eastern Bloc nations and the Middle East. In 1980, a Т-72М, the export model of the Т-72А tank, emerged, differing from its counterpart in turret armor design.

In 1982, the М1 model was introduced as a further evolution of the Т-72М tank, gaining an additional 16mm of armor plate on the upper frontal section of the hull and combined turret armor. Salvages The Mariupol Brigade also operates captured Russian Т-72B3 tanks, which still possess the Sosna-U tank gunner’s sight with the Catherine thermal imager from French company Thales. Т-72B3 tanks were additionally outfitted with a new 125mm gun featuring enhanced ballistics and life span, as well as Kontakt-5 reactive armor.

The Ukrainian military has also installed extra protection on the tank in the shape of Kontakt-1 ERA units.

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