|This page is about the Soviet medium tank T-72A. For other versions, see T-72 (Family).|
The T-72A is a rank VI Soviet medium tank with a battle rating of 9.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.85 "Supersonic".
Survivability and armour
The T-72A's hull armour is practically the same as the T-64A's; textolite middle sandwiched between two RHA plates. The difference is that the T-72As upper glacis is angled at one degree further back than that of the T-64A and the use of Quartz core instead of High-Hardness Rolled Armour (HHRA) in the turret. Like the T-64 and T-80 line, the T-72A has a carousel-type autoloader centred under the turret. This means that a penetrating hit to the centre of the tank has a high chance of leading to an ammunition detonation and subsequent launch of the turret. This is however slightly less likely to happen with the T-72As type of autoloader, where the charges are stored horizontally (as "=") in comparison to the T-64/-80 type, where the charge sits vertically and is easier to hit.
Spare ammunition not inside the 22 round carousel is however spread more randomly around the fighting compartment. Therefore, bringing only 23 rounds (for 1 in the gun and 22 in the carousel) limits the chance of the spare ammo detonating in the case of a turret hit. There are two diesel tank ammo racks within the tank - one to the right of the driver and one between the engine and fighting compartment (with some loose ammo above it). It doesn't take much to realize that like most Soviet MBTs, the T-72A is rather explosive if extra ammo is taken, so great care is needed when showing the hull. The driver should also be aware of having only 3 crew members; if one is knocked out they should be sure to return to an objective point as soon as possible to get a new one.
- Cast homogeneous armour (Turret)
- Rolled homogeneous armour (hull)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 60 mm (68°)
16 mm Add-on steel plate (68°)
| 80 mm Top
20 mm Bottom
|40 mm|| 30 mm Frontal roof |
20 mm Engine deck roof
|Turret|| 200-280 mm Turret front (variable angles)
150 - 400 mm Gun mantlet (variable angles)
|130-240 mm||75 mm||45 mm|
|Cupola||100 mm (variable angles)||100 mm (variable angles)||100 mm (variable angles)||45 mm|
- Suspension wheels and torsion bars are 20 mm thick while tracks are 30 mm thick.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The T-72A is a slow and sluggish tank which has poor acceleration and handling. It has really poor reverse speed as well as hull traverse. However, it has a powerful engine which makes it capable of pulling and pushing enemy tanks as well as move through rough terrain with ease. It does not have enough horsepower to climb over steep elevations. Speed-wise, it has a decent top speed (~60-70 km/h) which under specific situations it is able to be reached.
Modifications and economy
The T-72A has the powerful 2A46M 125 mm smoothbore cannon. It has a powerful selection of rounds, each with different uses and similarities between same types.
|125 mm 2A46M||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
- 3BK12M: this is the stock ammunition which can be seen as poor when in frontal engagements against modern MBTs. However, the HEAT shaped charge as well as not losing penetration over distances makes it a decent round for sniping. However, the speed in said round is not fast and will be hard to aim at long distances.
- 3OF26: HE shell with a massive amount of explosive filler. This shell will destroy lightly armoured vehicles such as SPAA with overpressure.
- 3BM9: this is a tier I steel core APFSDS which has the highest muzzle velocity over all the APFSDS seen. However, the weight as well as penetration make it unreliable when facing top tier MBTs frontally.
- 3BM15: this is a tier 2 tungsten core APFSDS which has slightly less muzzle velocity compared to the 3BM9. However, this is the highest penetrating shot seen in the T-72A with increased weight over the 3BM9.
- 3BM22: this is a tier 4 APFSDS which has same ballistic performance as the 3BM15. However, penetration is reduced for a greater weight.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
| 40 (+4)
| 29 (+15)
| 23 (+21)
| 1 (+43)
- The T-72A uses two-piece ammunition, composed of propellant bags (orange) and projectiles (yellow). Both have separate racks.
- Shells are modelled individually and disappear after having been shot or loaded.
- A propellant charge remains in rack 2 after it is emptied and is later fired as part of rack 3. For the purpose of clarity, rack 2 is considered empty even if that charge is still present.
- Rack 4 (autoloader carrousel) is a first stage ammo rack containing 22 projectiles and 22 propellant charges.
- This rack gets filled first when loading up the tank and is also emptied first.
- As the T-72A is equipped with an autoloader, manual reloading of the gun is not possible.
- Once the autoloader magazine has been depleted, you can't shoot until the loader has restocked the autoloader with at least one shell. The restocking time is longer than the normal reload time of the gun. Take this into account when playing.
- Simply not firing when the gun is loaded will move ammo from racks 1 to 3 into rack 4. Firing will interrupt the restocking of the ready rack.
|12.7 mm NSVT|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|7.62 mm PKT|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The T-72A playstyle is near identical to the T-64A (and also subsequent Soviet MBTs). One of the key differences between the two vehicles is the T-72A's stronger armour. The quartz core composed turret will also bounce many shots and can even eat up some of the strongest ATGMs. In terms of armament, the T-72A boasts the very powerful and accurate 2A46M that Soviet high-rank tankers will quickly become familiar and fall in love with. Make sure to research the 3BM15 sabot rounds as soon as you can (after Parts and FPE of course), as the stock round has mediocre penetration for a sabot.
Enemies worth noting:
- XM-1 (Chrysler)/(GM): Avoid attempting combat with the 3BK18M HEATFS shells, despite their having thin composite armour
- AMX-30B2/AMX-30B2 BRENUS: DM23/33 have enough armour penetration to penetrate T-72 driver frontal plates, though all shells are effective against them in return.
- Leopard 2K: Turret mantlet is resistant to 3BK18M.
- AMX-40: Turret mantlet and lower frontal plate are highly resistant to 3BK18M.
- Strv 103: Depending on the hull angling, HEATFS rounds such as the 3BK18M might ricochet. APFSDS is recommended to be used when facing it frontally.
Pros and cons
- Mounts the same powerful 125 mm 2A46 gun as on the T-64 and T-80 (though an earlier version)
- Low profile, small target compared to other countries' main battle tanks
- Early unlocked laser rangefinder makes sniping long distances easier
- Has both smoke grenade launchers and ESS
- Due to thick frontal armour and correct angling, able to deflect most rounds from counterpart tanks of other countries
- Very accurate gun due to the high muzzle velocity of the APFSDS rounds, very effective long-range sniper
- Autoloader continues working even if fighting a fire or replacing a crew member, ready to use upon the fire being extinguished or the gunner having been replaced
- Ammo carousel means your first stage rounds all are centred below the turret, can be easily detonated through a hit to the hull
- Very slow reverse speed and traverse speed, a problem in situations where you cannot back away from an attacking enemy
- 3-man crew makes tank able to be knocked out easier, once one crew member is knocked out, you have to be very careful not to get hit again
- Gun depression inadequate for most hull-down situations, e.g. sniping from a hill or down a valley
- Driver's port is still a weakness
- Poor top speed
- Inferior optics with only one 8x zoom level
- 1st APFSDS modification is inferior to most contemporary rounds and 3BM22 is a Rank IV modification
- Its 2A46 125 mm gun is an early type; the stock ammunition is lacklustre and it cannot fire ATGMs like the T-64B, T-80B, and T-80U
- Glacis armour is not reliable until the add-on armour plate is unlocked (a tier IV modification)
- The tank commander can't fire the main gun if the gunner is knocked out, while it is a frequent feature for opposing MBTs at this BR
Development of the T-72 began shortly after the production of the T-64 highlighted several problems which negatively impacted production rates. Among these problems was an unreliable engine, which couldn't be produced at the high rates needed for a smooth production of the T-64 to take place.
In response, the Uralvagonzavod plant began working on a modified version of the T-64, which would use a more reliable and readily available engine, in order to provide the army with a tank fit for mass-production. Apart from this, changes were also made to the armour layout, in order to simplify production and decrease costs. This work resulted in the creation of the Object 172.
Development of the Object 172 continued, and after some trials, the vehicle entered service with the Soviet Army in August 1973, receiving its official designation T-72. Shortly afterwards, the vehicle was permitted for mass production, following the issuing of an official decree in 1974.
The T-72 was also heavily exported to and produced by nations of the Warsaw Pact as well as other countries worldwide, although these vehicles received certain downgrades compared to native Soviet models. Despite this, the T-72 quickly became one of the most widely used tanks in the world, participating in more conflicts than a single devblog could ever cover.
Since production began in 1974, over 20,000 T-72 tanks were built across several modifications in the Soviet Union/Russia alone, with production of more modern variants still ongoing today, even in other countries as well.
- From Devblog
The T-72 series tank was developed as a direct prototype of the T-64 mechanical issues correction. In 1962, while working on the corrections of production problems, specially engine and firepower, a new prototype was developed with the 125 mm 2A46M smoothbore gun and the V-45K diesel engine. This prototype was renamed to Object 172. While being in an unclear political process, decree number 326-113 was issued, freeing Uralvagonzavod from the production of the T-64A. The first batch was produced and set under the name of "Object 172M". It was tested again in 1972 and accepted to service under the name of T-72. License production was sold to multiple countries as well as unit batches to Warsaw pact nations and exported to other countries such as India, Syria, Finland, Iraq and Yugoslavia. After the collapse of the USSR in 1991, some of the independent countries kept the tanks such as Ukraine.
- Other vehicles of similar configuration and role
|USSR medium tanks|
|T-28||T-28 (1938) · T-28 · T-28E|
|T-34-76||T-34 (Prototype) · T-34 (1940) · T-34 (1941) · T-34 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-34 (1942) · T-34E STZ · T-34E|
|T-34-57||T-34-57 · T-34-57 (1943)|
|T-34-85||T-34-85 (D-5T) · T-34-85 · T-34-85E|
|T-44||T-44 · T-44-100 · T-44-122|
|T-54||T-54 (1947) · T-54 (1949) · T-54 (1951)|
|T-55||T-55A · T-55AM-1 · T-55AMD-1|
|T-62||T-62 · T-62M-1|
|T-64||Object 435 · T-64A (1971) · T-64B|
|T-72||T-72A · T-72AV (TURMS-T) · T-72B · T-72B (1989) · T-72B3 · T-72M2 Moderna|
|T-80||T-80B · T-80U · T-80UK · T-80UM2 · T-80BVM|
|Germany||▂T-III · ▂T-V|
|Great Britain||▂МК-IX "Valentine"|
|USA||▂M3 Medium · ▂M4A2|