|This page is about the medium tank T-72M1 (Germany). For other versions, see T-72 (Family).|
The ◊KPz T-72M1 was the final tank delivered to East Germany by the Warsaw Pact during the 1980s, with the intention of it becoming their new spearhead in case the Cold War escalated into a full-scale world war. The NVA used various versions of the T-72, but all of them were either from the Soviet Union (T-72 and T-72A) or from other Warsaw Pact countries with license-produced variants (T-72M and T-72M1). This model represents the export/licensed T-72M1, which had mostly identical performance to the Soviet T-72A Mod. 1983 (an upgraded T-72A with additional plates on the UFP which is a researchable upgrade to the T-72A in-game) after domestic upgrades were made in East Germany. These tanks were never used in war and were subsequently transferred to the Heer for evaluation or sale.
Introduced in Update "Sky Guardians", players from the Soviet tech tree will soon become accustomed to the tank due to its very similar, if not identical, performance compared to Soviet T-72A: the armour upgrade is now included for free with the T-72M1 in NVA service. Although it may not have the agility of NATO MBTs or the gun handling of PLAGF MBTs, the T-72M1 will still prove its worth against lower-tier enemies who face it with earlier APFSDS or even APDS, as they will have difficulty fighting back.
Survivability and armour
The T-72M1 is basically a near identical copy of the T-72A found in the Soviet tech tree, therefore the armour layout is also almost identical. Some differences are the additional applique armour placed on the front glacis which was part of the mid-1980s upgrade. While not substantially thick, the sloping effect on top of the composite front glacis might be enough to prevent some shells from fully penetrating, especially those from lower tiers; they will have extremely hard time going through the armour.
The hull and turret of the T-72M1 are strong enough to somewhat reliably bounce some shells and eat, although it still possesses the same weak spots that most other soviet tanks have (lower front plate, drivers optics, etc.).
- Cast homogeneous armour (turret)
- Rolled homogeneous armour (hull)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull||210+16 mm|| 80 mm Top
20 mm Bottom
|40 mm||20 mm|
|Turret|| 200-280 mm Turret front
150-400 mm Gun mantlet
|130-240 mm||60-100 mm||45 mm|
|Cupola||100 mm||100 mm||100 mm||45 mm|
As the T-72M1 was introduced late into NVA service and was one of the A/M variants, it continues to be powered by the well-known V-46-6 V12 turbocharged diesel engine used in the previous T-72 series. While this engine provides up to 780 horsepower when upgraded, with around 19 horsepower-to-weight ratio, it is not particularly fast. Nevertheless, it offers considerably more manoeuvrability compared to the M60 family or Chieftains. It is worth noting that the post-T-64 tanks feature a 7F1R planetary gear transmission, which gives the T-72 its distinctively slow reverse speed, a lethal flaw that is shared by most Soviet/Warsaw-Pact and certain PLAGF tanks.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
The T-72M1 shares the same gun as the T-72A, and this version of the 2A46M was equipped with heat sleeves. Due to export limitations from the Soviet Army, the only ammunition options for the T-72M1 are those used by the T-72A. The overall firepower of the T-72M1 is quite sufficient at its tier, thanks to its large-calibre 125 mm gun (NATO tanks have yet to upgrade their MBTs to 120 mm guns). The penetration is more than enough to handle most enemies it may face. However, it is important to be cautious of the rather slow turret traverse speed and the fixed 7.1 second reload time - plan your shots very carefully since exposed T-72s are rather fragile to incoming shells that aim for their weak spots.
|125 mm 2A46M||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|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)
|44||40 (+4)||29 (+15)||23 (+21)||1 (+43)||No|
Similar to its Soviet and Warsaw Pact counterparts, the T-72M1 in NVA service is equipped with NSVT and PKT machine guns. The NSVT is suitable for handling light vehicles or oncoming aircraft within its vertical traverse limits, while the PKT is only useful for taking out exposed crews of enemy vehicles.
|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-72 series is widely known for being an economical yet effective option for large-scale tank assaults. The T-72M1 in NVA service is no exception, sharing many characteristics with its Soviet counterparts. Its armour and firepower are superior to most enemies it might encounter, but there are some persistent flaws in this tank series that players should be aware of.
The T-72M1 is mostly identical to the T-72A Mod. 1983 in Soviet service, featuring the smoke launchers and extra layer of applique armour on the upper front plate (UFP) that provides additional protection against most tanks at its tier. The installation of the later 2A46M 125 mm gun also ensures that it can take on enemy targets at its tier with ease, as most tanks at its tier would be one-shot by its devastating ammunition. Players who are familiar with the Soviet tech tree will quickly become accustomed to the T-72M1's similar performance to the T-72A. Those who are using it as an alternative to Bundeswehr MBTs, however, will need to adjust their tactics to maximize its effectiveness against potential enemies. While the T-72M1 lacks the high top speed of tanks like the Leopard series (barely reaching 59 km/h, similar to PLAGF tanks), it has the firepower to obliterate enemies from a distance thanks to its laser rangefinder (LRF) and larger calibre gun. The high muzzle velocity of its APFSDS shell ensures that it lands on designated targets accurately, while its HE-FS shell can sometimes result in surprise kills on enemy MBTs with overpressure damage, not to mention light vehicles with minimal protection. Players should note, however, that the T-72M1's slow turret traverse speed and fixed magnification gunsight can make sniping a challenge. In the event of a more aggressive approach, the T-72M1's protection and firepower make it capable of breaking through defensive lines composed of lower-tier tanks. Players should take cover as soon as possible after a large-scale counterattack, however, as the tank is not capable of rapid shots on enemies. Delaying counterattacks and waiting for support is the best strategy.
A common issue that haunts the T-72 series is the gun traverse speed, as previously mentioned. Chances are that enemies will take to the flanks to hit the tank's sides instead, which will result in the most devastating blow it could suffer - the cramped AZ-172 autoloader is completely exposed to enemy shells, and a precise hit on it could trigger a "jack-in-the-box" effect, sending the turret flying hundreds of metres away from the hull. Therefore, players should never show the sides to enemies and should plan their assaults carefully. Directing the tank straight towards the enemies is the best way to increase the odds of survival. The well-known driver visor and LFP weakspot are still vulnerabilities of the T-72M1, but shells will often encounter areas well-protected with the applique armour. Players should avoid giving enemies the opportunity to take aim at these spots.
Pros and cons
- Better protection and small profile against enemy tanks
- Large-calibre main cannon with devastating firepower
- Better mobility than M60 or Chieftain series
- Commander HMG for taking out light targets/aircraft
- Equipped with HE-FS for overpressure damage against well-covered targets
- Autoloader for constant reload rate and available even during critical scenario (i.e fire onboard, knocked-out crew)
- Rather cramped interior with high odds of destruction/fatal damages in case of a penetration
- Infamous AZ-172 autoloader with very high chance of detonation when being hit directly
- Shares identical weakspots (i.e LFP, driver's visors) to the T-72 series
- Slow turret traverse speed, vulnerable to sudden attacks or flankers
- Mediocre top speed compare to Leopards or AMX-30s
- Fixed 8x optical channel with less flexibility to variable magnification optics
- Lacks commander override for the gun
- Lacks thermal optics
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