|This page is about the Russian medium tank T-72B3. For other versions, see T-72 (Family).|
The T-72B3 is a rank VII Russian medium tank with a battle rating of 10.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Raining Fire".
The T-72B3 is a 2010s upgrade of the venerable T-72B (1989). It now has thermal sights for the gunner and the same ammunition selection as the preceding T-90A; useful improvements that allow it to fight top-tier tanks effectively while retaining the T-72B's strong armor, but the unimproved mobility really hurts at its rank. What really brings out this tank's potential is the T-72B3 UBH modification, which installs a 1,130 horsepower engine, adds ERA to the hull and turret sides, and drastically improves the gun handling. This does not completely eliminate the T-72's flaws, such as the 5 km/h reverse speed, but it does make the UBH arguably the ultimate member of the T-72 family in War Thunder — in many respects it is actually better than the T-90A it was intended to be an affordable supplement to, and it complements its distant cousin, the T-80U, as an alternative with lower agility but superior firepower.
Survivability and armour
Overall, the armour protection of the T-72B3 can be considered almost the same as in the T-90A and T-80U. The T-72B3, similar to the T-72B (1989) and T-90A, has access to the CONTACT-5 ERA. This ERA (different from Relict and CONTACT-1 seen in other T-72B series) has the particularity that it has stopping power against APFSDS (similar to Dorchester). Different from other T-72s and T-90A, this tank also gets access to the multi-layer Relict ERA in the side-skirts and slat armour (cage) on the engine deck sides and rear. Fuel tanks on either side of the driver can soak up some shrapnel and add to the overall survivability although they are most likely to be lit on fire if hit with HEAT-FS or an ATGM. However, as with all Russian autoloaded MBTs, there are only three crew members so a well-placed shot is capable of causing a crew knock-out. Despite having a carousel autoloader which is not protected by any blast shield like on the Leclerc and Type 90 MBTs, it is harder to ammo rack compared to the T-80s especially since the ammo is scattered horizontally on top of each other ("=" in this shape) and not in an L shape (in which charges are vertical and projectiles are horizontal). This reduces the chances of ammo rack compared to the T-80s. However, all side shots on the hull will be lethal regardless of the carousel as said shot will take out two crew members. The ERA offers really good protection against chemical energy penetrators such as HEAT-FS, ATGMs, and anti-tank grenades, having a protection of 420 mm against chemical energy and 120 mm against kinetic energy. This makes the tank capable of withstanding hits of all HEAT-FS of the BR (most of them penetrate between 320 mm to 480 mm) and ATGMs (between 400 mm to 1,000 mm). It should be noted that ERA itself cannot stop all the spalling created by the premature explosion, the armour plating is what stops the spalling in case the ATGM has more penetration than what the ERA can withstand.
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull||60 mm (69°) Front glacis||80 mm (0°) Front
70 mm (0°) Rear
| 40 mm (30°) Top
40 mm (30°) Center
20 mm (29°) Bottom
| 30 mm Front|
20 mm Engine deck
|Turret|| 585-660 mm Turret front
220-600 mm Gun mantlet
|180-240 mm||75-150 mm||45 mm|
|Cupola||40 mm||40 mm|
- ERA plates are 13 mm thick
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The T-72B3 has the same mobility and manoeuvrability as past T-72B series with its V-84 engine. However, once the UBH package is installed, it has greater mobility compared to previous T-72 series tanks as it has an increase in horsepower thanks to the V-92S2F engine. Compared to its more expensive and gas turbine-equipped counterpart, the T-80U, the T-72B3 has worse mobility and manoeuvrability even with the UBH package. The T-72B3 has mediocre speed and overall mobility compared to NATO tanks which is compensated with armour and low profile. With its powerful engine, the T-72B3 is able to pull and push enemy tanks with ease (winching them is recommended to activate the tank corpse track movement as they will not move if no cable is attached)
Modifications and economy
The T-72B3 has access to the 2A46M-5 125 mm smoothbore main gun. This gun is nothing new in the Russian MBT tree and fires the same ammunition as seen in previous models (darts vary from the T-72A to the rest of the T-72 and T-90 tanks). This can be considered as a pro as all rounds have same handling between series. As all T-72Bs, they are able to fire the 9M119 ATGM from the main gun. However, the T-72B3 has access to the 9M119M1, a modernized 9M119 with a tandem charge but slightly reduced flight speed. The 2E58 gun control system was also adopted, which greatly boosts the gun traverse speed to a whopping 40° in both horizontal and vertical directions.
|125 mm 2A46M-5||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The T-72B3 has access to the same ammunition shown in previous T-72Bs. All are capable rounds which are not new and have same handling.
The 3BK18M is the first round the T-72B3, as the previous T-72Bs, has access to, it can be considered a mediocre round as most of the enemies which will be faced will be able to withstand it due to composite armour. However, it is particularly useful when facing light armoured vehicles which are prompt to overpressure (SPAA, light tanks, etc) and useful when facing enemy helicopters as it has enough explosive mass and flight speed to be competitive as a last resort. As a hollow charge, it is prompt to detonate mid-air due to trees, bushes and fences. This makes the round difficult to use when in long range engagements as some field elements (forage, objects, etc.) may not be rendered and the round's velocity make aiming harder.
The T-72B3 has access to 2 types of APFSDS: the 3BM42 and 3BM60. The 3BM42 is a decent round with decent penetration and stopping power. While it lacks penetration to penetrate Leopard 2 tanks upper frontal plate, Leclerc's lower frontal plate or M1A1/2 turret plates, it has enough penetration to hit and cause critical damage in weakspots and side shots. 3BM60 however, has much more penetration which can penetrate all tanks from all sides.
The 9M119M1 is a tandem version of the previously seen 9M119 SACLOS ATGM in past T-72s. The main upgrade is the tandem charge, everything else remains practically the same with exception of reduction of flight speed.
|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) (g)
|45||41 (+4)||34 (+11)||22 (+23)||0 (+45)||No|
|12.7 mm 6P49|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|7.62 mm PKT|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
Describe the tactics of playing in the vehicle, the features of using vehicles in the team and advice on tactics. Refrain from creating a "guide" - do not impose a single point of view but instead give the reader food for thought. Describe the most dangerous enemies and give recommendations on fighting them. If necessary, note the specifics of the game in different modes (AB, RB, SB).
Enemies worth noting:
- M1A1 HC/M1A1 AIM/M1A2/M1A2 SEP Abrams: Turret frontal plates are very strong, unless angled within 45° and using 3BM60.
- Leopard 2A5/Leopard 2A6/Leopard 2A6 (Sweden): UFP and turret frontal plates can only be penetrated by 3BM60. Turret wedges should be blown out first in order to penetrate the turret frontal plate.
- Strv 122A/Strv 122B PLSS: UFP impenetrable by 3BM42 unless MEXAS armour package is destroyed. Turret wedges should be blown out first in order to penetrate the turret frontal plate.
- Leclerc/Leclerc S2/Leclerc SXXI: OFL 120 F1 has enough armour penetration to penetrate T-72B3's frontal plates even after the ERA effect, though they can also destroyed with any of the available munitions in return.
Pros and cons
- Has access to 2nd generation thermals for the gunner
- Decent side armour with the UBH package, the 4S24 ERA can stop HEAT rounds and ATGMs from the side.
- UBH package also upgrades the engine for better mobility
- Decent turret protection, made even better with the UBH upgrade
- Good selection of shells, including APFSDS, HEAT-FS, HE, and Tandem ATGMs
- Autoloader carousel is located lower on the hull, making it difficult to hit from distance
- Excellent gun handling
- High risk of ammo rack detonation
- Obvious weak spot on the right side of the turret face without the UBH upgrade (where the IR searchlight used to be on the T-72B 1989)
- Small size means crew is packed tightly together, an penetrating shell often takes it out in one shot.
- Turret ring and gun mantlet are still the biggest weak spots
- Slow reverse speed
- Stock mobility is a huge disadvantage when facing other top tier tanks, speed tops at around 35 km/h in rough terrain, although it improves massively when fully upgraded
- Hull armor and ERA might not be able to stand up to top APFSDS rounds up close
- Rather slow reload
The T-72B3 is the latest modification to the T-72B family. It was a 2011 modification of reserved T-72s which made a complete overhaul to set them on par with the T-90A, T-90S and T-90M MBTs. It featured a change of universal standard double-pin tracks for easier maintenance. It got a heavy increase in firepower which put it at par with the T-90s quickly. It got the Kalina fire control system, kept the past 1A40-4 FCS with 1K13-49 Neman ATGM guidance sight and received the PNM Sosna-U GPS. The autoloader, as the T-90's, was modified to fit longer, more modern ammunition,, , and . With the package installed, the vehicle is brought up to the T-72B3M obr. 2016g. standard. The 840hp V-84-1 engine is replaced with the 1100hp V-92S2F, a 2E58 stabilizer with electromechanical drive is fitted, Relikt ERA was fitted on the hull alongside soft-bag ERA on the turret, slat armor to protect against rocket propelled grenades, the main gun is replaced with the 2A46M-5-01, and a 6P49 Kord-T is installed in a RCWS.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
|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||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|