The Serbian Ministry of Defence Aleksandar Vulin attending design tests and field target firing from the upgraded M-84 AS1 tank prototype in the area of the military complex “Pasuljanske livade”. The M-84AS1 is a modernized version of the M-84 main battle tank produced by J.P. Jugoimport-SDPR in Serbia. The M-84 is a Yugoslav third generation main battle tank, a variant of the Soviet T-72. The M-84 is still in service in Serbia, Kuwait, Croatia, Slovenia and other countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina use a minimal number. Serbian version of the M-84 is the M-84AS was unveiled in 2004. It features a new fire control system, Kontakt-5 ERA armor, AT-11 Sniper anti-tank missiles, Agava-2 thermal sight, and the Shtora defensive suite. Latest prototype version from Serbia M-84AS1 unveiled in 2017. has new fire control system with domestic laser and radar warning system, RCWS 12.7mm and soft active protection suite with new version of domestic reactive armor – ERA, later modified prototype of same tank unveiled in 2020 has better shaped ERA M19 reactive armour and some new situational awareness equipment including new ammunition.
Speaking about key segments of upgrading the M-84 tank,”In terms of the total number of operative tanks, Serbia is a European power, but that is not enough. The tanks must be upgraded, so that they can keep up with the most modern tanks in their class and of course, we must have the appropriate number of crews so that each tank is useful and usable. The prototype of the upgraded M-84 AS1 tank has shown that we are on the right track and that our designers came up with good ideas. We will put in a great deal of effort in ensuring that our tanks, or at least majority of them, are upgraded to such a level that they can use appropriate ammunition and technical solutions and be able to confront any tank in our environment. Serbia is a tank force, but it should not only be so in terms of numbers, but also in terms of technical solutions and crews”
Assistant Minister for Material Resources, Nenad Miloradović, PhD, said “The modernization of this tank and modernization of the infantry combat vehicle are two most important projects of combat equipment modernization for the needs of the Army. Most types of new and upgraded weapons, which aim to enhance the capabilities of our infantry and artillery units, have already been completed in terms of development. Now, zero series are being introduced into the armament which means that the initial equipping of units is underway, which completes the first phase of renewing the armaments of the Serbian Armed Forces. Design tests of the upgraded M-84 AS1 tank are a very large enterprise, which includes a large number of upgraded subsystems that were added to the tank, whose purpose is to increase the level of tank protection against the most modern types of armour-piercing weapons, as well as to increase the crew’s situational awareness and upgrade tank commander’s equipment.”
The upgrade has improved a main tank performance parameters: firepower, protection, and maneuverability, as well as has improved tank combat readiness and reliability and gave new features and performances regarding the possibility for MBT integration into modern network-centric battlefield.Adds additional armor, including explosive reactive armor, Integrated day-night sighting device DNNS 2ATK with thermal imager, command information system KIS M84 , a soft-kill active protection system, new radio system, remote-controlled weapons station with 12.7mm machine gun, explosive fire protection, THALES radio, universal dynamic protection, device protecting the engine from irregular start-up and CBRN protection equipment. It appeared to be very similar to the Russian T-90S, both in appearance and in capability. The differences reportedly consist of better armor on the T-90S, whereas the M-84AS has superior maneuverability.