The personnel of a tank battalion of Russia’s 201st military base in Tajikistan has undergone retraining to operate upgraded T-72B3M main battle tanks with improved combat properties. A batch of 30 T-72B3M main battle tanks and 20 BMP-2M infantry fighting vehicles arrived for the 201st military base as part of its rearmament with advanced weaponry in December 2021. A battalion of upgraded tanks boosted the capabilities of a motorized infantry unit through improved maneuverability and the crew’s armored protection. The upgraded T-72B3M has received an effective protection system that boosts its efficiency both in combined arms warfare and in a combat environment.
In the course of their training, the crews studied the combat capabilities and technical characteristics of the tank, the preparation of its armaments, sighting systems, and ranging equipment. At the Lyaur mountainous proving ground, the tank gunners and commanders conducted fire on the move against the targets located at a distance of up to 2,000 meters from the 125mm guns outfitted with the Sosna-U multichannel sight that cuts the time of detecting and striking targets. The driver mechanics also practiced conducting speedy maneuvers, surmounting natural and artificial obstacles, and moving backward using rear-view cameras.
T-72B3M, also referred to as T-72B4, is an upgraded variant of the T-72B3 main battle tank (MBT) developed by Uralvagonzavod Research and Production Corporation. The T-72B3M MBT is mounted with the new Relikt explosive reactive armour (ERA) replacing the previous Kontakt-5 second-generation ERA. The new armour offers superior protection against shaped charges, tandem warheads, APFSDS rounds, anti-tank guided missiles, as well as low-velocity and high-velocity missiles. The T-72B3M MBT is powered by a new V-92S2F engine in place of the old 780hp diesel engine. The T72B3M is armed with a 2A46M5 125mm smoothbore gun, which is an advanced version of the 2A46M cannon.
The Russian 201st Military Base is a Russian military base based in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, part of the Central Military District. It was originally raised twice in World War II as part of the Soviet Union’s Red Army and is now part of the Russian Ground Forces. The division was formed as Red Army national unit on 3 August 1941 in Gorokhovets, Vladimir Oblast, Moscow Military District from remains of the 24th Territorial Rifle Corps. In October 2004, it was renamed the 201st Military Base. In October 2012, it was signed an agreement extending the term of deployment of the Russian military base in Tajikistan until 2042.