The Dutch Ministry of Defence (Ministerie van Defensie; MinDef) is again supplying heavy military materiel to Ukraine. The total value of the support package is 120 million euros, of which 45 million is designated for the provision of T-72 tanks. Together with the United States and the Czech Republic, the Netherlands will provide 90 modernised and reconditioned Czech tanks. Netherlands Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren today informed the House of Representatives of this initiative. The first batch of tanks is expected to be delivered to Ukraine as early as next month.
This comprehensive package is an important signal to Russia. Allies are continuing to pull together to support the Ukrainian armed forces in their fight against Russia’s war of aggression. In a joint statement made by the three defence ministers, they stress how this provision of materiel demonstrates the continued support of the Netherlands, the US, the Czech Republic, and other allies, for Ukraine’s self-defence. With this military support package, the Dutch government is addressing the call made by the House of Representatives for continued support to Ukraine. Efforts in this regard are being guided by the needs assessment submitted by Ukraine itself.
The United States, the Netherlands will provide 45 additional T-72 tanks with the support of the Czech Ministry of Defense and in cooperation with Czech industry. In 1979-80 the then Czechoslovakia commenced licensed production of the Russian T-72 with ZTS Martin undertaking production of the complete chassis and ZTS Dubnica’ nad Vahom responsible for the complete T-72 turret. After the dissolution of the Czechoslovakia in the early 1990s upgrade programs were developed both in Czech Republic and Slovakia to keep their fleets of T-72 tanks operational and combat capable. The T-72 is a family of Soviet/Russian main battle tanks that entered production in 1969.
The T-72M4 CZ is an upgraded Czech version of the Soviet-made main battle tank T-72. The tank is fitted with composite armor and new Polish DYNA explosive reactive armor. It provides protection against HEAT, APFSDS and HESH rounds. The T-72M4 is fitted with mine protection system. This tank is fitted with new German automatic fire suppression system. Upgraded tanks are fitted with laser warning system. It detects once the vehicle is illuminated by a laser beam and identifies direction of the threat. Then smoke grenades can be discharged to hide the tank. This tank is comparable with third generation MBT.