Ukraine will receive modernizes 90 T-72B main battle tanks and TREVA-30 recovery and evacuation vehicles from the Czech Republic. The Czech Ministry of Defense and Excalibur Army has developed a new modernized version of the Soviet-made T-72B equipped with thermal imagers, night vision systems, and new armor. The overhauled main battle tanks included in this package are part of Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) with the U.S. and the Netherlands sharing the $90 million cost to refurbish them. Alongside the U.S., the Netherlands will provide 45 additional T-72B main battle tanks with the support of the Czech Ministry of Defense and in cooperation with Czech industry.
On Monday 9th of January, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala visited Excalibur Army’s facility, which manufactures equipment for the Ukrainian Ground Forces and is engaged in the modernization of older models, including T-72 main battle tanks, DANA self-propelled howitzers, as well as RM-70 Vampire multiple launch rocket systems. The T-72Bs are being worked on at a factory in the city of Sternberk. After the outbreak of war, when the Czech Republic decided to provide Ukraine with military assistance, the Excalibur Army plant had to increase its staff by 150 people. The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Petr Fiala, personally signed the T-72 tank that will be sent to the Ukrainian military. The inscription on the tank’s cannon reads “To the brave defenders of Ukraine”.
The T-72 is a family of Soviet/Russian main battle tanks that entered production in 1969. About 25,000 T-72 tanks have been built, and refurbishment has enabled many to remain in service for decades. It has been widely exported and has seen service in numerous conflicts. The T-72B main battle tank entered into service with the Soviet Army in 1984. Excalibur Army classified a complete list of specific equipment of the modernized machines. the new Czech T-72B upgrade is fitted with an ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor) kit mounted at the front and on the sides of the hull as well as the front and the roof of the turret. It keeps the same armament as the T-72B consisting of one 2A46M 125 mm smoothbore gun. A bank of six-smoke grenade dischargers is mounted on each side of the turret.
Last year, Excalibur Army delivered about 150 heavy vehicles to the Ukrainian Ground Forces from Czech stocks. The first public initiative in the Czech Republic collected more than 1 million euros in one month for the purchase of a modernised T-72 for Ukraine; the tank was named Tomas in honour of the first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomas Masaryk. The T-72 Tomas is the modernization of the T-72M1 tank to 3rd gen standard by Czech company Excalibur Army. The company services and modernizes ground equipment of Soviet origin (T-55, T-72 tanks, BVP-1 and BVP-2 infantry fighting vehicles). The new crowdfunding campaign “Gift for Putin” has successfully raised new funds to purchase 15 Viktor mobile short-range air defense systems design by Excalibur Army.