Prior to the introduction of the T-72B3, there were multiple proposals for Russia’s T-72 modernization program, and one of the more impressive proposals which was shown off in the 2006 Russian Arms Expo, and was known as the T-72B2 Rogatka (English translation: Slingshot). However despite the promising features the B2 brought to the table, it was ultimately deemed too expensive to be put into serial production, and the cheaper B3 variant was chosen instead.
The T-72B2 shares much of its FCS with the B3, with it having the same optics, thermals, and firepower, (and its believed the T-72B3s FCS is derived from the T-72B2), however it differs slightly in that it has Laser Warning Receivers, along with a muzzle reference sensor, unlike T-72B3, or even T-80BVM. The T-72B2 is protected by Relikt ERA which covers the upper front plate, and front of the turret, with rubber flaps covering the ERA on the turret in a similar fashion to the T-80U. Unfortunately this tank does lack the Relikt side skirts seen on the T-72B3, T-80BVM, and T-90M, instead it has three Kontakt-5 panels on each side, with the remainder of the side, and rear armor protected by Slat. The tank was demonstrated with Nakidka RAM camouflage which covered most of the tank, its purpose is to reduce the tanks thermal, infra-red, and radar signature. To compensate for the added weight, the T-72B2 received a V-92S2 1,000 hp engine, which is considerably better than the 840 hp engine found on the T-72B3, unfortunately it still retains the original manual transmission, so its reverse speed would still be poor.
Why it should be added:
Though the T-72B2 isn’t as good overall when compared to T-90M, and T-80BVM, it would serve as a better backup option for top tier than the T-72B3, and possibly even T-80U, due to having laser warning receivers frontal protection comparable to the T-80BVM. The best placement for this vehicle within the tech tree would to folder it with the T-72B3.
- Crew: 3 (Driver, Gunner, Commander)
- Armaments: 1x 2A46M-5 125mm smoothbore gun, 1x 7.62mm PKT coax, 1x 12.7mm NSV roof mounted mg.
- Protection: Composite armor (same as T-72B3), Relikt ERA, Kontakt-5 ERA, Slat, Laser Warning Receivers, Smoke Launchers, ESS.
- Mass: Between 46-50 tons
- Engine: V-92S2 1,000 hp
- Transmission: Manual, 7 forward gears, 1 reverse
- Other Electronics: Laser Range Finders, 2nd generation gunner thermals.