The T-72M1 Adra/Mahmia (Gen. 2): Making it Work...

The T-72M1 Adra/Mahmia (Gen. 2): Making it Work…

(Polls are at the bottom)


Hello again! Today I wish to suggest a tank built through necessity to better protect T-72 tanks during the Syrian Civil War, essentially a upgrade package mainly for the T-72M1, the T-72M1 Adra/Mahmia.

(Small Note: New Formatting!)

Basic Information

Designation: T-72M1

Name: “Adra”, “Mahmia”

Role: Main Battle Tank

Crew: 3

Designer: Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC or CERS)

Manufacturer: Adra Industrial Center

Total built: 11 confirmed (Total Unknown, Likely 100+)

Designed: 2012 - 2013

Produced: 2014 - Present



  • Length: 31 ft 3 in (9.53 m)*

  • Width: 11 ft 9 in (3.59 m)*

  • Height: 7 ft 4 in (2.23 m)*

  • Weight: 55 tons (Estimated)

( * ) - Some information based off standard T-72M1

Driving Performance:

  • Engine(s):

    • V12 Diesel V-92S2F Engine

    • 1,130 hp (840 kW)

  • Transmission:

    • Synchro-mesh

    • Hydraulically-assisted

    • 7 forward

    • 1 reverse

  • Suspension:

    • Torsion Bar
  • Max Speed:

    • 55 mph (88.5 km/h) Forward*

    • 2.5 mph (4 km/h) Reverse*

  • Range:

    • 290 mi (460 km) Standard*

    • 430 mi (700 km) With fuel drums*

( * ) - Some information based off standard T-72M1


  • Turret (Tank):

    • 3.1 - 11 in (80 - 280 mm) of Rolled Homogenous Steel and Quartz Fused-Silicate
  • Hull (Tank):

    • 8.07 in (205 mm) of High Hardness Steel and Texolite
  • Turret (Mahmia Package):

    • Spaced Armor Plates of Simple Composite Armor

    • Slat Armor on top of Spaced Armor

  • Hull (Mahmia Package):

    • Spaced Armor Plates of Simple Composite Armor

    • Slat Armor on top of Spaced Armour

    • Additional Plating on Tank Glacis

  • Active Protection System (Mahmia Package):

    • Sarab Soft-Kill APS (v. 1/2/3)

Armament (Standard):

  • Main Gun:

    • 1x 125 mm D-81T smoothbore gun

    • -6°/+13° Elevation

    • 39 Rounds (22 Ready)

  • Coaxial Gun:

    • 1x 7.62mm PK-T Machine Gun

    • 1,500 rounds (250 Ready)

Additional Equipment:

  • Autoloader:

    • 6.5 - 15 second reload
  • Smoke Grenades:

    • 12 Smoke Grenades
  • Laser Rangefinder

  • Two-Plane Stabilizer

Usage in Battles

The T-72 Mahmia would make a fairly decent MBT, with the armor of a standard T-72M1 already being known to bounce shells and even handle certain ATGMs with ease, and the Mahmia Upgrade would only further increase its protection against ATGMs, with its sarab APS alongside it’s Composite and Slat-Armor protecting against ATGMs and HEAT rounds, however less for APFSDS rounds. The 125 mm cannon remains the same as the previous T-64, and would thus would be mostly familiar and would be a formidable weapon to contemporary vehicles.


  • Effective 125 mm Gun and Ammunition

  • Roughly Maintains low Profile

  • Decent Armor Protection against ATGMs and HEAT

  • Has APS and Laser Rangefinder


  • Vulnerable Ammo Carousel to APFSDS

  • Extremely Slow Turret Traverse and Reverse Speed

  • Commander Cannot Control Main Gun if Needed

  • Poor Gun Depression


The T-72M1 “Adra” (named for the city known for its production), also known as the “Mahmia” (Arabic for “Protected”), is a Syrian upgrade package given to a large variety of T-72 tanks in their inventory, however a majority of Mahmia tanks seen use the T-72M1 as their basis, seeing action in the Syrian Civil War first in 2014.

The T-72M1 Mahmia is a standardized upgrade package designed by the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC, or more commonly, CERS), inspired from the large variety of improvised and appliqué armor seen on Soviet tanks during the Syrian Civil War, known unofficially as “Labna” (Arabic for “Brick”) tanks. The Mahmia is split into two generations, the first generation being a series of composite armor plates spaced off the turret by support beams and along the sides of the hull, slat armor being added on top of the plates, a reinforced front bumper, and numerous ball and chains hung on the slat armor along the turret and hull front, serving as flexible slat armor, however it was proven as ineffective. The second generation features the removal of the ball and chains, improvements to the composite armor, lengthened the slat armor, notably raising the height of the slat armor on the turret, reinforced the front bumper, and implemented the Sarab Active Protection System. (Interesting to Note: While the exact material for the composite plates are unknown, they are not classified for security purposes, but rather, quoted here: “It’s not like a secret, it’s just people will make fun [of] it, and no one will care for the fact that it is useful and the budget is low. For me, it’s a great hack, I will not publish it, just so no one will make fun of these guys’ effort. It stopped many RPG-29s, and it’s a great result. We are using something extremely unusual…”)

The Mahmia in combat showed very mixed results, the armor being able to resist RPG rounds, and older models of ATGMs in some cases. The majority of Mahmia losses appear to be from internal fires, partially due to the overall design of the T-72, and crew abandonment being rather high by its users. (Interesting to Note: Many photos of Mahmia tanks in combat show them having warped or damaged slat armor, while possibly being a result of explosions, a fair amount seem to indicate collisions with objects/poor driving.)

Mahmia tanks are believed to have first been used at Jobar, with three being sent to combat, however only one would survive, one being scuttled (Set Alight) by the crew, and the other destroyed in combat (Catastrophic Kill - Ammunition Detonation by ATGM).

Mahmia Tanks went on to be deployed in Eastern Ghouta, and possibly Aleppo. By 2016, it was in wide use in Jobar, Qaboun, and Eastern Ghouta, and saw very limited use in Aleppo. The Mahmia is often used in urban areas where regular T-72’s would be vulnerable, taking advantage of its armor. It eventually proved to be vulnerable however to M79 Osa and RPG-29 anti-tank launchers and was later deployed in Daraa. While the armor has proven only partially effective against AT-Launchers, they have on 2 occasions stopped RPG-29’s and regularly stop early model ATGM’s and RPG-7s. In 2017, Mahmia tanks were used by the 4th Armoured Division of the Syrian Arab Army alongside 4 other tanks, 2 BMPs and 1 BREM-1 to stop the rebel offensive in Al-Manshiyah.

Another Mahmia was destroyed in Wadi Barada on January 17, 2017 (Catastrophic Kill - Internal Fire by ATGM), the crew believed to have successfully evacuated the tank.

On March 23, 2017, a T-72 Mahmia was hit by two RPG-29s, the first hit damaging the additional armor, but not reaching the tank turret, and the second being deflected by the vehicle’s additional armor. Afterwards, the tank merely needed a section of its additional armor to be replaced.

On April 16, 2017, a T-72 Mahmia was disabled by an RPG-29 at Qaboun (Mission Kill - Commander Injured by Shockwave from ATGM). While not penetrating the tank armor, the commander sustained internal bleeding and broken bones from the shockwave, and was successfully evacuated. As for the tank, the vehicle was repaired put back into service the next day on April 17. The T-72 Mahmia was again disabled (Mobility Kill - Tracks and Undercarriage Damaged from AT mine), and later set alight by rebels to prevent recovery.

On April 18, 2017, a T-72 Mahmia was hit by a Free Syrian Army IED directly underneath the driver’s compartment at Qaboun, disabling the tank (Catastrophic Kill - Loss of Driver from IED). The driver, Mohammed Abdu Allah was killed, but the commander and gunner managed to escape. The tank was the set alight by the Free Syrian Army shortly after in order to prevent recovery.

As of today, Mahmia tanks still see use in Syria, mainly as ad-hoc field guns and serving in infantry-support roles in urban environments, as there has been no evidence so far of the Mahmia being used in a Tank-On-Tank engagement.

Additional Photos

Technical Drawings & Data


T-72 Adra - Wikipedia

T-72 Adra - Wikiwand

T-72 - Wikipedia

About: T-72 Adra

T-72 operators and variants - Wikipedia

Below The Turret Ring: The armor protection of the T-72 tank

The 4th Armoured Division’s Armour Upgrades: Products Of A Four Year War - Oryx

T-72M - SBWiki

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Well that is certainly a… thing… Syria sure knows how to make wacky vehicles! +1