Morocco Sends T-72B MBT 'Donate' Defense Equipment to Ukraine

Morocco Sends T-72B MBT 'Donate' Defense Equipment to Ukraine

Despite failing to make it to the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar, there is news that Morocco will win the title as the first African country to 'donate' its defense equipment to Ukraine. To be precise, it was announced that Morocco would send a number of T-72 Main Battle Tanks (MBT) to Ukraine, after the country's MBT fleet in North Africa received modernization from a Czech company, Excalibur Army.

According to the information published on the Czech news website “Novinky.CZ”, on December 5, 2022, the Excalibur Army's modernized MBT T-72B for Morocco will be delivered to Ukraine. In negotiations with the United States and the European Union, the Czech Ministry of Defense decided to supply upgraded T-72 tanks for Morocco to Ukraine.

Following the information published on the Twitter account “ActuDéfense Maroc” on 13 December 2022, the modernization of the T-72 MBT has been ordered by Morocco. In fact, according to military open source information, Morocco has 40 Russian-made T-72B MBTs in operational condition and there are 62 more in storage.

On November 4, 2022, the United States announced new military assistance to Ukraine, which includes 45 updated T-72B MBTs modernized with new optics, communications systems, and an additional armor package.

Then on November 5, 2022, the Czech Ministry of Defense confirmed that the local defense industry would renovate 90 Soviet-made T-72B MBTs with the support of the Netherlands and the United States to be supplied to Ukraine.

From Army Recognition sources, on December 4, 2022 it was reported that the Czech company Excalibur Army had developed a new modernized version of the Soviet-made T-72 MBT equipped with a thermal imager, night vision system and new armor protection.

In an interview published by the Czech News website “Novinky.CZ”, Excalibur Army Commercial Director Richard Kuběna said, that the first batch of five upgraded T-72 MBTs will be delivered in the next few days and a total of 18 units The T-72 MBT will be supplied to Ukraine at the end of this year.

Richard Kuběna said Excalibur Army needed three months of work to modernize the T-72 MBT, part of the Soviet-era MBT was produced in the past in the Czech Republic, which facilitated the possibility of upgrading this type of military equipment thanks to the knowledge and technical experience learned in the past.

The T-72B is an upgraded version of the T-72A MBT which the Russian military entered into service in 1986. The Czech upgrade design is similar to the original T-72B, this MBT has a crew of three with the driver seated in the forward center of the hull and the commander and gunner in the turret.

In terms of protection, the Czech upgraded T-72 is equipped with an ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor) kit fitted to the fore and sides of the hull as well as the fore and turret roof.

The armament remains the same as the T-72B consisting of one 125 mm 2A46M smoothbore cannon. Second armament included one coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun mounted to the starboard side of the main armament and one 12.7 mm heavy machine gun (NSV) mountable in the commander's cupola.

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