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Twardy tanks from Poland. How they will help to fight the Russians’ old Soviet equipment

Photo: The Page collage

Photo: The Page collage

How Polish tanks will help Ukraine in the battle for Donbass and the South

Ukraine receives hundreds of tanks from Poland. How will they help the AFU and why are they coming right on time?


The Poles are switching from Twardy to Abrams

A well-known Polish military observer Jarosław Wolski, who was the first to write about the transfer of T-72M from the Polish Armed Forces (he noticed that the depots had been emptied), said that Warsaw had made an agreement with Washington.

Kyiv will be given 232 PT-91 Twardy tanks, and Poland will receive the appropriate number of Abrams tanks in exchange. It’s not clear yet whether these will be the new M1A2 SEPv3 modification, of which 250 have been ordered for the eastern flank of NATO, or earlier machines currently in stock.

Spotters in Poland have simultaneously filmed at least a battalion of PT-91 Twardy being moved to the eastern border. It was filmed on July 7, so the Facebook police commenting every post and warning to not inform the Russians of anything can relax: the tanks have already reached their destination.

How tanks from Poland will help the AFU

What is this tank and how will it be useful for the AFU?

Like all post-Soviet weapons, it will not require us to divert resources to retrain the rear, repair units, and training centers because the T-72 is quite familiar to us, and the AMT modification is battling at the forefront with all its might.

Because of the large number of spare parts on the market and the advanced modernization, the route from Polish hangars to the Ukrainian front lines will be as short as possible.

It’s just what the doctor ordered us now: considering the losses and the need to master many types of western artillery, we shouldn’t be distracted by tanks.

How PT-91 Twardy appeared

PT-91 Twardy is the main Polish battle tank, while "stock" tanks were upgraded to T-72M1.

It has been produced since 1995, and it’s an example of how a country, even not a rich one, can afford routine modernization to rearm several brigades when it’s not engaged in building football stadiums or money laundering through purchasing pavement tiles.

More specifically, two battalions of the 9th Armored Cavalry Brigade, a battalion of the 15th Armored Cavalry Brigade, a battalion of the 2nd Mechanized Brigade from Złocieniec, and a battalion of the Land Forces Training Center have been rearmed.

The rest had Т-72М1 equipped with sights, commander's surveillance devices, and protected digital communication, and even such curtailed modification costed $2 million.

Photo: mon.gov.pl

Photo: mon.gov.pl

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the polish tank

The tank is equipped with a Wola 850-horsepower diesel engine capable of bearing the additional weight of the dynamic defense and equipment, which totals 43.7 tons.

The dynamic defense is produced in Poland: the Poles didn't have an established technology and had gone through a long and painful development process. As a result, 394 ERAWA tiles have 95% effectiveness against Soviet-made ATGMs and 50% effectiveness against modern armor-piercing ammunition.

It’s a bit worse than the Nizh developed by Ukrainian Microtek and Kontakt-5 from Russian NII Stali, but better than the naked Russian T-72 A seen even near Kyiv. Moreover, the tiles fit tightly without a bulky metal frame and, in addition to protection, make the tank less visible to radars.

PT-91 Twardy has an automatic reloading mechanism producing a rate of fire of 8 rounds per minute, and the DRAWA fire-control system with an Israel-made TES thermovision night sight, a stabilizer developed in Slovakia, a laser rangefinder, and a ballistic computer.

The classic 2A46 125 mm armament can fire only standard tank shells, but not guided projectiles. The driver has a passive night sight.

The laser-warning system starts automatically shooting Tellur aerosol grenades. The Pole has 24 of them on board, and these are not only the familiar Tucha smoke grenades, but also tear gas and fragmentation "presents" for the enemy infantry.

Photo: mon.gov.pl

Photo: mon.gov.pl

Polish tanks against "naked" T-72

Is this the most advanced tank? No. But compared with the "heavy-browed" T-62 and naked T-72A, which are increasingly often seen on the frontline, it’s actually quite good, with its protected digital communication, fire-control system, dynamic defense, and night vision.

Today, Poland is giving us the most precious time to prepare new brigades and master western aid. Warsaw and Prague have already given us nearly three hundred tanks and, if the inside information from the Polish observer is true, there will be another three hundred, while only a handful of these specific tanks were seen damaged or destroyed.

Photo: InformNapalm

Photo: InformNapalm

On the contrary, from photo and video evidence alone, the Russians lost 870 armored fighting vehicles. Hence, we see videos of Ukrainian drones throwing improvised explosive devices into T-62 tanks, and the number of such cases will further increase. The quality of the enemy’s equipment is gradually deteriorating, while ours slowly grows.

That’s because Russia is a pale shadow of the Soviet Union, and even there, T-55 tanks were used in the Russian Far East up until the 1990s. Also during the 1991 August Coup, there were "naked" T-72s near the White House (the building of the Russian Government — ed.), and atop one of them, President Yeltsin delivered a speech. Just imagine, those were elite "court" brigades!

polshcha-tanki4.jpeg

The condition of these tanks, which are now fighting in Ukraine, is virtually unchanged since then. Despite this, there are a lot of T-72 tanks at the bases and in storage, and even old, non-modernized tanks can cause trouble for the infantry. That's why we largely owe our resilience to western supplies, and Polish aid in particular (which is disproportionately large for their economy). Thank you, Poles! We won’t forget it.

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