Kazakhstan’s Top Battle Tanks

The article focuses on the intricacies of Kazakhstan’s top battle tanks – the T-72/T-72BA7, The T-80 and the T-62, each exemplifying the advancement of military technology.

The article focuses on the intricacies of Kazakhstan’s top battle tanks – the T-72/T-72BA7, The T-80 and the T-62, each exemplifying the advancement of military technology. This piece aims to provide a detailed comprehension of these impressive machines, including their distinct characteristics, abilities, and respective roles in Kazakhstan’s defence tactics.

Kazakhstan’s Top Battle Tanks

The T-72, a Soviet main battle tank, was developed in 1969 as an alternative to the T-64. The T-64 faced challenges such as high costs and reliance on immature technology. Despite these issues, around 25,000 T-72 tanks have been manufactured, and refurbishment has allowed many to remain in service for several decades. The use of T-72 tanks in Ukraine has sparked numerous debates. Critics often point out the vulnerability of these tanks to Anti Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) on the tactical battlefield. However, it is important to note that the T-72 tanks have also demonstrated exceptional performance in warfare, a fact that is often overlooked. An example of this is the Indian Army’s utilization of T-72 M1 tanks during Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka. These tanks were transported to Jaffna Airfield on October 10, 1987, when the Indian Army transitioned from peacekeeping to peace enforcement. In this operation, the tanks served as mobile pillboxes, providing additional firepower to Infantry battalions that were facing challenges from enemy guerilla warfare tactics and firepower. Unfortunately, specific information regarding Sri Lanka’s acquisition of the T-72 tanks is not readily available in the sources I consulted. For more comprehensive details, it is advisable to refer to specialized resources or consult military history experts.

The T-80, a main battle tank originally designed and manufactured in the former Soviet Union, is currently produced in Russia. It was developed from the T-64 and incorporates features from the T-72, with a gas turbine engine being the most notable change. The T-80 was the first production tank to be powered solely by a turbine when it entered service in 1976. The chief designer of the T-80 was Nikolay Popov, a Soviet engineer. Although the T-80U was last produced in 2001 in Omsk, Russia, the CEO of Uralvagonzavod announced in 2023 that production would resume. The Ukrainian T-80UD diesel engine variant is still being produced in Ukraine. The T-80 and its variants are currently in use in Belarus, Cyprus, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The T-80UD was further developed by Ukraine into the T-84.

The Russian company Uralvagonzavod created the BMPT, also known as the “Terminator”, to support tanks and other AFVs in urban combat. It is heavily armed and armoured, equipped with four missile launchers, two autocannons, two grenade launchers, and one machine gun. The BMPT is built on the T-72 tank chassis and was designed based on combat experience from past wars. Kazakhstan is the only operator, but the Russian Defence Ministry ordered more than 10 vehicles in 2017. The latest version, called the “Terminator-3”, uses components from the T-14 Armata tank. Upgraded versions are being used in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

The T-62, a Soviet medium tank, was initially introduced in 1961 as an advancement of the T-55 series. It maintained several design elements from its predecessor, such as a low profile and thick turret armour. However, unlike previous tanks, the T-62 was equipped with a smoothbore tank gun, enabling it to fire APFSDS rounds at higher velocities. Despite becoming the standard tank in the Soviet arsenal, it did not completely replace the T-55 in export markets due to its higher manufacturing costs and maintenance requirements. While successor states of the Soviet Union.