T-72M (early)

T-72M (early) providing overwatch in Syria, 2008

Second generation Soviet MBT, the T-72 is the worlds second most produced tank, just after the T-55-series . It was the most common tank used by the Warsaw Pact from the 1970's until the collapse of Soviet Union. It is used by Syria and Russian Federation. The tank can be found in the games Combat Mission: Shock Force and Combat Mission: Black Sea.

Technical information

  • 125-mm 2A46 (D-81) smoothbore gun
  • Coaxial 7.62mm MG
  • Pintle mounted 12.7-mm NSV-12.7
  • Sophisticated fire control system
  • Steel and composite armor
  • Appliqué armor (T-72M) or Kontakt ERA (T-72M1V)
  • V-12 diesel engine (V-46)
  • Weighs:

    T-72B3 with Forward Observer team in Ukraine, 2017

    • 41.0 tons (T-72M (early) & T-72M)
    • 41.5 tons (T-72M1)
    • 43.0 tons (T-72M1V)
    • 44.5 tons (T-72M1V (2001) & T-72M1V TURMS-T)
  • Ammo:
    • 125-mm HE (18 rounds)
    • 125-mm HEAT (5 rounds)
    • 125-mm APFSDS (10 rounds)
    • 12.7-mm AP (240 rounds)
    • 7.62-mm (1k rounds)
    • AT-11 Sniper (9K119M Reflex) T-HEAT (3 missiles) (T-72M1V (2001) & T-72M1V TURMS-T)
  • Crew: 3 (commander, gunner, driver)

Variants in the game

Base game (CMSF):

  • T-72M (early): The base T-72 model for the Syrians has a number of improvements over the T-62 , including a 125mm gun and more sophisticated fire control systems. This model has a few additional upgrades, such as the KTD-1 laser range finder used on the T-72A. Found only in Reserves as the best tank for them. Probably less than 100 are still functional.
  • T-72M1V Turms-T

    T-72M1V TURMS-T creeping in the woods in Syria, 2008

    T-72M: A slight upgrade of the earlier version. It adds appliqué armor to front of hull, skirt armor, and smoke dischargers. This is found at the bottom end of the Regular tank unit’s roster with few still in running condition.
  • T-72M1: This Czecoslovakian export model combines all the improvements of earlier models with additional armor and other minor improvements. Many of the T-72M1s purchased were in turn upgraded (see below), therefore not many remain in service in their original state. The few that have remained running and not upgraded are found towards the bottom end of the Reserve’s tank roster.
  • T-72M1V: This is a base T-72M1 with Kontakt ERA added for greater protection. Maybe 100 or so of these exist and they constitute the top end of the Reserve tank formations.
  • T-72M1V (2001): A Russian upgrade package was added to some base T-72M1 models to give them greater offensive and defensive capabilities. The package adds 3rd generation Kontakt-5 reactive armor, upgraded suspension, more powerful engine, improved 125mm gun capable of firing ATGM’s, remotely operated AAMG, combined gunner/commander thermal imaging system (night vision range is approx 3000 to 3500m), new fire control computer and stabilization system and GPS. The new Kontakt-5 was, at the time, able to defeat M1A1 Abrams depleted uranium (DU) rounds apparently, however the current Abrams SABOT rounds have largely overcome this problem. Perhaps as many as 100 or so of these upgraded vehicles are still in service with the Republican Guards Division.
  • T-72M1V TURMS-T: This is the top of the line Syrian tank and it is a very capable vehicle indeed. It combines the improvements of the 2001 upgrade with the Italian TURMS-T fire control system. The end result is a tank most similar to the Czech produced T-72M4. It includes a day/night stabilized commander’s panoramic periscope sight, gunner’s stabilized sight with thermal imager and laser rangefinder and digital fire control computer. The digital fire control computer downloads data from the tank’s meteorological and wind sensors, together with the tank attitude, barrel wear characteristics, ammunition and target data. The computer calculates the fire control algorithms and is used to control the gun, the sighting systems and the laser rangefinder. Not surprisingly, this highly sophisticated tank is only found in the Republican Guards Division. The number in service could be as high as 200.

Base game (CMBS):

  • T-72B3: An upgrade package that aims towards extending the service life to work alongside T-90 -family until it has been fully fielded. It has a new fire control system and ballistic computer for speedier target acquisition. It also has a thermal imager and equipment for digital communication. It also has Kontakt-5 ERA armor and IR smoke.
  • T-72B3 (APS): Same as above but with Arena-system as well. It is capable of defeating incoming warheads midair. Successor of the Drozd-system that saw use in T-55AD and T-62D.


  • Combat Mission: Shock Force Game Manual version 1.20
  • Combat Mission: Black Sea game manual
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