Czech T-72 tanks

The Hungarian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has completed the sale of its surplus T-72 main battle tanks (MBTs) to the Czech Republic Army.

Excalibur Defense has shipped a total of 58 Hungarian T-72 tanks to an undisclosed location in the Czech Republic.

The MoD said in a statement that the acquisition by the Czech Government is in accordance with the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE).

The statement said: "The CFE Treaty sets a ceiling on the number of tanks that can be held by any one country and includes further provisions for reduction, withdrawal from service, storage, information exchange and verification.

"Hungary has acted responsibly, as it has sold the disused tanks with the provision that they cannot be sold to a country against which embargo is enforced."

Around 77 Hungarian T-72 tanks were donated to the Iraqi Government in November 2005.

Designed by Leonid Kartsev-Valeri Venediktov and manufactured by Uralvagonzavod, the T-72 is a Soviet second-generation tank that was directly developed from Obyekt-172 and shares parallel features with the T-64A tank.

"The T-72 is a Soviet second-generation tank that was directly developed from Obyekt-172."

In addition to Hungary and the Czech Republic, the tank has also been exported to Algeria, Bulgaria, Cuba, Slovakia, Finland, India, Iran, Libya, Myanmar, North Korea, Poland and Romania, as well as Syria and Yugoslavia.

The Czech Army already has T-72 tanks in its inventory and has upgraded them to the third-generation T-72M4 CZ armoured, tracked vehicle, with enhanced manoeuvrability and heavy-terrain passability.

The modernised tank is armed with a 125mm cannon and a 7.62mm PKT machine gun, as well as a 12.7mm NSV anti-aircraft machine gun and a type 95/98 7.62mm machine gun.

It can effectively engage hostile forces, as well as armoured and low flying targets, offering greater protection against enemy fire, blast effects, radiation and chemical agents.

Image: A modernised T-72 main battle tank of the Czech Republic Army. Photo: courtesy of Joker Island.

Defence Technology