Vehicle data sheet





Manufacturer: Leonid Kartsev-Valeri Venediktov, Soviet Union

Soviet Union
Type: Tracked Weight: 41 t
Produced: 1967 Size: Length 6.95 m, Height 2.23 m
Number built: 25000 Engine: Diesel, 1130 HP
Crew: 3 Speed: 80 km/h


Uralvagonzavod produced the first prototype with a 125-mm gun and V-45K engine in 1968 as "Object 172". After intensive comparative testing with the T-64A, Object 172 was re-engineered in 1970 to deal with some minor problems. However, being only a mobilization model, serial production of Object 172 was not possible in peacetime. In an unclear political process decree number 326-113 was issued, which allowed the production of Object 172 in the Soviet Union from 1 January 1972, and freed Uralvagonzavod from the T-64A production.

The first batch was built as "Object 172M" and, after some modifications, it was tested again in 1973 and accepted into service as the "T-72" under Soviet ministry directive number 554-172 dated 7 August 1973.

At least some technical documentation on the T-72 is known to have been passed to the CIA by the Polish Colonel Ryszard Kukliński between 1971 and 1982.