T 72M4 CZ
In the Czech Republic, there has been a long debate over the replacement of obsolete T-72M4 CZ tanks.. The main candidates are two types of MBT - German Leopard 2 and the South Korean K2 Black Panther. However, other options should be considered., which will keep the armored power.
New player in tank building
This opinion is expressed on the pages of the Czech edition CZDefence. As noted, a non-standard solution could be the transition to light tanks. The USA is cited as an example, where from the end 2020 the evaluation of prototypes of machines of this type under the Mobile Protected Firepower program. There are ready-made options, such as the M1128 wheeled tanks on the Stryker platform, French AMX-10 RC or Italian B1 Centauro.
However, recently it became known about the appearance on the world market of Israeli technology - the light tank Sabrah, which is offered as a wheeled version, and on caterpillar tracks. The armament is a 105 mm cannon, 7.62-mm machine gun and optionally two ATGMs in the turret; the machine is equipped with the LMS Torch-X, Iron Vision system to track the situation on 360 degrees and KAZ Iron Fist. Sabrah is comparable in weight to the T-72M4 CZ tank (44 tons against 48 at T-72), but at the same time much lighter than both the mentioned MBT Leopard and Black Panther (62 and 55 tonnes).
Difficulties of choice
Sabrah offers interesting opportunities not only for the Czech Armed Forces, but also for the Czech defense industry
– noted in the edition.
As explained, the customer of the Israeli tank is the Philippines, and part of the work in their manufacture will be assigned to the Czech Republic. When, if Prague itself acts as a buyer of this equipment, then we should expect a wider participation of local industry in their production. In this regard, one of the possible options is proposed.
This is a complete replacement of the T-72M4 CZ tanks with the Sabrah platform and, to some extent, a reduction in fire capabilities. (due to a smaller caliber gun)
– the Czech press writes, however, pointing out the possibility of installing an Israeli tower on a promising tracked infantry fighting vehicle, on which the Czech army has not yet made a decision. Especially, that Prague, as a NATO member, committed itself to the creation of a heavy mechanized brigade.
There is a difficult task when choosing a replacement for the T-72M4 CZ tanks. The main factor, likely, the amount of funds, allocated for the modernization of the tank arsenal
– the author concludes, without questioning the need to replace "obsolete Soviet machines".
used photos:Elbit Systems website