PT-91 Twardy MBT


PT-91 Twardy MBT
The PT-91 Twardy is a Polish main battle tank. It is a development of the T-72M1 and first entered service in 1995. The PT-91 was designed at the OBRUM (OBRUM for Ośrodek Badawczo-Rozwojowy Urządzeń Mechanicznych – Polish for Research and Development Centre for Mechanical Appliances) and is produced by the Bumar Łabędy company - part of Polish military consortium - Bumar Group. Changes from the T-72 include a new dual-axis stabilized fire-control system, reactive armour, a more powerful engine, transmission and new automatic loader. Unlike many other T-72 upgrades the Polish Army PT-91s are upgraded using elements created almost exclusively by domestic companies (this includes new engine, fire control system and all communication system elements). Many of those elements were used to upgrade existing fleets of T-72 tanks in countries like in Czech Republic - T-72M4Cz, Georgia - T-72SIM-1 or India - T-72 Ajeya Mk2.

PT-91 "Twardy"
Type Main battle tank
Place of origin Poland
Service history
Used by Poland
Weight 45.9 tonnes
Length 6.95 m (9.67 with barrel in forward position)
Width 3.59 m
Height 2.19 m
Crew 3

Armor composite armour; front and side armor laminated; front, side and top armor behind Erawa-1/Erawa-2 ERA, steel side anti-cumulative screens
1 x 125mm 2A46M (D-81TM) gun (42 rounds)
1 x 7.62mm PKT coaxial general purpose machine gun (2000 rounds)
1 x 12.7mm NSVT anti-aircraft heavy machine gun (300 rounds)
Engine PZL-Wola S-12U diesel
850 HP (634 kW)
Power/weight 18.5 hp/tonne (13.8 kW/tonne)
Transmission Manual
Suspension torsion-bar
Ground clearance 395 mm
Fuel capacity 1000 l
650 km (700 km with extra fuel tanks)
Speed 60 km/h

PT-91 Twardy

Production variant for Polish Army, extensively modernized development of T-72M1. Most of the vehicles are equipped with SKO-1M Drawa-1T dual-axis stabilized fire control system (with TES - Thermal Elbow Sight - total number of delivered thermal sights is 202) though some early production vehicles have a SKO-1 Drawa (with NV sight), Erawa reactive armour, a PCO SSC-1 Obra-1 laser-warning system and 850hp PZL-Wola S-12U engine. The first 20 initial production vehicles were delivered to Polish Land Forces in 1993-1994 with another 78 full scale production vehicles delivered 1995-1997, 135 modernized T-72M1 tanks (made in late 80s) delivered 1998-2002. Both new and modernized tanks have the same combat capabilities. Depending exact configuration Polish Army uses PT-91s in 3 variants PT-91, PT-91M and PT-91MA1 (the M designation shouldn't be confused with the Malaysian variant).

PT-91A Twardy

Development variant with PZL-Wola S-1000 1,000-hp engine with mechanic transmission and number of other minor changes. Used for trials and as demonstrator on military exhibitions.

PT-91Z Hardy

(Z for Zmodernizowany – literally Modernized) Further development with SAGEM Savan-15 fire control system, according to life fire test Savan-15 has only minor advantage in accuracy over Drawa. The biggest advantage was a new gun stabilization system that gave the tank a significant increase in accuracy when the tank is on the move. Later it was used as a base to develop the PT-91M. This variant has won a number of stress tests in Malaysia over T-90, T-84 and K1 tanks, and has won the competition for a new Malaysian MBT. Only one prototype was made.

PT-91M Pendekar

(M for Malaysia) — production export variant for Malaysia with SAGEM Savan-15 fire control system, PZL-Wola S-1000R 1,000-hp powerpack with Renk/SESM ESM-350M automatic transmission bringing its top speed to 70 km/h, and a new communications system. Weapons have been changed to a "Konštrukta defence a.s." design 2A46MS 125 mm tank gun made by ZTS - Špeciál a.s. , a 7.62 mm FN MAG coaxial machine gun and a 12.7 mm FN Browning M2 HB AA machine gun. This variant is also equipped with Sagem VIGY 15 gyro-stabilised panoramic sight optronics, a SIGMA 30 laser gyro inertial navigation system, EADS EPS72 turret stabilisation system, a PCO SSP-1 Obra-3 laser-warning system, ERAWA 3 Explosive Reactive Armour, ZM Dezamet 902A 81mm grenade launchers and Type 570P Diehl Remscheid GmbH tank tracks. Two prototypes made (renamed PT-91E and PT-91Ex), 48 serial PT-91M vehicles produced 2007 - 2009.


(E for Export) - renamed prototypes of PT-91M used as demonstrators of export variant showed on military exhibitions. PT-91E is a first prototype named SP1 (it is same vehicle as shown on military parade in Kuala Lumpur in 2005), PT-91Ex is a second prototype named SP2. Both vehicles faced number of tests in Malaysia SP1 was used for traction tests and has made 7000 km offroad in Malaysia, SP2 2000 km and 500 shoots from main cannon. Very similar to PT-91M, offered for export to other countries.


(P for Peru) - Demonstrator for SITDEF Peru'2009 military exhibition. A cheaper alternative to PT-91Ex. This variant is equipped with newest PCO Drawa-TG fire control system with a thermal sight and modern communication system (Radmor RRC9310 radio, WB Electronics Fonet-IP communication system and Teldat battlefield management system). The vehicle was be shown on number of South American events including SITDEF Peru'2009 Expo.

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