Citing a source from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Izvestia reported that Russia plans to deploy its T-72B3 main battle tanks to the disputed Kuril Islands.
The Kuril Islands, referred to as the Southern Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan, were captured by Soviet forces following Japan’s surrender to Allied Forces in 1945.
The resulting disagreement over who has rightful ownership of the islands has soured relations between the two countries, contributing to their continued failure to sign a World War II peace treaty.
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On the Kuril Islands, the T-72B3 can be used to destroy enemy assault forces and small enemy ships.
It is noted that the main advantage of upgraded T-72B3 tanks is the combination of optical rangefinder sights and guided missiles fired from smoothbore 125 mm tank guns.
The rearmament with new equipment and its development will take up to two years.
“The T-72B3 is a fairly modern vehicle. Compared to the base version, this version is equipped with an increased power engine, a thermal imaging sight, an improved fire and communication control system, and additional protection, “said Russian military expert Alexei Khlopotov.