Nigeria welcomes three T-72 M1 main battle tanks (MBT), to fight Boko Haram, IHS Jane's Defence Weekly reports. Additionally, the source informed of other types of armoured vehicles (BMPs) and anti-tank complexes being shipped to Nigeria via air transport.
The total price of the delivery was estimated at USD8m (N1,536,400,000). Excalibur Group company (Czech Republic), that specialises in refurbishing military equipment, was one of the contractors.A total of 16 vehicles have been transported via Antonov An-225 (Mriya) aircraft from Ostrava-Mosnov airport to the end user's location since January 26, 2015.It would be noted that the recent success of the Nigerian Army may be attributed to use of heavy tanks for military operations in Michika and Madagali.
Boko Haram insurgents, who use ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns mounted on their vehicles, cannot penetrate the explosive reactive (ERA) armour of a T-72.
The terrorists have RPG-7 anti-tank hand-held grenade launchers that are able to damage the MBT. However, RPG's firing range is 500m, while the T-72 can demolish any target from the range of 3-5km.
Facts about T-72 MBT:
– over 25,000 built since 1973;
– exported in over 40 countries worldwide;
– price USD1…2m. May increase drastically depending on modification;
– first ever world championship for militaries operating T-72 took place in Russia in August 2014.