Russian team was 7 minutes ahead of the Chinese one, which used a Type-96A of some variation. It is funny, because the Type-96 was firing on the move no faster than the T-72B3. There goes the *Type has the better FCS, suspension, and stabilization* bull crap that was spewed last year.
Yes, found those accusations and rapid conclusion jumping without further knowledge of the FCS rather amateurish, because that is not how you compare FCS especially when driving over smooth ground and firing APFSDS rounds while all other competitors were firing HEAT rounds which have lower velocity and higher dispersion. I would say it was more the case of good training with combination of being more willing to risk to get some points since it was a sprint and time is important, however they lost time due to malfunctions and had to switch to a spare tank.
Russia won the tournament. All the other teams besides China are using T-72B3s so I think it is safe to assume that the Russian team won because of their training. China doesn't have a a rich history in tank warfare so they may have scored so high because of their tank. There are a lot of variables in this.
China may have not the richest history in tank warfare, but it is false to assume that they have little or no focus on it, they are the strongest tank fleet in focus of training and modernisation in the world after russia. They lay a higher focus on their ground forces, capabilities and modernisation than US does, which in fact is not suprisingly good in ground forces and lack alot of training, discipline and technology.
The T-72B3 was also chosen because it is a cheaper alternative to the more advanced T-72B2. I don't remember much about the T-72B2 and with the coming of the T-14 there has to be more advanced technology now that could be incorporated into a T-72B3 upgrade. Nevertheless, it is almost always best to pay a little more for to have something better done, even if the situation with military spending back then was a lot different than today.
Yes, the coming with T-14 and the breakthroughts with "Prorif-2/3" are an indication that they have already spend money on new technologies how to improve tanks, meaning they could be more keen now to invest in proper upgrades for T-72B's than they were before due the relative high costs for an already older tank of a past generation, but now they could, time will tell.
I stood by TR1's idea that the T-72B3 still lacks the proper armor upgrades needed to deal with modern ammunition. So that is the problem and I believe mod also sees that as well. Add in that the FCS maybe not modern either is an issue (but still has modern imagers). So maybe a newer armor package and fcs of newest T-90 variant would work out to be what is needed.
The question is how much willing is there to upgrade them to get closer to T-90A or even AM besides the existing T-90A technology of how to armor them. My guess would be the same as Mike E's they would field them with Relikt which is already a massive upgrade in armor-wise.
I agree that the T-72B2 Rokatka was a good upgrade. More advanced than current upgrade. Maybe they should have gone that route even if it was more expensive. With what we know of T-90AM and soon T-90A3, I think they can manage to come up for T-72B4 similar armor as B2 but with better FCS.
I doubt they will spend that much money, i would guess the money difference to upgrade a tank from T-72B or B3 to T-90A has mainly to due with FCS,FLIR and armor, so there is probably not much money difference between just upgrading those 3 things in comperision to upgrading them entirely to T-90A standards. Not to mention they want to upgrade T-90A's to T-90AM, so what would be the point of such an upgrade? I think it would be rather modest upgrade to lower cost to upgrade a bigger fleet since upgrades for more tanks than rather few glorified tanks is more effecient in the bigger picture.
Yes it did... All ERA was removed, as were the side skirts.
No T-72 in service uses Shtora, though they probably could.
I suspect the new model will be carry-over from the T-90B3, and the T-90B3 from the Armata... Expect to see Relikt, and the new reactive tiles if this is the case.
T-72B2 was a great vehicle, it just came at the wrong time...and even now, would be too expensive.
I found the direct quotes from A. Terlikov (I'll post them later) and it seems this upgrade centers around more protection. FCS improvements are possible.
The stripping of side skirts and ERA housing, does not necessairly mean they wanted to get every single weight saving measure they could do. I rather suspect that they stripped them because sideskirts of the T-72 are designed in that way to break off when scratching against trees, walls or any other harder object that design is there to prevent sideskirts getting pushed into the fuel tanks not to losse important fuel. We saw last year several tanks among have lost ERA fitted side skirts on the curse.