The T-72 is a Soviet main battle tank designed by Uralvagonzavod in 1973. The T-72 was produced to replace the T-54 in Warsaw Pact nations to counter against previously made NATO tanks. It was based off the T-62 and T-64, and was further developed into the T-90. It is in service with over 30 nations.
The T-72 uses a 125mm smoothbore cannon as its primary armament, a PKT as a co-axial machine gun and an NSVT anti-aircraft machine gun on top of the turret. The T-72 was not a very exceptional, but proved effective due to its thick armor, especially in later models, which even some modern tanks are not able to penetrate. However, since the majority of T-72s were in mass-production stages and then exported to countries without the technological or economic power to modernize them, many of the world's T-72s were unsuccessful in confrontations against Western powers.
In Battlefield Vietnam, the T-72 is the North Vietnamese Army's main battle tank during the Fall of Saigon. It retains all of the T-54's characteristics, such as the powerful main cannon with 30 rounds and a co-axial machine gun with 400 rounds available to the driver, and a mounted machine gun with 500 rounds available to a second player. It also has the same speed, maneuverability and size. However unlike the T-54, the T-72 suffers from an inability to train the main gun downward, resulting in a slight disadvantage in a tank-on-tank fight. Also, the T-72's top gunner has the ability to launch smoke grenades using secondary fire.
The T-72 (alongside the Type 72Z) makes another appearance as an unusable enemy vehicle featured in Battlefield 3. It is utilized by both the Iranian Army and PLR, and is heavily-used by the PLR during Thunder Run. Approximately 20 T-72 tanks appear in Thunder Run.
The T-72 is an obsolete tank by 2014, something that can be seen as its 125mm cannon struggles to penetrate the hull and turret armor of the Marine M1 Abrams tanks. Its armor is equally outdated, and this, combined with its unprotected ammunition storage in the center hull, means the T-72 is easily destroyed and cannot survive more than one direct hit from an M1's main cannon.
Not a single M1 Abrams is destroyed or disabled by a T-72 in Thunder Run; the only M1 destroyed, Anvil 3-2, is hit by a pair of anti-tank missiles rather than 125mm rounds.
Within Tehran itself, the T-72 is offset by the T-90 as the Iranian main battle tank of choice.