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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. They are destroyable within one hit of the player's main gun, and can deal a decent amount of damage to the player's tank.
Within Tehran itself, the T-72 is offset by the T-90 as the Iranian main battle tank of choice.