Weight : 46 tons loaded
Length : 10.03m (incl. gun)
Width : 3.7m
Height : 2.19m
Crew : 3 (commander, gunner, driver)
Powerplant : S-1000R diesel (1,000hp)
Speed : 60km/h on-road; 45km/h off-road
Armament : 1 x Konstrukta 2A46MS 125mm gun, 1 x FN MAG 7.62mm co-axial MG, 1 x FN Browning M2HB 12.7mm AA MG
In 2003, the Malaysian Government selected the Polish-made PT-91 Twardy as the country’s first Main Battle Tank (MBT). A contract has been signed for the supply of 48 MBTs plus 6 WZT-4 Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV), 3 MID-M armoured engineer vehicle and 5 PMC-90 Leguan Armoured Vehicle Launcher Bridge (AVLB). These vehicles are to be assigned to the 11th Regiment of the Royal Armoured Corps (Kor Armor DiRaja).
The Malaysian-spec PT-91Ms are derived from the original Polish PT-91/PT-91A which in turn is a development of the Russian T-72M1. The PT-91 features improved protection, fire-control system and powerplant, making it more survivable than the original T-72s. The Malaysian Army PT-91M improves on that further plus some requirements which are meant to simplify logistics.
Other features of the PT-91M
1. 2A46MS 125mm gun – a Slovak-designed weapon, it has a 23% increase in first hit probability as compared with the original Soviet 2A46. Ammunition includes APFSDS, HEAT and HE.
2. S-1000R diesel engine – the original PT-91 are powered by S-12 engine of 850hp. The Malaysian PT-91M has the more powerful S-1000R, rated at 1,000hp. The engine is manufactured by PZL-Wola S.A. Mechanical Works
3. Savan 15 FCS – The Drawa FCS is replaced by the French Savan 15 system, built by Sagem Defence Securite. The Savan 15 FCS is derived from a similar system used in the French Army’s LeClerc MBT. The system features gun stabilization enabling the tank to fire on the move, increased first round hit probability and the ability to operate at night. The system consists of day/night gunner’s sight, fire-control computer, gun stabilization sensors, lead-angle sensors and interface at the gunner’s and commander’s stations.
4. VIGY 15 optronics – also from Sagem, this is a gyro-stabilized panoramic sight for the tank commander. It has hunter-killer function – targets sighted by the TC are signalled to the gunner, or in emergencies, engaged by the TC himself.
5. SIGMA 30 laser gyro – another Sagem product. The system is used for navigation and stabilization of the MBT.
6. ERAWA-2 ERA tiles – dubbed dynamic armor, these explosive blocks are designed to improve protection from anti-tank projectiles / missiles especially HEAT rounds. Tests by the manufacturer have shown a 50-70% increase in protection against HEAT rounds and a 30-40% increase against AP rounds. The ERAWA system consists of 384 blocks (108 turret, 118 hull and 84 on each side of the anti-cumulative screen@side-skirt)
7. PCO SSP-1 Obra-3 laser warning system – placed on each quadrant of the MBT, the system gives warning that the tank is being ‘painted’ by laser – whether rangefinding or targeting. This allows the crew to find the direction of the laser emission and deal with it accordingly.
8. Wegmann 76mm grenade launchers – clustered around the turret sides are the launch tubes for this system. The system is used to lauch smoke/IRCM grenades to hide the tank from enemy visual/ thermal observation and targeting. It can be also used to launch HE grenades against enemy tank-killing infantry.
9. Secondary armament – The PT-91M is equipped with a 7.62mm FN MAG co-axial MG, located to the right of the main gun. It replaces the original PKT 7.62mm MG. On the commander’s hatch is a FN Browning M2HB 12.7mm AA MG replacing the 12.7mm NSVT. The single example taking part in the 2005 National Day Parade shows that the M2 is mounted higher than usual and the mounting somehow look ‘funny’. It also sported a Soviet-style ammo box.
10. Diehl tracks – the PT-91M replaces the all-steel tracks with Type 570P track from Diehl Remscheid GmbH which have long service life and low maintenance requirements. It is similar to the ones used in Leopard 2 MBT.
11. The PT-91M is also equipped with Western-style stowage basket at the rear of the turret.
In 2005 a single example of PT-91M was flown to Malaysia to undertake trials in local conditions before assembly / deliveries can start. Coincidentally, the tank also participated in the Merdeka Day parade of that year – which prompts certain individuals in a certain internet forum from a certain country to make allegations that the tank is specially flown for parade purposes. They didn’t see the big picture..from the looks of it. Deliveries are expected to commence later in the year or early in 2007.