Servicemen of the Russian military base deployed in Tajikistan have used T-72B3M in military exercise in Tajikistan for the first time.

Citing the press center of Russia’s Central Military District, TASS reported on March 15, “Servicemen of the Russian military base deployed in Tajikistan have used T-72B3M and modernized infantry combat vehicles BMP-2 in tactical military exercise that was launched in the conditions of mountain-desert terrain in the south of Tajikistan on March 14.”     

During the man stage of the drill, motorized rifle units, reinforced with tanks, will practice active actions in defense and offensive with counterattacks, according to TASS

A five-day tactical drill for servicemen of the Russian military base deployed in Tajikistan was launched at the Harbmaidon training ground in the Khatlon province on Mach 14.

The press center of Russia’s Central Military District says the exercise involves more than 1,000 military personnel and more than 300 units of military hardware, including combat helicopters.

The exercise is being conducted in three stages.  During the main stage, they will rehearse coordination and interaction in a combat operation on blocking and destroying illegal armed formations.

The troops have completed a forced march to the exercise area with rehearsing a mission on repelling attacks of sabotage and reconnaissance groups and overcoming contaminated areas.

The final phase of the exercise that will take place on March 18 will include the tasks of restoring combat capability.

All tactical actions are being practiced with use of reconnaissance-and-fire and reconnaissance-and-strike systems. 

Russian 201st military base deployed in Tajikistan replaced its old combat vehicles with 30 upgraded T-72B3M tanks in December last year.

T-72B3M is an upgraded variant of the T-72B3 main battle tank (MBT).  The T-72B3M tank was exhibited for the first time to the public during the 2014 Tank Biathlon World Championship held in October 2014.

The tank features an advanced fire control system and a new thermal sight.  The mobility and combat characteristics of the tank have also been improved to compete with the most advanced tanks worldwide.

The T-72B3M tank is also equipped with radio systems for encrypted digital voice and data transfer, snorkels for deep fording, and a built-in blade for self-entrenching.

The battalion of the advanced tanks was to boost the capabilities of a motorized infantry unit through improved maneuverability while enhancing the survivability of the tank crews.

The Russian military base deployed in Tajikistan is subordinate to the Central Military District.  It is Russia's largest non-naval military facility outside the country.  It was officially opened in Tajikistan in 2004 under a previous agreement, which was signed in 1993, and hosts Russia’s largest military contingent deployed abroad.

A total of some 7,000 Russian troops are now stationed at two military facilities collectively known as the 201st military base - in Dushanbe and Bokhtar (formerly Qurghon Teppa), some 100 kilometers from Dushanbe.

Under an agreement signed in October 2012, Russia’s military base in Tajikistan will remain operational until at least 2042.