LIBYA'S ARMOURED TANKS
Libya has a vast array of vehicles which would be considered outdated in most modern armies today however still possess the power to do much damage against countries on the same technological level.
According to a source from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) they estimated that Libya in 2009 had 1,914 tanks. In the report it included soviet-era and later Russian vehicles mostly of export quality. A news report from Novisti¹, stated that Libya had purchased “from the Soviet Union more than 2,000 tanks, 2,000 armored infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers, about 450 self-propelled artillery pieces…”.
What tanks do libya have then?
181 T-72 main battle tanks (MBT) with 151 in-store. In August 2009, Libya and Russia signed a deal said to be worth $4 billion. However any updates have not been known since the contract was signed. The deal was said to be for upgrades to 145 of the T-72 tanks as well as other Soviet-era tanks such as the T-62, T-55 and T-54 main battle tanks. The Libyan Army operates the T-72M1 variant which includes additional armour of which 16 mm of extra armour is located on the glacis plate of tank. The tank is armed with a 125 mm 2A46M smoothbore gun, with a 7.62 mm PKT coaxial machine gun and has a 12.7 NSVT anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on the turret.
These are the main battle tanks (MBT) which consist of Libyan Army and are the back bone into providing fire support and anti-tank capabilities. During the conflict in Libya in 2011, videos emerged² of these very tanks being bombed by western powers. With one video emerging from the BBC of a Libyan tank of which was one of the variants above being destroyed by a large bomb from a GR4 Tornado of the Royal Air Force (RAF).