In the 1990s Czech MoD issued request for a substantial modernization program of the ageing T-72 tanks. One of the requirements was improved overall protection, and improved protection against NBC threats. Two prototypes, the T-72M3 and T-72M4 were completed to meet requirements of this upgrade program.
The T-72M4 has improved armor protection. The tank is fitted with composite armor and new Polish DYNA explosive reactive armor. It provides protection against HEAT, APFSDS and HESH rounds. The T-72M4 is fitted with mine protection system, that neutralizes mines with magnetic fuse. This tank is fitted with new German automatic fire suppression system. It also has new NBC protection system. Upgraded tanks are fitted with laser warning system. It detects once the vehicle is illuminated by a laser beam and identifies direction of the threat. Then smoke grenades can be discharged to hide the tank.
The T-72M4 has the same 125-mm smoothbore gun as its predecessor. A muzzle reference system was added for improved accuracy. The gunner can quickly check that there is an accurate relation between the gun and the sight. This tank is fitted with an autoloader. Enhanced 125-mm APFSDS-T rounds were developed for this tank.