Neutron shielding on early T-72s?

I have the new Trumpeter T-72 Ural kit and it has neutron shielding applied to the hull side turret bulges (as well as an optional piece by the driver’s hatch):

Screenshot 2023-01-22 095805.png (317.23KiB)

Is this accurate for an early Obj. 172M in 1974 or so?

I know Trumpeter is reusing some parts from its earlier kits (the sprue with these parts is marked T-72 05595, which is their T-72M4CZ) and I’m wondering if this is a feature from a later time.


I can’t imagine this is correct.
Here’s a link talking about the liner- Tankograd: T-72: Part 2
Scroll down and down.

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Great link @Dan, thanks!

That site’s text under “NBC Protection” is not conclusive but certainly implies that it was present early on. The article makes a distinction between the basic set of radiation protections and those added after the US decision to produce ER weapons, in particular the cladding (vice lining) applied to the turret. I’m just wondering if it was present from the outset (1971) or came later once serial production began.