Paul Cornish, the head of the international security program at the London-based think-tank Chatham House, said the tanks would be difficult to sell on to a third party — private buyers or warlords, for example — because of the logistics involved with keeping them operational.
"It's not like (stealing) a container full of machine guns, where all you need is a tin of bicycle oil," he said.
Roger Middleton, another Chatham House researcher, said it was unlikely the pirates knew there were tanks aboard the Faina, and he said unloading the cargo would be very difficult."
Compared to modern armor, T-72's are obsolete junk, but part of the reason they're popular is like the other obsolete Russian junk the AK series long arm, parts are relatively cheap and easy to make and replace. In the US alone there are several dozen private shops that work on upgrading Russian and Chinese armaments, mostly for collectors and the like, and lets not forget organizations that could easily afford to order one, two, or many, for obvious reasons.
The parts alone...and let's not forget the ammo...could be worth a helluva lot more than the tanks themselves, and, as I write this, large police departments the country over are salivating at the thought of latching on to a T-72. You know they are.