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All Russian T-80BVM tanks used in Ukraine are now equipped with counter drone systems



Moscow, Russia, December 15, 2023: In a significant development, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that its T-80BVM Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) deployed in Ukraine are now standardly equipped with advanced protection systems. These systems are specifically designed to counter high-precision weapons and First-Person View (FPV) drones, a growing threat on the Ukrainian battlefield.
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Russian Army T-80BVM tank equipped with anti-drone armor mounted on the turret roof and counter-drone system. (Picture source Russian MoD)


The decision to upgrade the tanks comes from direct combat experiences in the Ukrainian battlefield. The Russian T-80BVM tank, a mainstay in the Russian armored fleet, now features special protective equipment. This enhancement significantly reduces the tank's vulnerability to various high-precision weapons. It also provides robust defense against newer forms of warfare, such as loitering ammunition, bombs deployed from quadcopters, and attacks from FPV drones.

FPV drones, which offer a drone operator a pilot's-eye view, have become a game-changer in modern warfare. They provide real-time reconnaissance and can guide precision strikes, making them a formidable tool in the hands of skilled operators. The Russian Ministry of Defense's move to equip tanks with countermeasures against these drones underscores the evolving nature of battlefield threats and the need for continual adaptation.

The 29th Combined Arms Army of the Eastern Military District, which utilizes these tanks, has been actively employing them to provide fire support to assault units in the southern Donetsk direction. These tanks also play a crucial role in countering enemy personnel and armored vehicles.

A notable feature of the T-80BVM upgrade is the inclusion of the new multi-channel gunner's sight "Sosna-U." This advanced targeting system uses a laser beam to guide supersonic missiles launched from the tank's cannon. This technology enables the T-80BVM to engage and destroy armored targets from a distance, staying outside the enemy's effective range.

Furthermore, the Russian Ministry of Defense highlighted ongoing efforts to counteract drone warfare more effectively. This includes the testing of a system designed to suppress GPS channels and drone control channels. Such systems are crucial in countering the widespread use of various types of drones by opposing forces in conflict zones.

The continuous evolution of the T-80BVM tanks and the integration of sophisticated defense systems reflect the changing dynamics of modern warfare. As the conflict in Ukraine persists, both sides are rapidly adapting and upgrading their military capabilities, indicating a new era of technologically advanced and highly adaptive combat strategies.

The Russian T-80BVM Main Battle Tank, equipped with its main armament, a powerful 125mm smoothbore gun, has undergone significant upgrades in response to the challenges on the Ukrainian battlefield. These enhancements are tailored to counter high-precision weapons and FPV (First-Person View) drones, pivotal in modern warfare. The tank now boasts specialized protective equipment, reducing vulnerability to various advanced weaponry, including loitering ammunition and bombs from quadcopters. Moreover, the upgrades provide a solid defense against the increasingly prevalent FPV drone attacks, significantly bolstering its defensive capabilities.

In addition to its formidable main gun, a key feature of the T-80BVM's upgrade is the integration of the "Sosna-U" multi-channel gunner's sight. This advanced targeting system employs a laser beam to precisely guide supersonic missiles launched from the tank's cannon, enabling the T-80BVM to engage and destroy targets from a safe distance, avoiding enemy kill zones. Alongside these combat enhancements, the Russian Ministry of Defense has focused on countering drone threats, testing systems to suppress GPS and drone control channels. These advancements mark a pivotal upgrade in the T-80BVM's operational capabilities, adapting it to the rapidly evolving dynamics of modern combat environments.


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