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Locally-made T-84 Oplot and Allied MBTs join forces in Ukraine counteroffensive

According to a Warrior Maven article published on July 8, 2023, Ukraine still uses the domestically-manufactured T-84 Oplot, an upgraded version of the Soviet T-80, for its counteroffensive operations, along with the multiple MBTs like the M1 Abrams, Challenger 2, or Leopard received from its allies.
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The T-84 Oplot is currently deployed by the Ukrainian army in the East. (Picture source Ukraine Weapons Tracker)

In light of the significant tank losses suffered by Ukrainian forces against Russian forces, they are compelled to deploy the latest generations of tanks developed by the Ukrainian defense industry, such as the T-84 Oplot tank.

Another reason is that by relying on domestically-manufactured vehicles like the T-84 Oplot tank and the 2S22 Bohdana self-propelled howitzer, Ukraine strengthens its self-sufficiency and defense industry. This not only enhances their military capabilities but also ensures efficient performance in combat operations, thanks to the experience of Ukrainian soldiers operating these vehicles.

The T-84 Oplot Main Battle Tank (MBT) is a Ukrainian tank manufactured by the Malychev factory in Kharkiv since the Soviet era. Originally, the factory built an enhanced variant of the T-80U tank with a diesel engine, named T-80UD. Later, the T-84 was developed as an improved version based on the T-80UD. Following successful trials, it was officially adopted by the Ukrainian army in 2001 and redesignated as the BM Oplot in 2005. In 2023, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence decided to order new T-84 Oplot tanks for the Ukrainian Army.

The T-84 Oplot incorporates notable improvements that distinguish it as a distinct tank model. These include an armored ammunition compartment in a new welded turret, which enhances crew safety and ammunition storage capabilities. It also features a thermal sight and a navigation system. In 2009, an upgraded variant called the Oplot-M was introduced, which included additional features such as a panoramic sight, the PNK-6 tank gunner's day/night sight, and an improved fire control system, aiming to enhance the tank's accuracy and situational awareness.

The T-84 Oplot MBT features formidable firepower as another key characteristic. It is armed with a range of weapons, enabling it to effectively engage various targets. Supported by an advanced fire control system, these armaments enhance the tank's offensive and defensive capabilities.

The primary armament of the T-84 Oplot is a 125mm smoothbore gun, capable of firing different types of ammunition. The second armamzent includes a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun for engaging light-armored targets and infantry, as well as a 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on the turret roof.

To enhance its crew protection, the tank utilizes the next-generation Duplet reactive armor, which consists of a double-layer configuration within its armor structure, providing significant resistance against different threats. The tank's integrated countermeasures enhance its protection against anti-tank guided missiles and RPGs, contributing to the crew's survivability in combat.

In summary, the T-84 Oplot MBT is a combat vehicle that combines firepower, mobility, and crew protection. Described as a fast tank, with a power-to-weight ratio of roughly 26 horsepower per tonne, its speed provides advantages in armored assault operations, allowing for swift maneuverability. Considering Ukraine's significant tank deficit compared to Russia, the T-84 Oplot's speed and anti-air capabilities could potentially offer strategic benefits. However, the full impact of the tank's effectiveness would depend on various factors such as the number of tanks, their upgrades, and operational considerations.

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