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Russia ramps up production of T-80BVM Main Battle Tanks and delivers them in Ukraine

According to a tweet by Patricia Marins dated September 27, 2023, Omsktransmash, a Russian defense company, has ramped up production of T-80BVM main battle tanks. This is part of a broader initiative where the company has taken approximately 180 old T-80 tanks from depots for modernization. The company plans to deliver these upgraded units throughout the year, releasing them in batches of 20 to 30 units every 40 to 60 days.
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Russian T-80BVM Main Battle Tank on the way to Ukraine (Picture source: video Footage from the Twitter account of Patrica Marins)

Before the onset of the conflict in Ukraine, Omsktransmash produced an average of 40 tanks per year. However, the company has the capacity to modernize around 400 units annually. This suggests a significant ramp-up in production and modernization efforts. Currently, Armored Repair Plants are responsible for refurbishing the old T-80 tanks, while Omsktransmash takes on the task of modernizing them into T-80BVM tanks. According to Patricia Marins' estimates, the annual production could reach approximately 180 to 200 units, a substantial increase from previous years.

The T-80BV and the T-80BVM are two versions of the T-80 main battle tank, but they have significant differences in terms of armament, protection, and mobility. The T-80BV is an older version developed in the 1980s, while the T-80BVM is a modernization that began in the early 2010s and was publicly revealed for the first time in 2017.

In terms of armament, the T-80BVM is equipped with a 125mm 2A46M-4 smoothbore gun capable of firing a wider range of ammunition. The T-80BVM is also equipped with coaxial and anti-aircraft machine guns, thus enhancing its capabilities in close defense and against aerial threats.

Regarding protection, the T-80BVM goes well beyond its predecessor. It is equipped with Relikt reactive armor plates that offer additional protection against shaped charges, such as those found on anti-tank missiles and HEAT shells. The angular armor design on the hull and turret also increases the effective thickness of the armor, improving resistance to incoming projectiles.

From a mobility standpoint, the T-80BVM is powered by a GTD-1250 gas turbine engine, generating 1,250 horsepower, allowing the tank to reach higher speeds than the T-80BV. The T-80BVM's torsion bar suspension system is also designed to offer a smoother ride, excellent traction, and stability on various terrains, making it more apt to operate in diverse environments.

In summary, although the two tanks share the same basic DNA, the T-80BVM is a markedly improved version in terms of armament, protection, and mobility, making it a much more formidable combat platform on the modern battlefield.

The increase in the production and modernization of T-80BVM tanks by Omsktransmash signifies a notable shift in Russia's military capabilities. With around 50 to 70 more units expected to be delivered by the end of this year, the T-80BVM is poised to become a significant asset in Russia's armored divisions. As Ukraine takes steps to counterbalance this development, such as the recent acquisition of Abrams tanks, the T-80BVM remains a focal point in the evolving landscape of international defense and security.

Russia Ramps Up Production of T 80BVM Main Battle Tank and delivers it In Ukraine 925 001Russian T-80BVM Main Battle Tank (Picture source: Vitaly V.Kuzmin)


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