Main Battle Tank - Russia
The T-80 is a main battle tank designed and manufactured at the Leningrad Kirov Plant (LKZ) under the direction of Nikolai S Popov, with the prototype being designated the Obiekt 219. The T-80 is a development of the Russian main battle tank T-64, the T-80 was the first Russian-made main battle tank motorised with a gas turbine engine. This was accepted for service in 1976. The T-80 was confused with the Soviet T-72 by some Western analysts, but the T-80 and T-72 are mechanically very different. They are the products of different design bureaus; the T-80 is from the SKB-2 design bureau of the Kirov Factory (LKZ) in Leningrad while the T-72 is from the Uralvagonzavod factory in Nizhny Tagil, Russia. They are similar in superficial appearance, but the T-80 is based on the earlier T-64 while incorporating features from the T-72, which was a complementary design. In 1996, Cyprus ordered a batch of 41 T-80 series MBTs for its National Guard with all vehicles delivered by early 1997. These were delivered from stock as the only remaining T-80 plant in Russia, at Omsk, has a significant number of T-80U MBTs built for the Russian Army but not delivered because of a shortage of funds. The T-80 is also used by the Republic of Korea, this country bought 33 T-80U. Production of the T-80 has been completed at Leningrad and the other T-80 plant, Kharkov, is now in Ukraine. This facility has built 320 T-80UD MBTs for Pakistan which were delivered between 1997 and late 1999.
T-80B and T-80BV MBTs were used during the First Chechen War. This first real combat experience for T-80 MBTs was unsuccessful as they were used for capturing cities, a task for which they were not very well suited. The biggest losses were suffered during the ill-fated assault on the city of Grozny. The reasons for that included the fact that the forces selected to capture Grozny were not prepared for such an operation while the city was defended by, among others, veterans of the Soviet War in Afghanistan. The T-80 tanks used in this operation either did not have reactive armour (T-80B), or it was not fitted before the start of the operation (T-80BV), and T-80 crews lacked sufficient training before the war.
T-80 MBT variants:
- T-80: basic version (1976)
- T-80B: Can fire the Kobra missile 9K112 (AT-8 Songster), new fire control system, a new generation of K ceramic composite armour. new engine GTD-1000TH turbine engine.
- T-80BK: commander model T-80B with additional communications equipment
- T-80BV: further development of T-80B with the addition of the first generation of Kontakt explosive armour to the hull and the turret.
- T-80BVK: Commander version of T-80BV with additional communications equipment
- T-80U: the second generation of T-80 with a new 125 mm gun, can fire the 9M119 Refleks missile (AT-11 Sniper), new computer firing control system, commander cupola with remote machine gun 12.7 mm, new engine GTD-1250 gas turbine. new armour Kontakt at the front.
- T-80U1: first production of T-80Uequipped with 9K112 Kobra radio-guided anti-tank weapon system
- T-80UD: turbine replaced by 6TF two-stroke diesel developing 1,100 hp, a different transmission and driver controls and built-in second-generation explosive reactive armour.
- T-80UK: command version of the T-80U with additional communications equipment
- T-80UE: This is a T-80UK with some of the command elements removed while retaining the TshU1-7 Shtora-1 countermeasures system.
- T-80UM: new power engine 1.250 hp gas turbine, deep fording kit and Agava M1 computerized fire control system
- T-80UM1: fitted with the more advanced Arena (or Kazt) Defensive Aid Suite (DAS), new engine GTD-1250G
- T-80UM2: T-80 chassis fitted with a new turret, armed with a 125 mm gun fed by a bustle-mounted automatic loader, equipped with the first generation of Drozd-1 defensive aids suite.
The main armament of the T-80 MBT (Main Battle Tank) is composed of the 125 mm 2A46 smoothbore gun as the T-72 with a horizontal ammunition stowage system. The main gun is fed by the Korzina automatic loader. This holds up to 28 rounds of two-part ammunition in a carousel located under the turret floor. Additional ammunition is stored within the turret. The ammunition comprises the projectile (APFSDS, HEAT or HE-Frag) plus the propellant charge, or the two-part missile. This can fire either the AT-8 `Songster' ATGW or 125 mm ammunition of the separate loading type. With the latter, the projectile is loaded first, followed by the semi-combustible cartridge case; all that remains after firing is the stub base which is ejected. This 125 mm ammunition is common to the T-64, T-72, T-80, T-84 and T-90 MBTs and known types are shown in the table. The 125 mm smoothbore gun is stabilised in both elevation and traverse. Armament also includes a 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun and a 12.7mm Utes (NSVT-12.7) air defence machine gun. One bank of 81 mm electrically operated smoke grenade dischargers are mounted on either side of the turret, five on the left and four on the right.
|Design and protection|
The overall layout of the T-80 MBT is similar to that of the T-64 MBT series with the driver's compartment at the front, a two-man turret in the centre and engine and transmission at the rear. The turret is armoured steel with an inner layer of special armour; the gunner sits on the left and the tank commander on the right. The glacis plate is of the laminate type for improved protection against kinetic energy and HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) attack and there is a dozer blade carried retracted under the nose of the vehicle.
|The T-80 MBT is equipped with a bar suspension with each side consisting of six forged steel-aluminium rubber-tyred roadwheels, a drive sprocket at the rear, an idler at the front and five return roadwheels. The rubber-tyred roadwheels are in two halves and bolted together. The roadwheel spacing is not identical and there are distinct gaps between the second and third, fourth and fifth, and fifth and sixth roadwheels. The upper part of the suspension is equipped with rubber plates protection. The original T-80 design uses a 1,000 horsepower gas turbine instead of a 750 horsepower diesel engine, although some later variants of the T-80 revert to diesel engine usage. The gearbox is different, with 5 forward and 1 reverse, instead of 7 forward and 1 reverse.|
|Standard equipment of the T-80 MBT includes snorkels for deep fording operations, which are carried on the turret rear when not required, an overpressure-type NBC protection system, night vision equipment for all three crew members, unditching beam carried across the hull rear and a laser warning device activated by laser range-finders, laser designators or precision-guided munitions fitted with a laser guidance device. Mounted on the turret rear is a large circular container that carries two snorkels. The larger one is the snorkel for the gas turbine, with another one being fitted onto the radiator grille by means of two adaptors. This provides an air intake for the gas turbine. To extend the operational range of the T-80, additional drum-type fuel tanks can be mounted at the hull rear. These can be quickly jettisoned if necessary. Each of these fuel drums holds 300 litres of fuel and is connected to the main fuel supply.|
|one 125 mm gun, one 7.62 mm PKT machine gun, one NSVT or PKT 12.7 mm machine gun, 8-12 81 mm smoke grenade discharger.||550mm turret,500mm hull|
|Belarus, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Ukraine, Yemen.||42,500 kg|
|Russia||70 km/h maximum road speed|
|Night vision, NBC protection, add-on armour, a fording system with a snorkel. laser range-finder,||335 km, 440 km with additional fuel drums.|
|3||Length: 9,9 m; Width: 3,4 m; Height: 2,20 m|
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