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Russian army reactivates T-80 MBTs.

| 2019

The Russian Ministry of Defense is reactivating its T-80-family main battle tanks, according to the MoD’s press department.

Russian army reactivates T 80 MBTs
T-80BV (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)

In mid-August, the MoD reported the re-equipment of Far Eastern motor rifle units stationed in the Eastern Military District (Vostochniy Voenniy Okrug, VVO) with new T-80BV MBTs. "The tank units of four motor rifle formations in Khabarovsk Krai, the Jewish Autonomous Oblast [JAO], the Amur Region, and the Sakhalin Region have fully been rearmed with the T-80BV tanks," said the VVO press department on August 19, adding that the formation in the JAO had become the fourth operator of the T-80BVs.

The MoD did not detail the T-80BV tank. However, the ministry said the land platforms had been fitted with the Sosna-U gunner’s multichannel sight, weapon stabilizers, and TVN-5 observation devices. "The T-80[BV] is powered by a gas-turbine engine that optimally fits the harsh climatic conditions of the Far East. The system is the world’s first tank protected by integral anti-round explosive reactive armor," said a spokesperson for the VVO, describing the features of the district’s T-80BV tanks.

According to the open sources, the original T-80BV MBT was adopted by the Soviet Army in 1985. The tank weighs 43.7 tons and is powered by a 1,100 hp GTD-1000TF gas-turbine engine, producing a top speed of 70 km/h. The platform is manned by a three-man crew and is armed with a 125 mm 2A46M-1 main gun, an NSVT 12.7 mm roof-mounted heavy machinegun, and a Kalashnikov PKT 7.62 mm coaxial medium machinegun. The tank is fitted with the 1G42 gunner’s sight and the TPN-3-49 observation device. Comparing the statement made by the VVO press department and the open-source description of the original tank, one can state that the district’s units have received update T-80BVs.

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