Main Battle Tank - Russia
The T-80BV is an upgraded version of the T-80B Main Battle Tank (MBT) which entered into service with the Russian armed forces in 1985. At present, Russia`s Ministry of Defense has several thousands of T-80BV tanks, mostly in store. During the 2022 Russia - Ukraine conflict, Russian armed forces deployed a large quantity of T-80BV for combat operations. In July 2016, Russia`s Uralvagonzavod scientific-research corporation announced the development of an upgrade kit to bring the aging T-80BV/U main battle tanks (MBT) to the level of modern Western MBTs, such as German Leopard 2A5 / 2A6 and American M1A1 / M1A2 Abrams. The upgraded T-80BV MBTs will feature the Sosna-U fire-control system that incorporates optical sight, laser rangefinder and thermal imager, as well as an ATGM control channel, an updated energy generator and engine starter, and advanced explosive reactive armor (ERA) plates. The modified T-80BV tanks will be suitable for the climatic conditions of the Arctic, the Far East, and Siberia. This upgrade of the operational T-80-family vehicles is going to significantly increase the combat capabilities of Russian armor units. According to the Military Balance, 2016 report issued by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Russia`s Armed Forces operate 450 T-80BV/U MBTs; about 3,000 tanks of such types were placed in store in previous years.
- T-80BVK: This is the commander's model of the T-80BV with additional communications equipment.
The main armament of the T-80BV consists of one 125mm 2A46 smoothbore gun which can fire a full range of ammunition including APFSDS (Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding-Sabot), HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank), HE-Frag (High Explosive Fragmentation) and training. The main 125 mm armament is stabilized in both elevation and traverse and enables the T-80BV to shoot on the move with a high probability of a first-round hit. The turret of the T-80BV is fitted with a carousel loading magazine with 28 ready-to-use projectiles. There is also 10 additional ammunition stowed in racks behind the turret basket. The cannon can also fire AT-8 `Songster' 9M112 anti-tank guided missile with a range from 100 to 4,000 m. A total of four AT-8 `Songster' ATGMs (Anti-Tank Guided Missiles) are carried inside the tank. A 7.62mm PKT machine gun is mounted coaxially to the right of the main gun. A 12.7mm NSVT machine gun is mounted at the commander's hatch to be used against air attack threats. Four 81mm smoke grenade dischargers are mounted on each side of the turret.
|Close view of top of the turret T-80BV|
|Design and protection|
The T-80BV main battle tank features a classical layout with a crew of three including a driver located in the middle of the front hull, a commander on the right, and a gunner on the left in the turret. The engine and transmission are in the rear of the hull. The hull of the T-80BV is all-welded steel armor. The glacis and the turret are protected by laminate compound armor. Other parts of the hull and the turret are protected by solid steel plates of different thicknesses and inclinations. The front part of the hull and turret are fitted with first-generation Kontakt explosive reactive armor. According to Russian sources, Kontakt ERA provides protection equivalent to up to 400 mm rolled steel armor (RHA) when hit by single-stage shaped charge warheads. The sides and front bottom part of the hull are protected against shaped-charge attack by rubberized-fabric flaps.
|The turret is protected by first-generation Kontakt explosive reactive armor.|
|The T-80BV MBT is motorized with a GTD-1000TF gas turbine engine developing 1,000 hp., which is essentially a three-shaft unit fitted with two independent turbo-compressors and a free turbine. This engine operates on jet fuels TS-1 and TS-2, diesel fuels, and low-grade motor petrol. Its started procedure is automatic. The engine is coupled to a manual transmission with five forward gears and one reverse. The torsion bar suspension consists on each side of rubber-tired road wheels, drive sprocket at the rear, an idler at the front, and five return road wheels. The upper part of the suspension is protected by rubber plates. The T-80BV can run at a maximum road speed of 70 km/h and 48 km/h in off-road conditions. It has a maximum cruising range of 335 km and 400 km with additional fuel tanks.|
|The rear part of the hull can be fitted with additional fuel tanks|
|Standard equipment of the T-80BV MBT includes NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) protection system, night vision, and fording kit. The driver is equipped with modern TVN-5/TVN-5M binocular night vision goggles. The new R-168-25U-2 VHF radio station is integrated with the upgraded Intercom system. The gunner has the Sosna-U gunner’s fire control system integrated with a thermal imaging viewfinder and laser range finder. The Sosna-U is complemented by the modified 1P67 optical sight that is used in an emergency. The commander also has a sighting system that can be used to fire the main gun using the gunner’s sighting systems in a duplicated mode. The NBC protection of the crew is provided by the rugged design of the hull and turret, by fitting the tank with NBC inner and outer shielding facilities, activating the pressurization system, and by supplying the purified air into habitable compartments. The fording kit includes two snorkels stored in a large circular container mounted at the rear of the turret. The larger one is the snorkel for the gas turbine, with another one being fitted onto the radiator grille by means of two adaptors. The front of the tank is outfitted with self-entrenchment gear and with brackets for attachment of mine-clearing equipment. Two additional drum-type fuel tanks of 200 liters of fuel can be mounted at the rear of the hull. As for all Russian tanks and tracked armored vehicles, an unditching wood beam is mounted at the rear of the hull which can be used to get the tank out of the mud. A small infrared searchlight is mounted on the left side of the commander hatch, while a bigger infrared searchlight is located to the right of the main armament.|
|The fording kit includes two snorkels stored in a large circular container mounted at the rear of the turret.|
|One 125mm smoothbore gun, one 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun, and one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun.||All-welded steel armor and Kontakt explosive reactive armor to the hull and turret.|
|Russia||70 km/h road, 48 km/h off-road|
|NBC protection system, night vision equipment, computerized fire control, laser range finder, fording kit||335 km, 400 km with additional fuel drums|
|3||Length: 9.65 m; Width: 3.4 m; Height: 2.21 m|
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