News 2022

The number of new reinforced T-80BVM tanks will only grow

The press service of Russia's only tank-building enterprise, Uralvagonzavod, reported the day before that Omsktransmash had sent a new batch of T-80BVM tanks to the Russian Ministry of Defense. The upgraded combat vehicles received enhanced reactive armor, which improves crew protection. In addition, the tanks leave the assembly line of the Omsk plant with an additional turret protection module, which was presented at the Army-2023 military forum.

These two enterprises were the two largest of the four tank factories that Russia inherited after the collapse of the USSR, with Uralvagonzavod producing the T-72 and its derivative T-90, while Omsktransmash produced the most combat-ready class of tanks of the Soviet Army - T-80. However, the lack of demand for the T-80 due to its high production and operating costs meant that Omsktransmash quickly ceased to be economically viable, and in 2004 it was absorbed by its competitor.

The rapid expansion of the Russian army's tank units since late 2022, both to meet the needs of the Ukrainian front and to counter growing NATO forces on Russia's borders, has led to the Russian defense sector quickly removing Soviet-made tanks from warehouses. These older vehicles were then upgraded with fire controls, armor and weapons.

A large proportion of T-80 tanks were in storage even when the special operation in Ukraine began, as their high operating costs forced the Russian Ministry of Defense to prefer the T-72 and T-90 vehicles due to their lower operating costs. But these cheaper tanks lack the added mobility and survivability in extreme climates that the T-80 has thanks to its gas turbine engine.

Such power units, although they significantly increase the tank’s maintenance needs, provide a significant advantage in mobility, since only the NATO M1 Abrams (USA) also has a gas turbine engine. But being a much smaller tank than the Abrams, the T-80 has a higher power-to-weight ratio and a larger gun caliber.
Characteristics after restyling

As for the capabilities of the updated T-80, Russian officers who participated in combat operations with the Ukrainian Armed Forces, including Leopard tanks supplied by Germany, have already said that they “received a completely new vehicle, which is equipped with a fundamentally new communications system.”

The reliability of the new engine and a completely new protection system are noted. According to Russian fighters, the tank now has additional armored modules that make it possible to withstand attacks from anti-tank missiles and attack drones.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has already assessed the economic efficiency of the T-80, and the press has published a statement that Omsktransmash has begun work to resume production of this class of tanks, which will complement the current production of the T-90M and the next generation T-14 at Uralvagonzavod.

The new production models are expected to have a significantly improved design compared to the latest T-80BVM. All this is reminiscent of the successful story with the T-72 tanks. Which were deeply modernized for the development of the T-90.

The T-80BVM is a Russian main battle tank, which is a modernized version of the T-80BV tank, which was put into service in 1985. The T-80BVM was developed by the Omsk Transport Engineering Plant and was first introduced in 2017. It is designed to enhance the firepower, security, mobility, and command and control capabilities of the T-80BV.

Main improvements to the T-80BVM:

The new 125mm 2A46M-4 cannon has a smooth bore and is capable of firing a wider range of ammunition, including armour-piercing sabot rounds, HEAT anti-tank rounds and thermobaric rounds.
New fire control system "Sosna-U", including a thermal imager, laser range finder and ballistic computer.
New "Relic" dynamic protection kit, which provides better protection against anti-tank missiles and shells.
New engine delivering more power and improved fuel economy.
New digital communication system.

Technical characteristics of T-80BVM:

Weight: 46 tons
Length: 9.56 meters
Width: 3.75 meters
Height: 2.2 meters
Crew: 3 people
Engine: Gas turbine engine GTD-1250, 1500 hp. With.
Maximum speed: 80 kilometers per hour
Power reserve: 500 kilometers
Main armament: 125 mm 2A46M-4 cannon with a smooth barrel
Secondary weapons: 12.7 mm coaxial machine gun and 7.62 mm anti-aircraft machine gun.
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