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  • T-80 Main Battle Tank (MBT)

    The Soviet/Russian T-80 Main Battle Tank was a modernized T-64 with improvements borrowed from the successful T-72 series.

     Updated: 6/22/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The T-80 of the Russian Army was born in the era of the Soviet Empire during the Cold War. The type was a further evolution of the T-64 line with elements of the successful T-72 added for promising measure. The end result, the first production tank to utilize a gas turbine engine, proved a limited success with numbers never reaching those of its predecessor nor the overtly popular T-72. While still in active service today (2012), the days of the T-80 as a frontline battlefield solution are coming to an end as its available numbers are continually reduced with each passing year. The T-90 (based on the T-72) maintains the primary position in the modern Russian Army, leaving the T-80 as something of an interim solution at best, a measure serving to bridge the gap between the expired Soviet-era T-64 and modern Russian Federation T-90.

    In 1963, the Red Army began use of the T-64 Main Battle Tank which formed the spearhead of Soviet armor strength during the critical years of the Cold War. The T-64 incorporated an automatic loader coupled to a 125mm smoothbore main gun capable of firing guided anti-tank missiles. Its arrival certainly forced the West to take notice as it represented the most modern Red Army tank of the time. The T-72 was then developed in short order as a simpler, economical counterpart to the T-64, though it ended up surpassing the T-64 in both numbers and world popularity (some 25,000 T-72 tanks were produced to the 13,000 T-64s). Soviet tank doctrine called for both tank types to serve concurrently and allowed for financial flexibility in the long term. As the T-64 was considered something of a "state secret" in terms of its technology and capabilities, it was not openly exported as the T-72 was.

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    T-80 Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1976
    Type: Main Battle Tank (MBT)
    National Origin: Soviet Union
    Manufacturer(s): LKZ / Omsk Transmash - Russia / Malyshev - Ukraine
    Production: 5,500

    Design (Crew Space, Dimensions, Weight, and Systems)

    Operating Crew: 3
    Length: 31.66 feet (9.65 meters)
    Width: 11.75 feet (3.58 meters)
    Height: 7.22 feet (2.20 meters)

    Operating Weight: 51 tons (46,000 kg; 101,413 lb)

    Nuclear / Biological / Chemical Protection: Yes
    Nightvision Equipment: Yes

    Installed Power and Standard Road Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x SG-1000 gas turbine engine developing 1,250 horsepower.

    Maximum Road Speed: 43 mph (70 km/h)
    Maximum Road Range: 273 miles (440 km)

    Armament and Ammunition

    1 x 125mm main gun (with AT missile-launching capability).
    1 x 12.7mm air defense machine gun
    1 x 7.62mm coaxial machine gun
    2 x 4 smoke grenade dischargers

    36 x 125mm projectiles
    500 x 12.7mm ammunition
    1,250 x 7.62mm ammunition
    8 x smoke grenades
    5 x AT-8 Songster anti-tank missiles

    Global Operators / Customers

    Armenia; Azerbaijan; Belarus; China; Cyprus; Egypt; Kazakhstan; Pakistan; Russia; South Korea; Soviet Union; Ukraine; Yemen

    Model Variants

    T-80 - Original production model

    T-80B - Base production model for full scale manufacturing.

    T-80BK - Command Version

    T-80BV - Features additional explosive reactive armor.

    T-80BVK - Command Version of T-80BV Variant.

    T-80U - Diesel engine; Additional armor protection.

    T-80UD - 1,100hp diesel engine.

    T-80UK - Command Version of T-80U


    T-80UM - Updated fire control system; 1,250hp gas turbine engine.

    T-80UM1 - Updated engine; Specialized countermeasures system.

    T-80UM2 - Features new cast steel turret.

    BREM-80 ARV - Armored Recovery Vehicle

    T-84 - Ukrainian T-80 development.