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Main battle tank


During it's introduction the T-64 was a very tank, but suffered from some drawbacks

Entered service 1976
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 39 t
Length (gun forward) 9.23 m
Hull length 6.54 m
Width 3.41 m
Height 2.17 m
Main gun 125-mm smoothbore
ATGW AT-8 Songster
Machine guns 1 x 7.62-mm, 1 x 12.7-mm
Elevation range - 6 to + 14 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 36 rounds
ATGW 4 missiles
Machine guns 1 250 x 7.62; 300 x 12.7
Engine 5TDF diesel
Engine power 700 hp
Maximum road speed 60 km/h
Range 600 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step 0.8 m
Trench 2.72 m
Fording 1.4 m
Fording (with preparation) 5 m


   Development of the T-64 main battle tank commenced in 1954. First production tanks were delivered to the Soviet Army in 1963. Officially it was adopted only in 1967. It was publicly revealed in 1970. Over 6 000 of these MBTs off all versions were built. During it's introduction the T-64 was a very advanced tank, but had a number of significant drawbacks. It was never exported outside the Soviet Union. Currently it is in service with Ukraine (~1 500) and Uzbekistan (100). Russia had a couple of thousands T-64 tanks in storage, however some sources report, that by 2013 all of them have been scrapped. Some sources also report that in the early 2000s about 10 of these tanks were supplied from Uzbekistan to Angola, however this sale is not confirmed. In 2014 Ukraine sold 50 tanks to Kongo. It was the first ever official export sale of this tank.

   The T-64 had improved armor protection comparing with the previous Soviet tanks. It was the first Soviet tank to use ceramic composite armor. The T-64 is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems.

   Initial production version of the T-64 was armed with a fully-stabilized 115-mm gun. The initial production version is considered as a medium tank due to it's caliber. It was not built in large numbers. The T-64 was the first Soviet tank to be fitted with an autoloader. At that time only the Swedish STRV-103 had such feature. An autoloader allowed to reduce the size of the turret as additional crew member for gun loading operations was no longer required. The T-64 fired HE, HE-FRAG, and armor-piercing rounds. Maximum rate of fire was up to 10 rounds per minute.

   Initial production version of the T-64 was fitted with a single coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun. It had no roof-mounted machine gun.

   This tank has a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver.

   Initial production version was powered by a 4TPD opposed diesel engine, developing 700 hp. It was a Soviet unsuccessful attempt to copy powerpack of the British Chieftain. On later models it was replaced with updated 5TD and 5TDF engines. These engines were more compact due to their opposed design, had high power output, however they were notoriously unreliable. Engine compartment of the T-64 is nearly twice smaller than that of the T-54. The T-64 is fitted with a deep wading kit. It can ford water obstacles up to 5 m deep.

   At the time of it's introduction the T-64 was a very advanced machine. On the other side it was expensive to build and troublesome to maintain. A less capable, but cheap and reliable T-72 tank was introduced a couple of years later. Initially the T-64 had some fire control advantages, but that diminished with introduction of improved versions of the T-72. Currently the T-64 tank is out dated.




   T-64A improved version, produced since 1969. Unlike the original T-64, the T-64A was produced in large numbers. It had improved armor protection. The front arc of the T-64A provides protection against 100-mm rounds. It was also armed with a new 125-mm smoothbore gun. The T-64A is considered as the first Soviet main battle tank. Maximum rate of fire was 6-8 rounds per minute. Engine of the T-64A was fitted with a rev limiter in order to extend it's service life. Maximum road speed was reduced to 60 km/h. Since 1972 these tanks were fitted with a roof-mounted remotely-controlled 12.7-mm machine gun;

   T-64AK command vehicle;

   T-64AM fitted with 6TD diesel engine, developing 1 000 hp. It entered service in 1983;

   T-64B main battle tank was developed as a force multiplier. It can fire anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary rounds. Missiles have a maximum range of 4 000 m and a hit probability of about 80%. It was accepted to service in 1976. Some source report that in the early 2000s about 10 of these tanks were delivered to Angola;

   T-64BK command vehicle. It entered service in 1976;

   T-64BM fitted with 6TD diesel engine, developing 1 000 hp. It entered service in 1983;

   T-64BV with improved armor and add-on explosive reactive armor blocks. It's production commenced in 1985. In 2014 Ukraine sold a total of 50 T-64BV1 tanks to Kongo;

   T-64B1 was accepted service alongside the T-64B in 1976. It is similar to the T-64B, but has no capability to launch anti-tank missiles;

   T-64B1M version of the T-64B1, powered by a 6TD diesel, developing 1 000 hp;

   T-64B1K command vehicle;

   T-64BM Bulat a Ukrainian upgrade of the T-64B. Protection was improved by installing new Nozh modular add-on explosive reactive armor. The Bulat is fitted with a new fire control system of Ukrainian T-84 MBT. It is also fitted with new 5TDFM engine, developing 850 hp or 6TD-1, developing 1 000 hp. First upgraded tanks were delivered to Ukrainian Army in 2005;

   T-80 it is a further development of the T-64, fitted with a gas turbine engine, developing 1 000 hp. It was produced alongside the T-64 and T-72 tanks.


Video of the T-64 main battle tank









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