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T-80

Main battle tank

T-80 MBT

The T-80 was the first production main battle tank, fitted with a gas turbine engine

 
 
Country of origin Soviet Union
Entered service 1976
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 42 t
Length (gun forward) 9.47 m
Hull length 6.78 m
Width 3.53 m
Height 2.3 m
Armament
Main gun 125 mm smoothbore
Machine guns 1 x 7.62-mm, 1 x 12.7-mm
Elevation range - 5 to + 14 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 40 rounds
Machine guns 2 000 x 7.62, 300 x 12.7
Mobility
Engine GTD-1000T gas turbine engine
Engine power 1 000 hp
Maximum road speed 70 km/h
Range 335 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step 1 m
Trench 2.85 m
Fording 1.2 m
Fording (with preparation) 5 m

 

   The T-80 main battle tank is a further development of the T-64, which had a number of significant drawbacks. It was also a more capable alternative to the T-72. The most significant features of the T-80 over the T-72 are its gas turbine engine and ability to fire the AT-8 Songster anti-tank guided missiles (T-80B and later variants) in the same manner as ordinary projectiles.

   The T-80 was adopted by the Soviet Army in 1976 however original version was not built in large numbers. With the introduction of the T-80 the Soviet Union operated 3 different main battle tanks, the T-64, T-72 and T-80. All of these tanks had similar design and broadly similar capabilities, though the T-80 was the most capable. However mayor components of these 3 tanks were not interchangeable. It was a tough task for the Soviet Army to support all of these 3 different tank types altogether.

   Currently Russia operates a total of 4 500 T-80 main battle tanks of all variants. Most of these tanks are in reserve. Some official sources reported that all T-80 series MBTs were to be removed from active service by 2015. Currently Russian Army operates T-90 MBTs and overhauled or upgraded versions of the T-72. The main reason is that these tanks with conventional engines are cheaper to operate and to maintain than the T-80s.

   Other operators of the T-80 and its variants are Belarus (92), China (200), Cyprus (41), Kazakhstan, South Korea (80), Syria (320) and Ukraine (271).

   The T-80 has a composite armor at the front arc.

   The tank is armed with a fully-stabilized 125 mm smoothbore gun, completed with an autoloader.

   Secondary armament consists of 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun and 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun.

   The T-80 has a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver.

   This tank is fitted with the GTD-1000T gas turbine engine, developing 1 000 horsepower. Basically it is a modified helicopter power plant. Advantages of such engine are its compact dimensions, high power output and ability to start when the temperature is as low as -40C. As a result the T-80 was much faster than the T-72 and T-64, and had superior cross-country performance. However its gas turbine engine has a number of drawbacks. Most notable is a high fuel consumption, troublesome maintenance and high unit price. The T-80 is also fitted with auxiliary power unit, powering all systems, when the main engine is turned off. Suspension of the T-80 was improved comparing to that of the T-64.

 

Variants

 

   T-80B, first version of the original T-80 produced in large numbers. It is capable of launching AT-8 Songster anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary projectiles. The missiles have a range of 4-5 km. Latter variants of the T-80 also had this capability. The T-80B entered service in 1978;

   T-80BK, command version of the T-80B, with additional communications equipment;

   T-80BV, T-80B fitted with Kontakt-1 explosive reactive armor for a higher level of protection. This add-on armor increases protection against HEAT rounds. In 2011 a total of 66 refurbished Belarusian T-80BV tanks were sold to Yemen. Later these tanks saw combat;

   T-80BVK, command version of the T-80BV, with additional communication equipment;

   T-80U, improved and better protected variant;

   T-80UK, command version of the T-80U;

   T-80UD, has gas turbine engine replaced by a conventional diesel engine, developing 1 100 hp. Otherwise it is similar to the T-80U. This tank was introduced in 1985 and adopted by the Soviet Army in 1987. It was planned that it will become the main MBT of the Soviet Army. However with the collapse of the Soviet Union its production ceased in 1991. These tanks are currently in service with Russia and Ukraine. A number of Ukrainian T-80UDs were exported to Pakistan in the late 1990s;

   T-80U-M1 Bars, has a Shtora-1 countermeasures system, which significantly reduces the chance of being hit by enemy anti-tank guided weapons with semi-automatic guidance, and more powerful engine. It was intended for export customers, but received no production orders;

   T-80U-M2, new cast turret.

 

 
T-80 MBT

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T-80 MBT

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T-80 MBT

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T-80BV MBT

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T-80BV MBT

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T-80BV MBT

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T-80BV MBT

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Personal appeal from Andrius Genys

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