Video: T-80 Drift

This video appeared on youtube a few days ago.  We are going to guess that this is not a driving technique found in the manual.

Tankograd on T-80

The Tankograd blog has released another of their in-depth posts examining a Soviet era armored vehicle.  This new post takes a look at the T-80 MBT.


T-80B applique armour front viewAlthough nowadays the T-80 isn’t nearly as famous as the T-72 and the T-90, it was understandably the most highly regarded item in the entirety of the vast Soviet tank fleet, and though they had T-72s stretching as far as the eye could see, it was the T-80s and the T-64s that formed the vanguard of the Soviet tank armies of the Rhine. However, it wasn’t planned out this way in the beginning.
As one should come to expect from anything on the other side of the Iron Curtain, the T-80 has a rather intriguing story of inception. While the designers were still ironing out issues on the 5TDF opposed-piston engine for the T-64, experiments on mounting a turboshaft engine were already in full swing. It was requested that production expand from just Kharkov (KMDB) to Kirov (LKZ) and Nizhny Tagil (UKBTM) as well. Both of the latter plants struggled to produce some of the more complex parts for the T-64 – namely the engine – due to a lack of personnel familiar with the intricacies of the fundamentally different engines, and hence, created their own variations of the basic T-64. UKBTM (today a part of UralVagonZavod) and LKZ split design elements and ended off designing what came to be known as the T-72 and T-80 respectively. LKZ’s progeny were defined by their signature turbine engines and more robust suspension, hybridized with the turret of the T-64A, thus forming the original model T-80.
This new vehicle was more extravagant and expensive than the ones preceding it, making the
T-80 much less common than the T-64 and T-72. It also came off as being a more ambitious project than UKBTM’s T-72 (evidenced by a far longer development span). The T-80 came too late for its’ own good. The instant it entered low-rate production in 1976, it was already surpassed in capability by both the T-64B and T-72A: a troubling situation for a vehicle meant to replace and supplement them, made worse by its excessive price tag. As a result, the T-80B was quickly ushered into service a mere two years after the T-80, boasting the ability to fire ATGMs from the cannon while on the move with the Kobra system, and an updated armour layout that had better prospects against the latest and future anti-tank munitions, and beginning from 1980, a more powerful 1100 hp GTD-1000TF engine. These upgrades along with the addition of Kontakt-1 explosive reactive armour – and a further enhanced armour package, formed the basis of the T-80BV, which arrived in 1985. The most advanced direct T-80 variant – the T-80U, also arrived in 1985, while . This new model presented improvements to just about everything; a new digital fire control system, engine, explosive reactive armour, and some other tidbits.

Read the full article here.

War is Boring blog declares T-80 overrated

T80FrontView_thumbThe blog War is Boring has posted an article declaring the T-80 to be Russia’s most overrated tank.  For those interested in reading their analysis, you may do so here.  The article has also appeared on the National Interest website with the even more inflammatory headline ” This is Why Russia’s T-80 Tank is a Total Disaster.”  The article seems to basing it’s conclusions on the fact that the T-80 did not perform well during the 1994 Chechen war and that the T-80 was relatively expensive an suffered from high fuel consumption.  Do these factors justify calling the vehicle a “total disaster?”  In our opinion probably not.

Ukraine accepts modernized T-80

20150717060241_1Jane’s is reporting that the Ukrainian military has received a batch of eight modernized T-80 MBTs from the Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau (KMDB).  The article notes that the T-80 tanks will soon be committed to combat operations in east Ukraine.  Specifically, the T-80s will be delivered to a mobile armored unit of the Ukrainian airborne forces.  The modernization work is stated to have included changes to the vehicle’s turrets, hulls, and the installation of Kontakt explosive reactive armour (ERA).

Full article here.

Soviet Autoloader videos

Over at the tank-net forum, user “dyankov” pointed out this Russian youtube video showing how the autoloader in a T-72 tank works.  We thought it was worth sharing.


For those interested in seeing how the autoloader of the T-72 differs from that of the T-64, this video includes some brief footage of both systems.  The video is in Russian so it is a bit hard to follow for non-Russian speakers (setting youtube to translate the Russian close captioning to English will result in some real comedy.)  The operation of the T-64 and T-72 autoloaders can be seen starting at the 5:15 mark in the video.  T-64 autoloader is the one that turns the round from vertical to horizontal while the T-72 system keeps the shell horizontal through the entire process.

This video provides an even better look at the T-64 autoloader.


And here is a short clip showing the operation of the autoloader in the T-80, which is basically the same system as found in the T-64.