T-80U/UK/U(M) Main Battle Tank


T-80U(M) line drawing

The T-80 line of MBTs is produced at Omsk Machine-Building Plant.

The T-80 (Ob.219sp2) was the first Russian MBT to use a gas-turbine engine, similar in some ways to that of the American M1 Abrams. The original 1,000 hp GTD-1000T, although significantly more powerful than the conventional diesel engines, was much criticized for its noise level, low reliability (especially in conditions of excess heat, dust and so on), much larger fuel consumption (resulting in a smaller operating range) and greater thermal signature. This is one of the reasons (barring the competition between plants) why the T-90 MBT uses the uprated diesel instead of the gas-turbine. However, the reliability problem is being solved; the new 1250 hp GTD-1250 is far more reliable. The large fuel consumption is compensated somewhat by an auxiliary GTA-18 18 kW powerpack. There were also variants of T-80 MBT using a diesel engine, for example T-80UD (Ob.478B) with 1,000 hp 6TD diesel.

T-80U MBTs are the most likely candidates to be sold to foreign countries in the nearest years.

The T-80 tank retains the basic national tank design concept, i.e. the classical layout, where the main armament is arranged within a rotating turret, the propulsion plant and transmission are located in the hull's rear, and the crew members are seated separately: the commander and the gunner sit in the fighting compartment, and the driver in the driver's compartment.

Models most common in the military are the T-80U (Ob.219AS) MBT and the T-80UK command variant that is additionally equipped with the Shtora-1 EOCMDAS, additional radio and navigational equipment and the Ainet equipment for remotely detonating HEF rounds. T-80U(M) is now being fielded as a replacement for T-80U. Both the T-80UK and T-80U(M) are equipped with thermal sights. The Kharkov-produced T-80UD, once also rather numerous, is by now completely withdrawn from service as it relies on a foreign production base.

Modernization options for the T-80U MBT (the best known example is T-80UM1 "Bars" (Snow leopard)), include the fitting of the Arena prototype APS, Shtora-1 EOCMDAS or its components, upgraded 2A46-M4 maingun, GTD-1250G engine, air conditioner, and so on. It is worth noting, however, that officially the T-80U MBT has lost competition with T-90 and its future in Russian Army is unclear.

T-80U negotiating the obstacle
T-80U negotiating the obstacle

T-80UK command variant
T-80UK command variant

T-80U(M) at Omsk'99
T-80U(M) at Omsk'99

T-80UM1 at Omsk'97
T-80UM1 "Bars" at Omsk'97

Specifications (T-80U(M) unless otherwise specified):

Dimensions:           (mm) L9,651/6,982 x W3,582 x H2,202 x 451 clearance 
Weight:               46.0 metric tons
Crew:                 3

Engine:               1,250 hp GTD-1250 gas-turbine engine
                      18 kW GTA-18 auxiliary power unit
Max Road Speed:       70 km/h (governed)
Max X-country Speed:  48 km/h
Power/Weight:         27.17 hp/tn
Ground Pressure:      0.925 kg/sq.cm
Range:                335 km without external fuel drums
Fuel load:            1770 l

Obstacle negotiation:
Fording depth:        1.8 m on the move/5 m with a snorkel
Trench width:         2.85 m
Vertical obstacle:    1.0 m
Maximum gradient:     32°
Maximum tilt:         30°

Main Weapon:          125mm 2A46M-1 .. 2A46M-4 smoothbore
Stabilization:        2E42
Rate of fire:         7-9 rounds/min
Ammunition:           45 rounds (28 in carousel)
Ammunition Types:     APFSDS, HEAT, HEF
ATGM through 125mm:   9M119M "Refleks-M" (AT-11 Sniper-B)
Machine Guns:         Coaxial PKT 7.62mm (1250 rounds)
                      Remotely-controlled AAMG mount Utjos NSVT 12.7mm (300 rounds)

Smoke Screens:        8 902B 82mm mortars with 3D6/3D17 smoke grenades
                      smoke discharger

Night Vision:         Buran-PA/Agava(-2) thermal imager
Fire Control:         1A45 Irtysh
                      with 9S515 missile guidance system
Onboard sights and accuracy aids:
  Commander:          PNK-4S complex
                      includes TKN-4S Agat-S day/night sight
                      (target id range 800 m (day)/700 m (night))
  Gunner:             1V528 ballistic computer
                      1A42 rangefinder/sight
                      1G46 laying device
                      DVE-BS wind gauge
  Driver:             TVN-3 .. TVN-5 IR night viewer
Radio:                R-163-50U
                      R-163-50U + R-163-50K (T-80UK)
Navigation:           TNA-4-3 (T-80UK)

Jammers:              Shtora-1 EOCMDAS (on T-80UK)
                      Dazzle painting

Other:                Velizh NBC pressurization system, GO-27 NBC recon system,
                      3ETs13 Inej auto-fire-fighting equipment,
                      self-dig-in blade, air conditioning (optional),
                      OPVT deep fording equipment,
                      mine clearing equipment (optional),
                      rubber-coated treads (optional)

Front & side armor laminated;
front, side and top armor behind 220-tile Kontakt external ERA (T-80BV),
                          behind Kontakt-5 ERA (T-80U, U(M), UK)
Arena APS (T-80UM1)

Armor rating, mm RHA: T-80U
                      Front turret 54..74cm vs APFSDS; 80..132cm vs HEAT
                      Glacis       782cm vs APFSDS; 1084cm HEAT

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