Russia to upgrade fleet of T-80 main battle tanks

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© Wikimedia Commons/Vitaly V. Kuzmin

The Russian Defense Ministry, the Omsktransmash company and the St. Petersburg Special Design Bureau is offering radical upgrade of ageing T-80BV main battle tanks (MBT) to Arctic zones, according to a Russian newspaper Izvestia.

According to a military expert, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have several thousand versions of T-80BV that will be reborn by Russia’s engineering company Omsktransmash very soon. The main goal of developers is to unify the tank with upgraded T-72B3.

The firepower of the T-80BV will be increased after the installation of the PNM Sosna-U gunner sight. The Sosna-U allows to use all types of ammunitions, including guided missiles. The laser range-finder is able to determine the distance from 50 up to 7500 meters. A tank commander will be able to monitor and shoot using the gunner sight in “double” mode.

The tank will also be equipped with a complex of dynamic protection 3rd-generation, Relic. One of its features is an ability to cast hard armor plates in bilateral mode. One of these hard armor plates moves towards the ammunition while another one follows the first one. This makes the T-80 more resistant to composite shells and modern tandem anti-tank guided missiles. In addition, the tank will be also equipped with fast-acting fire safety system of the instrumental complex PKUZ-1A.

According to chief designer of the T-80-class tanks, Alexander Umansky, preparatory works for beginning of the upgrading of the first T-80BVs are currently being completed. He also noted that starting next year, repair and modernization of tanks, received from the Ministry of Defense, will be started on a base of Omsktransmash.

“An exact number of tanks, which will be upgraded, and work schedule are determined by the Defense Ministry,” Umansky added.

According to former Chief of the main army tank-automation command of the Russian Defense Ministry, Sergei Maiev, after the upgrading of the T-80BV, military will get modern tanks, adapted to work at low temperatures much better than any other armored vehicles.

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