Which one is the best Ukrainian modern tank, Bulat or Oplot?

Oplot and Bulat tanks
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Ukraine many years occupies leading positions in the production and development of most advanced main battle tanks. Ukraine has become well known all over the world, primarily owing to the legendary T-34, T-64, and T-80 tanks. As of today, Ukrainian defense companies have an opportunity to develop the new generation of main battle tanks such a T-64BM Bulat and BM Oplot.

Since T-64BM Bulat and BM Oplot tanks have a number of common engineering solutions, it is advisable to consider them together. In our analysis, is based on specifications and available data, we try to answer the question: which one is the best tank, Bulat or Oplot?

So, the purpose of Bulat main battle tanks, also and Oplot, is to provide mobile fire power of armored formation for successfully close with and destroy any opposing armored fighting vehicle, while providing protection for its crew in any combat environment.

The T-64BM Bulat is an upgrade of T-64 Soviet main battle tank developed Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau (KMDB).

It has improved armor and a 125mm smoothbore 2A46M-1 gun that has increased range and kill probability. The T-64BM is fitted with an automatic loader. Maximum effective range of fire is 1500 m. But also the Bulat tank is compatible with the 9K119 (NATO designation AT-11 Sniper) anti-tank guided missiles, its range could reach 5,000 m. Secondary armament of T-64BM Bulat consists of coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun and remotely operated 12.7-mm anti-aircraft machine gun.

The Bulat series tank is equipped with a 850 horsepower 5TDFM multi-fuel diesel engine. It tactical cruising range is approximately 385 km. The tank has a combat weight of 45 tonnes. Despite its weight, the T-64BM can attain a top speed of nearly 37 km per hour.

The Bulat tank is fitted with new Nozh modular “reactive armor’ to thwart armor-defeating munitions. The armor of tank can provide protection from attacks of the up-to-date anti-tank weapons but has low maintainability and to need repair at the factory.

3D model of Ukrainian T-64BM Bulat (c) Sergey Ryzhkov

Main Characteristics of the upgraded T-64BM Bulat

Parameter description Parameter value
Combat weight (t)
45
Crew
3
Main gun
125mm smoothbore 2A46M-1
Maximum effective range (m)
1500
Maximum effective range with missile (m)
5000
Engine
850 horsepower 5TDFM multi-fuel diesel
Cruising range (km)
385
Maximum road speed (km/h)
50
Power-to-weight ratio (hp/t)
18,9
Ground pressure (kgf/cm2)
0.98
Operating temperature range (degrees)
-40 to +55
Centigrade Gradient (degrees)
30
Side slope (degrees)
25
Trench (m)
2.85
Vertical obstacle (m)
0.8
Deep fording without preparation (m)
1.8
Deep fording with preparation (m)
5.0

Conceptually, the combat vehicles come from the T-64 series with a three-man crew, a 125mm smoothbore gun with an automatic loader, but the new BM Oplot is a new generation of main battle tanks.

The BM Oplot main battle tank is the digital battlefield combat vehicle developed Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau (KMDB). The Oplot is a next step of the Soviet series of the T-80 main battle tank. It contains numerous improvements in command and control, lethality, and reliability.

The BM Oplot is equipped with a 6TD-2 six cylinder multi-fuel two-cycle diesel engine. It tactical cruising range is approximately 450 km. The tank has a combat weight of 51 tonnes. Maximum road speed 70 km/h.

Major improvement include the integration of new gun-and-fire control system, improved main armament stabiliser,  anti-tandem-warhead explosive “reactive armor’ called “Duplet” and new 125mm smoothbore KBA-3 gun.

The tank is also fitted with the following: day vision devices; driver’s night vision device; hydro-pneumatic system for cleaning the vision devices of the hull and turret; satellite navigation support system; communications devices; VHF radio set; commander’s HF radio set; crew intercom system.

The vehicle can fulfil a wide range of combat missions under various climatic, weather and terrain conditions in the ambient temperature range of -40 to +55 degrees Centigrade, air humidity of up to 98% at temperature of +25 degrees Centigrade, height above sea level of up to 3000 m and with ambient air dust content available in real terrain conditions.

3D model of Ukrainian BM Oplot (c) Sergey Ryzhkov

Main Characteristics of the BM Oplot

Parameter description Parameter value
Combat weight (t)
51
Crew
3
Main gun
125mm smoothbore KBA-3
Maximum effective range (m)
2100
Maximum effective range with missile (m)
5000
Engine
6TD-2 six cylinder multi-fuel two-cycle diesel
Cruising range (km)
450
Maximum road speed (km/h)
70
Power-to-weight ratio (hp/t)
24,7
Ground pressure (kgf/cm2)
0.98
Operating temperature range (degrees)
-40 to +55
Centigrade Gradient (degrees)
32
Side slope (degrees)
25
Trench (m)
2.85
Vertical obstacle (m)
0.8
Deep fording without preparation (m)
1.8
Deep fording with preparation (m)
5.0

Figures on the cost of these tanks vary greatly depending on who may order them. Some military experts say that export version of Oplot cost $6 million dollars or more and Bulat cost $1.4 million dollars.

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