Russia`s Uralvagonzavod scientific-research corporation has developed an upgrade kit to bring the ageing T-80BV / T-80U main battle tanks (MBT) to the level of modern Western MBTs, such as Leopard 2A5 / A6 andM1A1 / M1A2 Abrams, that reported bywww.armyrecognition.com.
“The modernization of previously manufactured MBTs is the recent tendency of the tank-building industry. It provides point enhancement of the tank`s specifications and extends its service life. The massive operational deployment of tanks, the tendency to the reduction of tank forces, harsh economic conditions, and the cuts of the budgetary funds are the main prerequisites for the upgrade of MBTs in service. In such context, T-80BV is no exception,” the source said.
According to him, the Omsktransmash Company (now a subsidiary of the UVZ Corporation) was producing T-80B tanks in 1979-1991. The manufacturer was gradually enhancing the tank`s specifications with T-80BV and T-80U/T-80UD being the most sophisticated variants. “At present, Russia`s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has several thousands of T-80BV/U tanks, mostly in store. The combat readiness of T-80-family tanks issued to armour units is getting worse, as the manufacturing of 1A33 fire control systems (FCS), 9K112-1 anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), autoloaders, wind sensors, radio stations, and fire-extinguishing systems was ceased several years ago. To bridge this gap, Omsktransmash has developed the upgrade kit for T-80BV/U tanks. It will significantly increase the tank`s firepower and combat capabilities, as well as the level of its unification with T-72B/B3 MBTs. The modernization is going to save the MoD`s funds,” the source emphasized.
The upgraded T-80 tank will receive Sosna-U gunner`s sighting system that incorporates optical sight, laser rangefinder and thermal imager, as well as ATGM control channel. Sosna-U increases the vehicle`s firing range at day and night to 3,300 m. The integrated laser rangefinder has a maximum range of 7,500 m. The tank`s commander also can fire the main gun, using gunner`s sighting systems in the duplicated mode. Sosna-U is complemented by the modified 1P67 optical sight that is used in emergency cases.
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