The role of the T-80 tank became important for the Russian Army in the winter war in Ukraine thanks to its special features.
When the winter war in Ukraine knocks on the door, the T-80 tank is predicted to become the trump card for the Russian Army, it will be used more than the T-72 or T-90 series.
The T-80 is a very special line of main battle tanks (MBTs) with about 10,000 built. Up to the time before the war, the Russian Army had nearly 1,000 vehicles in combat components, the rest was kept in storage.
During the Cold War, these tanks served on the westernmost frontier. Thanks to the gas turbine engine, they can quickly start up even in the frost and make rapid marches at speeds respectable for a heavy vehicle.
This is a powerful attack vehicle, but there are also disadvantages because the GTE engine is too fuel-efficient, this factor must clearly be considered when placed next to the T-72/90 series equipped with diesel engines.
It is not surprising that after 1991, when Russia became “friends” with the West, the T-80 became superfluous and replaced with more practical and economical vehicles with diesel engines. like the T-72 and T-90, they became the main battle tanks.
Many things have changed now, the old T-80BV tanks modernized to the T-80BVM standard are equipped with an upgraded GTD-1250TF gas turbine engine with a capacity of 1250 hp. This makes it even more “reactive”, but fuel consumption has been reduced.
The turret is equipped with a 125 mm 2A46M-4 cannon, NSVT, and PKT machine guns, as well as a Sosna-U sighting system, allowing combat at any time of the day, in all weather.
The Reflex guided missile weapon system will help destroy enemy armored vehicles at a distance of up to 5 km. The level of protection is also increased by Relikt’s explosive reactive armor and hinge elements.
The appearance of the T-80BVM caused a mixed reaction in the expert community. It has been suggested that aside from the unusual speed for a tank, the T-80BVM has no particular advantage over the 2016 T-72B3 or the T-90M.
In addition, maintaining different types of tanks on the battlefield (between T-80 and T-72/90, even between different versions of the T-80 itself) would make maintenance more expensive.
But there is another opinion, as already mentioned, the main advantage of the T-80BVM is its near-instant start-up at low temperatures, as well as its extraordinary travel speed.
This is a factor that proves extremely useful in the upcoming “winter war” in Ukraine when the T-80 tanks are expected to have a significant advantage over the older T-72 or T-90. newer.
In cold and wet climates, the Russian Army desperately needs a tank with good maneuverability, and that is why these “jet tanks” are being added more and more to the units. frontline.
The upcoming war in Ukraine is considered to be the most important test for the T-80 main battle tank using a gas turbine engine since it was born nearly 5 decades ago.