T-80 Main Battle Tank

Last updated on February 19th, 2019 at 10:04 pm

The T-80 main battle tank was the first Soviet tank to have a ballistic computer and a laser rangefinder and the first Soviet tank to be powered by a gas turbine engine.

It resembles the T-64 and the T-72 and has similar weaponry – a 4.92 inch (125mm) smoothbore gun, a 0.3 inch (7.62mm) coaxial machine gun and a 0.5 inch (12.7mm) anti-aircraft gun. The main gun on the T-80 main battle tank is capable of firing a Songster AT-8 anti-tank missile.

Later models of the T-80 have smoke grenade launchers.

The T-80 MBT has infrared night vision and NBC protection.
T-80 main battle tank with explosive reactive armor, 1987
A three-man crew – driver, commander and gunner- operate the T-80 main battle tank. An autoloader loads the main gun, eliminating the need for a human loader.  The driver sits in the front.  The commander and gunner sit in the turret – the commander on the right and the gunner on the left. The commander mans the anti-aircraft gun.

The engine is at the rear of the tank.

There are six pairs of road wheels with gaps between the second and third, and fourth and fifth wheels on the T-80. The idler is at the front and the drive sprocket is in the rear.

In 1976, the first version of the T-80 main battle tank was produced. It had no anti-aircraft gun and it used an optical rangefinder.

It was replaced by the T-80B, which had a ballistic computer, a missile system, a laser rangefinder and a new turret with new type of composite armor, in 1978.

A variant with explosive reactive armor, the T-80BV, was introduced in 1985. Later variants had improved forms of ERA.

Model T-80U, which has a diesel engine instead of a gas turbine engine, a new main gun and a new fire control system, appeared in 1985. Ukraine produced its own diesel version – model T-80UD.

Other variants of the T-80 MBT include a command version and an armored recovery vehicle.

Some variants of the T-80 main battle tank have been fitted with the Shtora-1 active protection system, which disrupts laser target designators and guided missile rangefinders.

The T-80 main battle tank is in service in Russia, Ukraine, Pakistan, Cyprus and South Korea.

It was used during the 1994-1996 war in Chechnya.

Soviet Union

T-80 Main Battle Tank

Active: 1976
Crew: 3
Weight: 42 tons (42,500kg)
Length: 24ft 3in (7.4m), 32ft 5in (9.9m) with gun forwards
Height: 7ft 2in (2.2m)
Width: 11ft 1in (3.4m)
Weapons: Main – 4.92in (125mm) gun/missile launcher, Secondary – 1 x 0.3 inch (7.62mm) coaxial machine gun, 1 x 0.5 inch (12.7mm) anti-aircraft gun
Armor Classified
Engine: Gas turbine, 1000hp
Speed: 43 mph (70kph)
Range: 280 miles (450 km)