Nearly eight decades since World War 2, German and Russian tanks again had the opportunity to encounter each other on the battlefield and this time German tanks gained the advantage.
On September 10, a video was released on social networks showing a confrontation between a Ukrainian Leopad 2A6 tank and two Russian T-80BV tanks. The video recorded from a UAV shows the battle taking place in the Zaporizhzhia region, which is a key point in the Ukrainian army’s counterattack campaign.
This confrontation is in the area of highway Т0803, alternating between the settlements of Novodanylivka, Mala Tokmachka and Robotyne. The video shows a Ukrainian Leopad 2A6 tank opening fire on a Russian T-80 BV tank. The shot hit the target, causing a large explosion around the Russian T-80 tank. A few seconds later, the UAV filmed two Russian T-80s backing up.
Sources from Ukraine agree that the Leopad tank’s shot hit the target, but did not completely destroy the T-80. The Russian tank was only damaged and could still start its engine and maneuver to retreat backwards. Some witnesses said that the fighting took place at a distance of 2,800 m, which showed the superiority of German tanks in terms of shooting range and accuracy compared to Russia. However, there is still controversy when it is said that the Leopad 2’s shot was fired from a distance of 1,500 m, this is the effective firing range of most modern tanks, including Russian and Western tanks.
According to some sources, this battle took place in early June 2023 and was only announced now. However, one thing is very clear and indisputable: this was the first battle between Russian and German tanks, after the battles between T-34, KV-1 tanks with Panthers and Tigers in World War II. And after more than half a century, German tanks scored points with their accurate shots. Of course, this was a very small-scale and local battle, so it was not possible to prove the absolute superiority of which tank type belonged.
The debate evaluating the Leopard 2A6 tank and the T-80BV tank is a topic of interest to experts and military enthusiasts. Both tank lines represent German and Russian technology and are considered among the leading main battle tanks in the world. The Leopard 2A6, an evolution of the Leopard 2 series, is a testament to German engineering. It boasts advanced armor protection, a powerful 120mm smoothbore gun, and state-of-the-art electronic systems, making it one of the most formidable tanks in modern warfare. Its design emphasizes both offensive capabilities and defensive resilience, ensuring it can withstand and deliver significant firepower.
On the other hand, the T-80BV, a variant of the T-80 series, embodies Russian tank design philosophies. Equipped with a 125mm smoothbore gun and integrated reactive armor, the T-80BV is designed for rapid maneuverability and high-velocity engagements. Its gas-turbine engine offers a unique blend of speed and agility on the battlefield, making it a challenging adversary in any tank duel.
Both tanks have their strengths and limitations and have been upgraded many times to suit modern warfare. Direct confrontations like the one on the current Ukrainian battlefield will fully and accurately evaluate the technical specifications, actual capabilities and combat performance of each combat vehicle.
Leopad 2A6 is famous for its accuracy and firepower. Its main weapon is a 120 mm smoothbore gun, also known as the L55. This gun is capable of firing a variety of projectiles, including armor-piercing fin-stabilized Sabot rounds (APFSDS) and high-explosive anti-tank rounds (HEAT). With an advanced fire control system, the Leopard 2A6 can effectively attack targets at a distance of over 4,000 m. This system allows precise targeting even while on the move, enhancing its shooting capabilities. Regarding maneuverability, the Leopard 2A6 is equipped with a powerful multi-fuel engine, 1,500 horsepower, maximum travel speed of up to 68 km/h, and operating range of 500 km.
Meanwhile, Russia’s T-80 BV tank is equipped with a 125 mm smoothbore gun, also known as 2A46M. This cannon combined with an autoloader can fire both kinetic energy bullets such as APFSDS and chemical energy munitions like the HEAT. In addition, the T-80BV can launch anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) from the main gun, extending the effective range up to 5,000 meters under certain conditions.
The T-80BV’s fire control system, designed for rapid target acquisition even in adverse conditions, further supports its long-range firing capabilities. In terms of mobility, the special feature of the T-80BV is its gas turbine engine, which provides a unique combination of speed and agility, allowing the tank to have a maximum speed of up to 70 km/h, and operating range is 500 km.