Upgraded from the legendary Soviet T-64 tank, the T-64BV – especially the Mod 2017 variant – carries remarkable power, serving as the backbone of the Ukrainian infantry.

Although it was born a long time ago and is known as the “national treasure” tank line, it carries many revolutionary features in design and development, so upgraded variants from this main battle tank line are still very powerful.

Ukraine has two T-64BV variants, the first was born in 1985, upgraded by the Soviet Union from T-64Bs. The second new variant was launched by Ukraine in 2017, also known by the designation T-64BV Mod 2017. Compared to the previous variant, the upgraded Model 2017 has an anti-radiation protection system and is covered with a new explosive reactive armor to help the vehicle better protect against anti-tank missiles.

In 2019, Ukroboronprom reported that the Kharkiv Armoured Plant had delivered over 100 updated tanks to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The upgraded tanks included new thermal imaging for all crew, remove Luna infrared searchlight. Nizh reactive armour modules designed for bolt-on replacement on T-64BV turrets, SN-4215 networked satellite navigation unit, and Lybid K-2RB digital radio providing secure communications with a 70 km range. An important element of the improvement was the satellite navigation system from the company Orizon-Navigation. At the expense of it, it is possible to exchange data with other military personnel online, information on the tank’s location can be received, including to the senior officers participating in the operation.

The main weapon of the T-64BV Mod 2017 is still the 2A46M-1 125 mm smoothbore gun. It can fire 9K120 Refleks (AT-11) anti-tank guided missiles to destroy enemies from a distance of up to 5 km. Normally, each T-64BV Mod 2017 is equipped with 6 missiles of this type. Analysts also said that the T-64BV Mod 2017 is equipped with a new fire control system called 1A45 Irtysh, which helps increase firing accuracy.

In addition, the vehicle is also equipped with a TKN-4S panoramic viewfinder for the commander, and a TPN-4E Buran-E integrated day/night viewfinder for the gunner. The ammunition loading system has also been refined to help the tank operate more effectively even in high-intensity combat conditions. On the other hand, maintenance of this ammunition loading system will also be simpler so soldiers can do it right in battlefield conditions.

One 7.62mm coaxial machine gun is mounted to the right side of the main armament. A 12.7mm NSVT machine gun is mounted on the top of the commander hatch which can be aimed and fired from within the tank. Two banks of four smoke grenade dischargers are mounted to the left side of the turret.

The new upgraded variant uses a more powerful diesel engine to help the tank move at a speed of 65 km/h and a maximum travel range of 600 km. Experts assess that Ukraine’s T-64BV Mod 2017 version is the most powerful in the Soviet T-64 family. It is even said that this variant can completely compete on par with the Russian T-90A.

Before the conflict broke out, the Ukrainian army was said to have about 200 T-64BV Mod 2017 tanks. However, up to now, after more than a year of conflict with many major changes, it is unclear how many T-64BV Mod 2017 Ukraine still has. In addition to being defeated by anti-tank missiles, the T-64BV Mod 2017 is also facing attacks from suicide UAVs.

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