The T-80BV tank, once the national treasure of the Soviet Union, now operated by both Russia and Ukraine.
Once highly appreciated, but in current combat, they are very vulnerable to modern anti-tank weapons. Russian media released a video showing a T-80BV tank being shot down by anti-tank fire. It is known that the gunner hid in the nearby trees, then aimed at the tank, and opened fire.
It can be seen that the tank crew did not detect the gunner. On the other hand, according to the Avia page, the crew was negligent, causing the vehicle to be destroyed too easily, at a distance of only about 800 meters. Since both Russia and Ukraine are operating this type of tank, it is not clear who attacked and whose destroyed vehicle was. On the Ukrainian battlefield, the T-80BV tank is one of the most damaged tanks.
The T-80 tank, which was considered the quintessence of the Soviet Union, was dubbed the flying tank because of its excellent maneuverability. Despite possessing a lot of power, but consuming too much fuel caused the T-80s to gradually fall out of favor in the Russian army. With the T-80BV variant, those weaknesses have been overcome.
The upgraded T-80BV is equipped with a new, more fuel-efficient engine and comes with the most advanced defense and fire control system. It is known that the T-80BV tanks were repaired by the St. Petersburg, modernized and transferred to the Russian army in 2017. Specifically, the GTD-1000T and GTD-1000TF gas turbine engines on the old T-80BV with a capacity of 1,000 to 1,100 hp will be replaced by the GTD-1250 with 1,250 hp, for higher performance.
In addition, the Sosna-U fire control system will be integrated with a thermal imager, a laser rangefinder and automatic target tracking. The tank is also equipped with an active defense system Shtora-1 or Arena, as well as the Relic explosive reactive armor, to counter enemy rockets or anti-tank missiles.
Starting to serve in the Soviet Army since the 1970s, the characteristic of the T-80BV tank lies in the gas turbine engine, for high mobility, fast acceleration and quiet operation. However, it consumes twice as much fuel as a tank of the same type.
Old Russian main battle tanks were deployed during the Ukraine war. Many of them have been destroyed and left clustered on roadways, some by modern weapons such as the US Javelin, some by Ukraine’s indigenously produced man-portable anti-tank weapons such as the Stugna-P and still others taken out by drones like Turkey’s Bayraktar.
By any modern measure, Russian tanks deployed to the Ukrainian battlefield are old and obsolete. Russia’s armor operations have been criticized by many experts who have noted tank drivers often stay on roadways where they get stuck in traffic jams and are easily ambushed.
Russian tanks have been especially vulnerable from above, where Bayraktar drones have taken them out. Other criticism has centered on Russian tank flaws; when a Russian tank is hit, the ammunition – located near the gun system and stored around an automatic loader – “cooks off,” blowing the turret with the gun into the air. Crew survival on Russian tanks after they are hit in Ukraine is poor.
Russia developed a more modern system, called Arena, which is specifically designed to protect the topside of tanks. Arena has not appeared in the Ukraine war and it isn’t clear the system has met expectations. Today, the only proven active defense systems are produced in Israel, although many others are in development. In addition to the US Abrams tanks, Trophy has been sold to Germany for its Leopard II tanks and to Australia. A Trophy Lite version is under development for the US Stryker wheeled armored fighting vehicle. Active defense systems cover some of the most important vulnerabilities of main battle tanks and are an essential add-on in future warfare scenarios.