‘Reactive’ T-80BV Tanks Returning in Service in Russian Army

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The upgraded T-80BVs will use less kerosene and hit enemy tanks and infantry more accurate.

‘Reactive’ T-80BV Tanks Returning in Service in Russian Army

The T-80BV main battle tank (Photo: bastion-karpenko.ru / A.V. Karpenko)

The Russian Defense Ministry, the Omsktransmash company and the St. Petersburg Special Design Bureau of Transport Machinery are going to return the T-80BV main battle tanks in service, the Izvestiya newspaper reported. These tanks are called ‘reactive’ in the army due to typical ‘aeroderivative’ sound of its engine.

In the course of upgrading, the T-80BVs will get a new fire control system and improved protection. Fuel consumption of the upgraded tanks will also be reduced. Reportedly, transfer of the renovated and upgraded tanks to the military department will be started in 2017.

According to plans, during upgrading, the T-80BV will be equipped with a new system of turning on of the generator and starting device of the engine, the Sosna-U modern fire control system with a thermal imager, a laser range finder and automatic target tracking. Blocks of modern active armor will protect the tank against enemy shells and missiles. Updated armored vehicles will be ideal variants for operating in harsh climatic conditions of the Far East, Siberia and the Arctic region.

According to chief designer of the T-80-class tanks, Alexander Umansky, preparatory works for beginning of the upgrading of the first T-80BVs are currently being completed. He also noted that starting next year, repair and modernization of tanks, received from the Ministry of Defense, will be started on a base of Omsktransmash.

“An exact number of tanks, which will be upgraded, and work schedule are determined by the Defense Ministry,” Umansky added.

According to former Chief of the main army tank-automation command of the Russian Defense Ministry, Sergei Maiev, after the upgrading of the T-80BV, military will get modern tanks, adapted to work at low temperatures much better than any other armored vehicles.

As the MilitaryBalance report of the International Institute for Strategic Studies revealed, currently, there are 3,000 T-80BV tanks in warehouses of the Russian Army. Another 200 T-80U tanks are in service in armored regiments of the 4th Guards Kantemirovskaya Tank Division.

‘Reactive’ T-80BV Tanks Returning in Service in Russian Army

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  • paul

    I think this approach is a very good one. Upgrading existing equipment
    is a good strategy where appropriate. Russia has always been
    inventive in this respect and it offers a way of rapidly enhancing
    capability. Always developing from scratch will not necessarily work
    out. I am glad Russia is keeping its tanks well oiled – they could
    well be needed.

    • Daniel Martin

      Agreed! Russia has a vast experience thru it’s history with rapidly deteriorating international relations that lead to war. Under such conditions it is rather hard to to acquire a large number of military hardware witch is needed to stave off an incoming invasion, in usually a very short time span. Keeping surplus equipment in warehouse’s in good condition and with the ability to upgrade them very fast to fairly modern standards, can make the difference between freedom and occupation for any country.

    • M Kow

      Yep, especially in ‘secondary’ areas where there isn’t likelihood of a large enemy attack with large armored formations. Makes more sense to use the gas turbine T-80’s which are better in the cold and which are cheap to upgrade than build Armata tanks just to have them sitting in Siberia somewhere.