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Russia to Upgrade T-80 Tank with PNM Sosna-U and Relic

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Russia to Upgrade T-80 Tank with PNM Sosna-U and Relic

Photo: aw.my.com

Russian producers of military hardware are going to upgrade the T-80 tank. They intend to increase its firepower, protection, mobility, and command control, the Russian RG daily reported on July 14.

According to a military expert, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have several thousand versions of T-80BV that will be reborn by Russia’s engineering company Omsktransmash very soon. The main goal of developers is to unify the tank with upgraded T-72B3.

The firepower of the T-80BV will be increased after the installation of the PNM Sosna-U gunner sight. The Sosna-U allows to use all types of ammunitions, including guided missiles. The laser range-finder is able to determine the distance from 50 up to 7500 meters. A tank commander will be able to monitor and shoot using the gunner sight in “double” mode.

The tank will also be equipped with a complex of dynamic protection 3rd-generation, Relic. One of its features is an ability to cast hard armor plates in bilateral mode. One of these hard armor plates moves towards the ammunition while another one follows the first one. This makes the T-80 more resistant to composite shells and modern tandem anti-tank guided missiles. In addition, the tank will be also equipped with fast-acting fire safety system of the instrumental complex PKUZ-1A.

The T-80 will also receive the night binocular viewer TVN-5 that will enhance its mobility. While upgraded monoblocks with a gas-turbine engine will increase its fuel efficiency. At last, the T-80BV will be provided with the VHF radio 168-25U P-2 and a hardware and software intercom complex of switching and control. The equipment allows conduct an open and masked radio traffic at any time of the day and year.

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I have no special knowledge and rely on SouthFront for a lot of my information. So what I write is just my impression. From what I read it appears to me that Russia is accelerating its military modernization, opting for speedy upgrades of equipment rather than waiting for new deliveries. Of course both thing are happening, but my impression is that Russia ‘knows’ a war is coming and focusing on being ready. What does SouthFront think?


Russia does not have the resources to replace its vast equipment numbers. So it is forced to keep upgrading some equipment even as old as the Cold War, while slowly designing and manufacturing new equipment.

In other words, it cannot fully modernise its equipment while sustaining its numbers. It has to keep reusing/upgrading old platforms like the T-72 and the SU-24 …

That said, there are many differences between an old T-72 and a T-72B3. Basically it’s kinda like a new tank.

Pomagranate Pie

Article failed to mention who the main recipient of the upgraded vehicles would be(Foreign or domestic).

Robert Willis

It mentions it explicitly in the second paragraph : “the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have several thousand versions of T-80BV that will be reborn by Russia’s engineering company Omsktransmash very soon.”


The next major war is unlikely to be fought with tanks; unless the Russians will be forced to help stabilize the central Asian republics or quell unrest in north Caucasus, any other major war with Turkey, US or whole NATA for that matter, will be fought with cruise missiles, bombers fighter jets, navy and submarines. It will be over in less then 2 days; no time to deploy tank divisions. Tanks will be used in regional conflicts only;

Robert Willis

When the war criminal Hillary Clinton becomes POTUS, she will continue her interventionist policies designed to destabilize & create failed states like she & her cohorts have done in Iraq, Libya, & Syria. She will send yet more arms to Islamist rebels. Russian tanks have already played an important role in pushing them back, but Clinton will try again. She will also send more arms & advisors to Ukraine, & will plug Ukraine forces into the U.S. global war machine (electronic warfare, training, communications, surveillance etc.) Russia will not allow Crimea & the Donbass to fall to the regime in Kiev & their American backers. NATO & allied powers currently hold supremacy in conventional forces in Europe, including tanks. Challenging this supremacy will hopefully serve as a deterrent to Clinton’s warlike behaviour. The point of increasing Russia tank force is just one part of an effort to try and avoid a “major war”, rather than have to fight one.

Real Anti-Racist Action

Russia knows a war with NATO is possible, but unlikely. But part of being mature and responsible leaders, is being ready for the “possible” so they do not let the guard down from defending their people.

Robert Willis

This decision makes a great deal of sense. It is a reversal of the policy of slowly withdrawing the t-80, which is already quite an advanced, high quality platform. Attempting to build large numbers of new armoured vehicles is wasteful & not cost effective. The idea that the Russian DOD will have the funds needed to upgrade “thousands” of t-80s to the standard described within less than at least 4 or 5 years is very unlikely, but about 25 a month, together with about 20 upgrade to t-72 B3M, & perhaps 5 brand new Armatas should be easily achievable.

Robert Willis

By far the most important element of the upgrade is the fitting of the Relikt ERA package, as well as relatively inexpensive high quality laser rangefinders, wind sensors, & secure data-link radios if not already in place. Most T-80 BVs currently held in reserve have seen relatively light usage since they have been manufactured, so there should be no need to replace their already very reliable engines. Sonsa-U would be a welcome addition, but such advanced passive infra red systems are quite expensive. It is not strictly necessary to replace the existing active sensors of all the vehicles to be upgraded, so long as they are operating alongside other tanks or elements that can seach out targets targets for them in the dark. Acting in hunter-killer teams, even tanks without an advanced passive seach capability can still be quite effective.

Robert Willis

The article does not make it clear, but I presume that the intent is to modify the gas turbine engines to improve fuel efficiency as opposed to replacing them. I would guess that most of the T-80BVs currently in reserve have seen relatively light usage, so it would seem unnecessary & very expensive to install brand new engines when the existing units are quite reliable.

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