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    The T-80s future in the Russian Army

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    GarryB
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    The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  GarryB on Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:09 am

    Here is an interesting article that has been translated by Google.

    The original in Russian with nice photos can be found here:

    http://gurkhan.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/80_24.html

    Here is the text in English:

    Friday, February 24, 2012
    T-80, "the sword" dull?

    Who does not know "vosmidesyatki"? It seems there are none. For a long time, this powerful tank represented the most advanced technological level of the Soviet Union was "the edge of the sword" tank groupings aimed at NATO. On it are legends ...
    However, due to a number of circumstances, with the collapse of the Soviet Union was closed and production of this wonderful tank.

    Nevertheless, he is still here, has not disappeared, "with a wave of a magic wand."

    Until now, such as tanks T-80 regularly serving in the Armed Forces of Russia. The troops on TSBRT BTRZ and are now about 5,000 of these tanks. Of the five thousand, the largest mass is the modification of the T-80BV - now they have about 3,000 units of-life - 20 - 25 years.

    Accepted and approved program of armored vehicles are required to operate these machines to develop the resource, with subsequent delivery to the scrap. But is it right? Indeed, despite the lack of production, "vosmidesyatki" was not thrown by their "parents." For about 15 years, The St. Petersburg CB "Spetsmash" is continuing work on developing a variety of options for upgrading this tank. Even if the T-80 is no longer fit into the new look of the Russian army, then surely you can find a foreign buyer for these cars. After a major overhaul with modernization, the cost of these tanks will be approximately 2 - 2.5 times less than the cost of any new ones. And interest in such machines is beginning to emerge. Here we should recall the contract for delivery in 2011, the Republic of Cyprus modernized T-80UA and sell Belarus Yemen capitally repaired T-80BV . Clearly, despite the presence of the developments and the enormous potential, despite the fact that now the entire production, and modernization of tanks, almost all concentrated in the same hands - the hands of the Corporation "Uralvagonzavod", engage in sales of the upgraded and rebuilt T-80 is simply no wants. The problem, bordering on mismanagement of the unit.

    The upgraded T-80U is equipped with active protection systems (KAZ), "Arena-E" - combat tracked vehicle, which has powerful weapons, armor protection reliable, high maneuverability and a modern fire control system.
    The complex of active protection will automatically detect and engage with the place and when the tank is moving anti-tank grenades and missiles in all conditions of combat employment at any time of year and day.

    The main characteristics of the set (ARENA):
    The range of velocities intercepted targets, m / s .......................................... .... 70-700
    Protection sector, deg.:
    elevation ............................................... ........................................ from -6 to +15
    azimuth ................................................ ......................... right 127, left 135
    Number of safety ammunition ............................................... ............................. 31
    Probability of hitting an incoming missile,% ............................................ . 70-80

    The stage of working out - a prototype, passed state tests.

    Upgraded T-80UA (object 219AM-1)

    When upgrading a tank is installed:
    - System 2A46M-4; New Main Gun
    - The upgraded fire control system (KVO), 1A45-1;
    - Installation of stem bending accounting UUI-2; muzzle reference system on the Main Gun
    - Day-night sighting system commander TO1-KO4;
    - Night sighting system, gunner's TO1 KO5 (as an option installed thermal sight "Plisa");
    - A set of optical-electronic suppression "blind." Shtora jammer and smoke rocket system

    The main advantages in comparison with the T-80U:
    - Increased the DDS:
    - Gunner at 300-600 m
    - Commander in the 700-1000 m;
    - Reduced training time, the commander of a shot in the 1.8-2 times;
    - Increased to 40 deg / sec maximum speed of rotation of the tank, which provides a sighting shooting (instead of 16-24 deg / sec);
    - Set-2 UUI provided stability shooting accuracy, regardless of the influence of climatic conditions, causing bending of the trunk and the number of shots fired;
    - Reduced, about 2-3 times, the time for maintenance and adjustment of KVO through the use of a portable console.

    The stage of working out - adopted in 2005.


    T-80U-E1

    When upgrading a tank is installed:
    - The fighting compartment of the T-80UD;
    - Gas turbine engine GTD-1250 power 1250 hp;
    - Air intake device which allows to overcome without preparation fording depth of up to 1.8 m;
    - Stand-alone power unit rated at 18 kW; This APU reduces fuel consumption as the main engine can be shut down and the electronics and heating powered by APU instead
    - Input Device Amendments OHR 1V216M for 15 types of ballistics;
    - Built-in explosive reactive armor on the sides and the VFD;
    - Introduced measures to reduce fuel consumption.

    Main features - at the T-80U.
    The stage of working out - Tank adopted in 2005.


    Basically this article is talking about the large number of T-80s in Russian Army service that could just be scrapped when they have plenty of service life left and with fairly straight forward upgrades would be very capable tanks that could easily be exported to certain customers.
    The problem is that the last remaining Russian tank producer is not interested in selling T-80s... they want to sell T-90s.

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  George1 on Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:40 am

    Cyprus could buy T-80. They are in need of tanks to replace obsolete AMX-30 and they already posses T-80

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  GarryB on Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:21 am

    Yes. The Russian Army has far too many of them and could even offer to donate 500 for service and spare parts to Cyprus if Greece wants to buy some T-90s perhaps.

    South Korea also operates T-80s, so that is another potential direction they could use to get rid of excess vehicles without scrapping them.

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  TR1 on Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:23 pm

    Korea is going all indigenous for MBT future, plus, they operate T-80U, not the older T-80s.

    Nice pic of T-80YA, and it shows the Shtora placement OVER the ERA. Why can't they make that for the T-72 modernization>!?!?

    Also great pics of the Obj 219M prototype.

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  George1 on Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:34 pm

    Peru, Vietnam could also buy T-80 to replace old T-55

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  GarryB on Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:00 am

    Peru, Vietnam could also buy T-80 to replace old T-55

    That sort of explains their problem.

    They have lots of good effective tanks that with an upgrade are quite comparable to other modern tanks in performance, though a bit cheaper.

    The problem for them is that the upgrades they apply are based on adding lots of the stuff they developed for the T-90, so an upgraded T-80 becomes a T-80/T-90 hybrid.

    That is good for the Russians because the more T-90 parts on it the cheaper it is to operate and maintain.

    For exports however they don't want to send their allies and customers tanks that they don't have in production.

    It would be like Microsoft selling I pads running windows 8... it gives Apple the chance to say... well you are operating Apple hardware, would you like to upgrade to an I pad 2?

    Where Microsoft is Russia and Apple is the Ukraine of course.

    Russia pretty much wants to sell T-90s.

    Perhaps they could use the T-80s as bargaining chips... ie if Greece buys 500 BMP-3s with upgraded armour and all the bells and whistles then the Russian Army will donate 500 T-80s in upgraded condition that Greece could pass on to Cyprus and then Russia could offer to upgrade existing T-80s to the same standard to make them easier to maintain and operate.

    Korea is going all indigenous for MBT future, plus, they operate T-80U, not the older T-80s.

    So how about this... instead of upgrading the older T-80s the Russian Army has, they could equip them to operate on remote control and offer them as realistic opposing forces vehicles for training, or they could use them themselves as unmanned breakthrough vehicles with mine rollers etc in places that are very dangerous.

    Nice pic of T-80YA, and it shows the Shtora placement OVER the ERA. Why can't they make that for the T-72 modernization>!?!?

    I always thought of the Russian approach to tank protection was based on layers so every extra layer improved the overall package. Having Shtora mounted in front of ERA is a good idea, but having ARENA mounted in front of the ERA as well would be even better. Even if it doesn't stop Javelin in its current form it still stops most RPG like weapons, which most modern battlefields are saturated with.

    It is a bit like saying that there are bullets that will penetrate any flak jacket so there is no point in wearing one. Casualty statistics show that it is often fragments that do the most injuries and killing in war, and wearing a helmet and flak jacket greatly improves your chances of survival.

    I don't understand the Russian Army not taking every measure to protect their crews.

    Even if the current Shtora or Arena might not be effective against some forms of attacks if you buy them and put them in service the money that earns the companies and the operational experience gathered should allow improved and updated solutions to most of the problems.

    Of course there is the aspect that in peace time they are not fully fitted for war... I have seen photos of BTRs covered in rail armour in combat areas that I had not seen on that type of BTR before, but then it wasn't fitted to every vehicle either.

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  George1 on Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:13 am

    GarryB wrote:

    Perhaps they could use the T-80s as bargaining chips... ie if Greece buys 500 BMP-3s with upgraded armour and all the bells and whistles then the Russian Army will donate 500 T-80s in upgraded condition that Greece could pass on to Cyprus and then Russia could offer to upgrade existing T-80s to the same standard to make them easier to maintain and operate.


    Greece will not buy BMP-3, it is considered that doesn't fit on Greek army. I am from Greece and i can assure you of that. Cyprus could buy more T-80, but not more than 41-82. They already posses 82 T-80. Syria also could be a possible operator and other countries that they cant afford new tanks procurement

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  GarryB on Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:47 am

    They will just probably end up doing what they are planning to do... give them minor upgrades to make them as T-90 compatible as possible and when they are worn out then just scrap them.

    I have read they were handing over a large number of T-80s to the Navy, which would certainly speed up the wearing out process...

    They could probably donate a couple of thousand to the Ukraine too I suppose.

    The Ukraine could use them, and they could put them through their own upgrade so it wont cost Russia much, and they will save on storing them and scrapping them.

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  medo on Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:43 pm

    Is any ARENA complex up to now installed in regular army tank or they are still only in prototypes?

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  TR1 on Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:45 pm

    medo wrote:Is any ARENA complex up to now installed in regular army tank or they are still only in prototypes?

    No regular units use it.

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  GarryB on Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:18 am

    Which is part of the problem as I see it.

    Arena is no super powerful invisible shield that makes a vehicle invincible, but it adds a layer of defence that adds a total of about 2-3 tons to the tank that is equivalent to several cms of armour that protects everything including weakspots from the most common threat on the battlefield today... the RPG and most ATGMs.

    It might be expensive, so buy it in small batches and use it, and demand improvements and changes, get the makers used to working directly with the military to provide support so they can earn money on the system and invest some of that money on improvements in design and manufacturing.

    Having it sit on the shelf because it is too expensive for full deployment is a cop out and does nothing to solve the situation.

    They can either introduce it to limited small scale service and work out the bugs and solve the problems and reduce the cost of the system while improving the performance and then when the price is at an acceptable level and it does most things they want it to, put it into mass production.

    The alternative is to leave it on the shelf while the company the makes it neglects it because it is not generating money and in 5 years time the Russian Army will suddenly realise that while it created the technology for active self protection systems for tanks in the 1980s in the form of the Drozd system that was operationally tested in Afghanistan, that they have lost any lead that might have given them and they will either have to buy foreign stuff and start from there or throw enormous amounts of cash at the problem to start from scratch with a whole new generation system... both of which will be expensive... and the age old question... who will sell you their latest APS system?

    A labour government in the UK wont help because they don't have APS systems.

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  Lycz3 on Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:44 pm

    They are not aquiring APS systems simply because there isn't a need for them. A tank has to be as versatile as possible without requring a change on it's configuration. What is needed is a system which gives universal protection, against RPGs, missiles, and kinetic tank fired rounds. Having this in mind, an APS with all it's expense, added weight, etc and which only partially solves the problem (like current Arena or Drozd) what will certainly not do is see extensive adoption among the tank fleet.

    They could adopt them in limited units for specific scenarios but again, it would not be very suitable to have a small number of expensive systems.

    When they will bring these systems to really good versatile level, then they will have more opportunities. And such work is being carried out in Russia. Well, their APS systems are the most mature, and have the best characteristics. And will have.

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  GarryB on Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:57 am

    But that is part of the problem... small batch use will make them stay expensive.

    Personally I think the future is integration, ultimately the best APS would be an ERA brick that can be launched directly into the path of the incoming round at a range of 4-5 metres from the tank or more.

    You would have a double layer of ERA, with the outer brick launched in the path of incoming threats, while the underbrick acts like built in ERA or in this case NERA.

    The sensors that activate the outer layer ERA can be connected to the sensor systems of the tank to detect targets at short, medium and long ranges like a fighters radar system.

    Between the layers of ERA you'd have Nakidka and the outer ERA panels will be made of nonradar low IR signature materials.

    When the Russian Army had 20,000 tanks then ARENA was too expensive, but now that they are looking at a tank force of less than 8,000 then they need to start protecting their tanks with everything they have.

    At the end of the day... even if ARENA only defends against RPGs it is still much better than nothing.

    It is like saying we should transport troops in trucks because it does not matter what level of protection you provide the enemy will always develop a weapon to defeat it... so it is cheaper to use trucks.

    The fact that ARENA does not stop Javelin is not a reason against ARENA... very few of Russians current enemies she will come to blows with have Javelin in large numbers, and while they are developing better more comprehensive systems they can get experience with ARENA, both in terms of operating it and in making it in large quantities.

    I rather suspect that the companies that make Drozd and ARNEA will have been working on upgrades for the T-95 and now for Armata.

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  TR1 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:17 pm

    http://cs9266.userapi.com/u70718856/129705639/y_aadbd214.jpg
    http://cs9266.userapi.com/u70718856/129705639/y_477cd6f7.jpg

    T-80U with Drozd.

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  TR1 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:25 am

    Some rumors @ Otvaga forum, that Russia might start wholesale withdrawal of the T-80 fleet at an accelerated rate. Before the plan was to use them until service life ran out, with some modernization/capremont on the side) but if this is true, then we can say goodbye to the T-80 well before 2020.

    If true this is sad news, but on the upside this could be a mass of rubles saved. The fact is Russia has way more tanks that it needs/can actually man and operate, and rationalizing the fleet to a common type is always a good thing. T-72 is easier and cheaper in exploitation as well.

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  George1 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:54 am

    TR1 wrote:Some rumors @ Otvaga forum, that Russia might start wholesale withdrawal of the T-80 fleet at an accelerated rate. Before the plan was to use them until service life ran out, with some modernization/capremont on the side) but if this is true, then we can say goodbye to the T-80 well before 2020.

    If true this is sad news, but on the upside this could be a mass of rubles saved. The fact is Russia has way more tanks that it needs/can actually man and operate, and rationalizing the fleet to a common type is always a good thing. T-72 is easier and cheaper in exploitation as well.

    Peru, Cyprus, Vietnam, could be potential buyers of T-80

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    withdrawal of the T-80 fleet

    Post  TR1 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:20 am

    Cyprus recently bought some, are they in the market for more?

    I don't see many other nations going for expensive to run turbine T-80. Unless the deal is very very attractive....

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  George1 on Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:27 am

    In 2012, Russia will continue to repair the T-80

    In Russia this year will be repaired, 115 T-80BV


    http://www.vestnik-rm.ru/news-4-865.htm

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  flamming_python on Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:59 pm

    Surely we could find something to do with these plucky T-80s.

    I always thought that giving them to the Ukraine in exchange for T-72s or better yet some other military hardware or munitions would be the way to go. They can throw in the 'Ukraina' cruiser while they're at it, and the rest of their navy Very Happy

    They have the facilities for them, or did at least; so let it be their problem.

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  TR1 on Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:06 pm

    Ukraine doesn't operate the T-80, they only inherited a few from the USSR.

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  GarryB on Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:15 am

    Well all the more reason to gift or sell them to the Ukraine as they have the main factory that made them within their territory.

    The factories that made the powerful diesel engines for the T-80UD is also Ukrainian so they can upgrade their T-80Us and other vehicles with gas turbine engines with a more fuel efficient and only slightly less powerful diesel engine.

    Most of the upgrades the Ukrainians have applied to their T-72s was to make them more compatible with T-80 parts while the Russians have naturally done the opposite with their T-80s (they have integrated T-72 parts to improve standardisation with their existing fleet).

    Personally I think just gifting the vehicles would be best assuming any secret equipment added in upgrades is removed first... it will free up storage space and make room for new vehicles that will be introduced into service soon.

    For the Ukraine they get some free vehicles that they can spend money on giving upgrades like removing high fuel consumption engines and replacing them with domestically produced engines. This will be good for the Ukrainian component makers and give the Ukrainian Army a bit more back bone in terms of armour.


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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  TR1 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:04 am

    T-80 was mostly made in Russia, @ Leningrad, and after than @ Omsk.
    Gifting them to Ukraine is a dubious decision since Ukraine is not all that friendly with Russia anymore (and is especially a competitor in the AFV scene), and they won't/can't buy them.

    Ukraine uses pretty much only the T-64 at this point, and are upgrading them (as well as buying whatever token Oplot numbers).

    I don't see much of an export future for these tanks, unless they plan to take them out of service before service life runs out, Maybe a few small batches here and there.

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  GarryB on Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:15 am

    The biggest problem I see is the autoloader, because of the way it stores the propellent stubs (ie vertically and exposed) that any penetration of the turret will set all the propellent charges on fire... which would be enough to start a chain reaction that destroys the vehicle.

    The black eagle turret bustle autoloader design offers one solution, but personally I think the best solution would be a T-72 style underfloor autoloader, plus a black eagle type autoloader for 53 ready to fire rounds of main gun ammo with the rounds in the turret bustle loader of any length you want with a straight rammer to load them, and finally a V99 engine of 1,200hp to replace the 1,250hp gas turbine.

    The slight reduction in power will be compensated by large increase in driving range and reduce fuel consumption.

    Keeping the underfloor autoloader means the turret will be larger than the Black Eagles turret but that should allow more room for upgrades like new commander cuppola, new radios and electronics etc etc.

    Wonder if Libya and Egypt want some new vehicles?

    AFAIK the Russian naval infantry are getting the T-80s.


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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  medo on Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:49 pm

    Why to donate T-80 tanks? They are of the same age and capabilities as T-72. It is better to repair them and to store them in reserves for the case of war to have enough tanks when needed, specially because Armata will not be available in larger numbers very soon.

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    Re: The T-80s future in the Russian Army

    Post  GarryB on Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:20 am

    Why to donate T-80 tanks? They are of the same age and capabilities as T-72. It is better to repair them and to store them in reserves for the case of war to have enough tanks when needed, specially because Armata will not be available in larger numbers very soon.

    Because the only tank company left in Russia makes T-72s and T-90s which share many components. The T-64/T-80 on the other hand... although they look similar from the outside, have rather different parts and equipment inside that is not compatible.

    Equally a large number of Russian T-80s use gas guzzling gas turbine engines that are not very efficient.

    The T-80s have been given some upgrades to make them more compatible with T-72s/90s, but at the end of the day if you have a tank park filled with T-54/55, T-62, T-64, T-72, T-80, and T-90 and you are about to introduce what are essentially four new tanks (armata, kurganets, boomerang x 2) then getting rid of T-54/55 will remove the old rifled 100mm tank gun and ammo from the inventory and storage, getting rid of the T-62 gets rid of the 115mm smoothbore gun and ammo from the inventory and storage, and then getting rid of the T-64 and T-80 gets rid of all those odd parts, so once you upgrade the T-72s with T-90 parts, your in service fleet suddenly becomes much more streamlined.

    Yes, I know, adding the four new vehicle families seems to complicate things all over again, but in fact each of these new vehicle families replaces a huge range of different vehicle types and takes the unification of design to the brigade level, so you will actually have operational units working with one chassis/engine family combination.

    The introduction of heavier wheeled vehicles should make some brigades much cheaper and easier to operate, as well as offering improved mobility in places with good road networks.

    You would never consider driving a tracked brigade 2,000km for redeployment, but for a wheeled brigade it might be possible... if the roads are uncontested territory then it might be quicker and cheaper to use a train, but through enemy territory as a unit ready to fight a wheeled unit would be faster moving and just as well prepared to fight as a medium tracked unit.


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