Note how the ERA covers the gun breach and not the crew very interesting design choice.
the angle of the photo is from above the turret... the area covered by the ERA on the roof is probably the internal space inside the turret... the area in front will be the turret front armour and will not have any open crew compartment under it to protect with ERA.
Russian military products are full of "interesting choices"...
Their design choices are usually quite sensible once you understand them...
Well designed and optimized? Despite being a primary sight, Sosna-U is still installed in the auxiliary sight/night sight position instead of directly in front of the gunner. In front of the gunner is the daylight-only backup sight which doesn't have a purpose on a day-to-day basis. That's bad ergonomic design.
You are assuming there was room for the main sight where the small auxiliary site is positioned... In terms I ergonomics I don't understand... are you suggesting that inside the tank the main sight is in the wrong place and is difficult to use?
And of course the infamous AA gun installation on the commander's cupola still isn't fixed. It still weighs 90+ kgs and takes an unacceptable amount of effort from the commander to make it turn.
You suggesting the commanders cupola is manually operated?
I would say keeping T-72 in storage is probably a better idea than T-80. The T-72 upgrades make the tank useful and good. Problem with the T-80 for export sales is the engine if they put a diesel engine in it and the price was good they could sell it. Egypt and Iraq could be good contenders for buying if they were to move away from USA abrams and/or replace older tanks with it this could clear a sizeable chunk of T-80 in storage. As for syria and Yemen when in a position to do so (not foreseeable future) would likely buy up some T-72 upgraded. Apart from them o don't see any other market really.
In arctic conditions (minus 20 degrees or colder) it takes about 40 minutes to start a standard diesel engine... including having to build a fire underneath it to warm it up so parts don't shatter. A gas turbine engine can be running in minutes.
One of the upgrades for this tank is an APU, which means it can sit with electrics on ready to fight with the main engine off and burning only a fraction of fuel that the main engine burns when it is running.
I see these models keep the IR searchlight. None of these models shown have thermal imagers? I know the BVM ordered have it.
The SOSNA-U has a thermal camera... the T-80BVM only has an IR light on the commanders cupola...
The T-80 was their premium tank for quite some time and is superior to T-72 in terms of armour.
The new T-80BVM upgrade includes a new more powerful and more reliable engine so its cross country performance should be rather good... even if it probably burns about 700 litres of fuel per 100km... who cares... it is only fuel... if the enemy has diesel tanks then they wont be able to shut them down for any period even if they have APUs because it would take too long to restart them.
Having an APU so when it is just sitting somewhere it can have the heater on and the electronics all working and ready for action... ready to fire... and perhaps a minute to start up the main engine and start moving... not using much fuel because the main engine is shut down.
In comparison with a diesel engine and no APU you would actually use rather more fuel because you would need to keep the engine running all the time...
In the arctic it makes sense...