Garry , right now they have a fleet of more then 20 thousand tank of various modification.
Yes, I know... so with 20,000 tanks with a few hundred T-90s they will keep and maybe 5,000 T-72s they will modernise that means 15,000 tanks surplus to requirements they need to find a role for.
...Upgrade the 5,000 odd T-72s and make about 1,500 T-90Ms when the design has been finalised and upgrade the few hundred T-90s already in service to that standard.
Regarding the T-80:
In very simple terms the Soviets were basically at one point building three tanks that were different but in the same class.
The T-64 was their first "special tank".
Expensive but very capable with composite armour and a powerful main gun and for the time sophisticated systems.
People look at the T-64 and T-72 and T-80 and T-90 and have trouble telling them apart externally and they assume that internally they are pretty similar too.
They are not.
Very simply up until the T-72BM the T-72 was a mass production tank that could be exported or given to allies, though with various upgrades could be quite formidable.
The T-64 was the front line tank... in the battle of Kursk for the German side the T-64 was the Tiger, the T-80 was the Panther and the T-72s were the Panzer IVs that followed up behind.
The T-64 had new composite armour, but the T-80 was the newer design with even better composite armour and newer electronics etc... the T-64 and T-80 got their ATGM tube fired missile capability first because in many ways they were the "heavy tank" replacement for the T-10M. Their superior armour let them control the battlefield... they could sit back 2km from the front line and with their 4km-5km range missiles pick off enemy vehicles and at that range no 105mm calibre gun could penetrate their frontal armour... the main threat was enemy helos yet their rear position put them pretty safely under the units air defence umbrella.
The T-72 was cheap and easy to make in enormous numbers yet its performance was pretty good if used properly... it was fast and had good armour... but not great armour, and carried a big powerful gun.
The thing is however that when the Soviet Union split up Russia was left with a huge variety of tanks and the factories that made the T-80 were suddenly in the Ukraine... and many of the important components of all tanks like gas turbine engines and even HMGs (NSVT) and diesel engines were now made in a now foreign country. The Ukraine was actually in the same boat because of a lot of components for the T-80 were made in Russia too.
The end result was that Russia decided to hold a contest to decide what tank to go forward with, so the Russian tank (UVZ Uralvagonzavod) company came up with the T-72BM which took out all the cheap simple parts and components and also as much of the foreign parts and components and put in all expensive parts and components to greatly increase performance. It got new expensive but more capable composite armour, new FCS, etc etc.
The T-90 won. The T-80 is considered a Ukrainian tank so I don't know how much is bias, but I do know the under turret autoloader for the T-80 and T-72 are different and that the T-80 autoloader has ammo standing up in its magazine which makes the ammo in the magazine more prone to igniting if the vehicle is penetrated.
In the T-72/-90 the ammo is better protected in its autoloader.
To be honest I like the T-90, but the T-80 is not a bad tank as such. The gas turbine models are gas guzzlers, but the diesel models would be rather good. The diesel engine of the diesel model is made in the Ukraine.
It makes a lot of sense for them to pick the T-90 and as the T-90 is a T-72BM it is much easier to upgrade an older model T-72 to close to T-90 standard than to change the T-80 to something close enough to a T-90 to improve standardisation and logistics and training.
Note from Wiki:
In the post Soviet Union period the states decision to fund tank production at Uralvagonzavod in Nizhny Tagil (manufacturer of the T-90
tank) at the expense of the Omsk factory caused financial ruin for the
The organisation had designed a new prototype tank, named Black Eagle
but it did not enter production.
Although the plant received work
modernising T-62 and T-72 tanks this did not provide sufficient income
and in 2002 the company went bankrupt.
In 2004 the design arm of the business was absorbed into Uralvagonzavod.
Note the actual competition was between Omsktransmash and UVZ, but UVZ was in a much better state with its rail business making a good profit.
In practical terms the orders so far of T-90 tanks have been so small if the decision had gone to Omsk the company probably would have gone bust anyway.
As its says the design component of Omsk was absorbed into UVZ so the Black Eagle might live on in the form of the turret bustle component of the T-90 upgrade.
The problem again is that the 3BK-31 isn't 3 separate warheads that
you can just take the penetration values of each and add them up. The
round itself is designed so that each warhead will detonate at the exact
same time, but are misaligned so that they won't hit each other. That
way, the first warhead will detonate any ERA but will just really
destroy the initial RHA layer and prep the DU layer of an Abrams. The
second warhead will penetrate the DU layer and then prep the Ceramic
layer of an Abrams. The final warhead will penetrate that Ceramic layer,
then the backing RHA layer, and finally fully penetrate the tank.
I agree but you have one point wrong... they don't all go off together... otherwise the second large warhead would destroy the penetrator in front of it.
The correct actual sequence is for the initial charge to remove any ERA present or to start the penetration. Next the rear most charge detonates and blows a small hole in the large charge in front of it which is not enough to set it off or effect its performance too much which continues forward into the initial hole generated by the first small charge. The second main charge then detonates slightly later when the first main charge has had a go at penetration and tries again through the same hole to see if it can continue all the way through.
In many ways a HEAT beam of metal is very much like an APFSDS round... except at these speeds and temperatures the metal beam of the HEAT penetrator and the armour itself act as much like fluids as solids.
Just look at penetrated steel plate and sometimes you might think if it was painted the right colour it was plasticine.
The thing is, roadblocks are generally there like minefields. They're
there to make the tank go around, not go over. The tank that goes around
will meet the Ambush. The tank that goes over will flank.
Or find an anti tank ditch on the other side it can't get out of... or a minefield especially for the brave tank commander who thinks it will be safe. There are plenty of natural geography that bottlenecks tanks... if the tank driver drives over an obstacle and evades an ambush today... you can bet your @$$ that the next time that obstacle will either be taller, heavier, deeper... or part of the ambush.
Also, you can probe the armor with a special tool that measures it's the
armor's varying magnetism which will allow you to deduce what's where
and how much is there.
Which would work with Iron but plastic, rubber, fibreglass?
The basics of T-90's composite armor is quite simple really. Internet
scientists have deduced that the T-90's composite has: 1. RHA 2. Boron
Carbide 3. Fiber Glass 4. Air Gap 5. Applique armor 7. Rubber array 8.
Anti-neuron array (this has been replaced with a Spall liner)
So what are you doing here? Go and sell it to the Indian Army. They have in their possession more T-90s than the Russian Army currently has yet they still want to buy the technology to make the T-90s armour.
An engine is hotter still.
Doesn't matter. As long as it is warmer than the background it can be targeted by a weapon like Javelin.
Of course the real solution is to simply aim a HMG like a 12.7mm or 14.5mm weapon at the target tanks tracks... or even light cannon fire should do the trick. Any disposable RPG weapon or any of the RPO modifications should also be quite effective in damaging the running gear... and of course the obvious landmine... there are lots of bar shaped models designed specifically to cut the track of a tank.
There are even mines designed to be positioned beside the path a tank will drive down like the Russian TM-83 which is a huge 25cm diameter 20kg mine that can make an 80mm diameter hole in an armoured target from 50m range. It can penetrate 400mm of armour, which would damage most vehicles.
In fact I am surprised the Afghans haven't done what they did on the Tremors movies and put a mine on a remote control car and drive it up to an enemy vehicle and then set it off. The thing is that these remote control cars are relatively cheap and even a quite small shaped charge facing upwards driven under a tank could do some damage. You could dig a hole big enough for a shoebox on the side of the road and have one sitting there with a sand coloured cloth on it and when an Abrams approaches drive it out... with two ends of the cloth staked down so it doesn't prevent the remote control car moving and then drive onto the road under traffic and when the abrams passes over it... boom. Have a secondary crush fuse so if the tank driver runs it over it explodes too. It means you need far less explosive, and you don't alienate the local people by killing them. Then of course the defence personel will have to keep a look out for people buying remote control vehicles.
I should point out that I suggested a cruise missile fired directly from a shipping container about 15 years ago and got no credit at all for that idea... why would Iran bother making ICBMs when a cheap subsonic missile could easily be designed and built to launch directly from a shipping crate on a ship at sea. Those container ships carry thousands of containers and hundreds of thousands are in the sea at any one time because they fell off in a storm. An Iranian freighter could drop a few extra off in the Pacific without anyone being the wiser and they could sit there waiting for a signal... or sink waiting for the right sonar ping signal that releases a missile from each shipping container. Covering your whole border is hard especially from directions you aren't expecting attack from. In the middle of a super bowl weekend or something... of course their only problem is a nuke small enough to fit in a cruise missile...