Russia ‘upgrading 3,000 Soviet-era T-80BV tanks back into service’

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Source: IHS Jane’s 360


Russia’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) is planning to bring back into service some of its mothballed T-80BV main battle tanks (MBTs) and to update them, according to a source in the country’s defence industry.

“At present, the preparative works to start the modernisation of the first T-80BV MBTs are at a final stage,” the source told IHS Jane’s . “In accordance with the programme developed by Omsktransmash and the Special Design Bureau for Transport Machine-Building [SKBTM], the overhaul and modernisation of the MoD’s T-80BV tanks will be launched next year. [We will be doing] the relevant works at the Omsktransmash facility,” the source said adding that the numbers of the tanks to be updated and the terms of the programme will be defined by the military.

The upgraded T-80BV MBTs will feature the Sosna-U fire-control system also used by the T-72B3 and T-90, an updated energy generator and engine starter, and advanced explosive reactive armour (ERA) plates. The modified T-80BV tanks will be suitable for the climatic conditions of the Arctic, the Far East, and Siberia, the source said.

The source added that, “[Previously] the T-80BV tank played an important role in the armed forces. A programme to upgrade about 3,000 T-80 MBTs dates back to 2002; however, it was not implemented. [The defence industry] developed a unified combat compartment, a new tank gun with new rounds of advanced efficiency, ERA system, etc. Therefore, the specifications of the updated T-80, including the fuel consumption, did not come short of those of the T-90 tank,” the source added.