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Russian Forces in Ukraine reinforced with additional T-80BVM Model 2023 tanks

On February 13, 2024, the Russian company Omsktransmash, a division of UralVagonZavod, announced on Russian media the delivery of another batch of T-80BVM Model 2023 tanks to Russian units stationed in Ukraine. These vehicles are speculated to be intended for deployment in the Lyman direction near the Kremensky forest, possibly to support infantry operations against Ukrainian positions, akin to previous deliveries.
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'Nakidka' covers have been included in the inventory to reduce the tank's visibility, utilizing a specialized synthetic material to absorb heat and radio waves. (Picture source: Omsktransmash)

Army Recognition reported on September 11, 2023, that the Russian Armed Forces unveiled the T-80BVM Model 2023 during a televised report at the Omsktransmash enterprise. This model represents an updated version of the existing T-80BVM tank, with modifications influenced by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

According to sources within Russian social media circles, Omsktransmash is currently producing 152 units of the T-80BVM Model 2023, with 15 units already dispatched for deployment. This production initiative is reportedly part of a broader plan to modernize approximately 180 T-80 tanks from military storage facilities, with periodic releases scheduled throughout the year.

Previously, Omsktransmash produced about 40 tanks annually, but it has reportedly increased its production capacity to modernize up to 400 units per year. This surge in production has been linked to ongoing tensions and military activities in Ukraine. The modernization process involves collaboration between Armored Repair Plants, tasked with upgrading older T-80 tanks, and Omsktransmash, responsible for transforming them into the T-80BVM model.

Simultaneously, Uralvagonzavod, under the leadership of General Director Oleksandr Potapov, announced plans on September 10, 2023, to resume the production of T-80 series tanks. This decision reportedly received backing from the Russian Ministry of Defense, decisions at the highest level to reinforce tank capacities and/or replace the losses as quickly as possible.

Based on feedback from combat in Ukraine, the T-80BVM Model 2023 tank introduces several enhancements aimed at fortifying its defensive capabilities. Notably, reinforced wire cage armor has been integrated into the top and rear sections of the turret and hull, offering increased protection against rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and kamikaze drones. The top wire cage armor module, first showcased at the Army-2023 exhibition, is designed as a quick-detachable module to facilitate transportation, with additional dynamic protection installed within metal casings.

Moreover, 'Nakidka' covers have been included in the inventory to reduce the tank's visibility, utilizing a specialized synthetic material to absorb heat and radio waves. According to the manufacturer, NII Stali, the use of this camouflage set significantly diminishes the likelihood of detection by infrared homing heads and radar systems, enhancing the tank's stealth capabilities.

Russia T 80BVM Model 2023 tanks Lyman Ukraine 925 002

The T-80BVM Model 2023 represents an updated version of the existing T-80BVM tank, with modifications influenced by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. (Picture source: Omsktransmash)

Additionally, the T-80BVM Model 2023 features a Volnorez anti-drone electronic jamming system equipped with two omnidirectional antennas, capable of effectively suppressing drones within a radius of 600 to 1,000 meters. This system, powered by the tank's onboard network, provides essential protection against airborne threats.

The tank's combat effectiveness is further augmented by the integration of a 1PN96MT thermal imaging sight, offering superior target acquisition capabilities compared to its predecessors. Noteworthy improvements in reverse speed, exceeding 20 km/h, hint at undisclosed modifications, likely related to transmission enhancements.

The base of the T-80BVM Model 2023, the T-80BVM tank, represents a modernized iteration of the original T-80BV main battle tank, which was initially manufactured by the Soviet Union. These enhancements have been developed and introduced by the Russian military industry with the primary goal of enhancing the tank's combat effectiveness in contemporary 21st-century warfare.

A standout feature of the T-80BVM is its upgraded armor, encompassing both reactive and passive protection measures to enhance its resilience against anti-tank weaponry. Notably, the tank is equipped with Relikt explosive reactive armor, significantly improving its defense against modern anti-tank guided missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.

The tank is powered by a gas turbine engine, affording it a remarkable power-to-weight ratio, solidifying its status as one of the world's main battle tanks. Additionally, the T-80BVM boasts a sophisticated fire control system that elevates its targeting precision, enabling effective engagement of targets during both day and night operations.

Furthermore, the T-80BVM is armed with an enhanced 125mm 2A46M-4 smoothbore gun, capable of firing a range of projectiles, including APFSDS, HEAT, HE-FRAG, and guided missiles.

In terms of mobility, the T-80BVM has undergone substantial improvements, including a 1,250 hp gas turbine engine, a reinforced running gear and an upgraded torsion bar, enhancing its off-road performance. The integration of an automatic track tension system reduces the need for manual adjustments, streamlining the overall operational readiness of the tank.


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