Russia Receives Latest T-80BVM Variant

The Russian Army has taken receipt of circa 40 of the latest T-80 main battle tank upgrade as part of aprocurement of some 400 new and modernized armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) scheduled for delivery in 2019. The T-80BVM is, naturally enough, an upgrade of the T-80BV with a new auto-loader, new gunnery sight and an upgraded gas turbine engine.

The new auto-loader allows the employment of the depleted uranium penetrator 3BM60 Svinets-2 fin-stabilized armour piercing round in the 125mm main gun whilst the digital Sosna-U allows automatic tracking of targets. The upgraded gas turbine engine makes the T-80BVM particularly well-suited for operations in colder climes – the first deliveries were to the Northern Fleet’s 200th Independent Motor Rifle Brigade.

The T80BMV is also believed to be equipped with the next generation Relikt explosive reactive armour (ERA) including soft ERA that can be mounted to the sides of the tank. The soft ERA blocks are less prone to being damaged or torn off in urban environments and are more easily replaced in the field. Significantly, the T-80BMV does not appear to feature any Active Protection System (APS) measures as seen on the T-90 and T-14 series instead seemingly relying on the ERA to defeat enemy projectiles.

The T-80BMV acquisition is part of a larger delivery of AFVs. These include the T-72B3M. the T-90M and refurbished and modernized BMP-1AM which features the turret and 30mm cannon from the BTR-80A and a new day-night gunnery system. Along with the modernized legacy platforms, a number of T-15 infantry fighting vehicles developed from the Armata Universal Combat Platform are due to be delivered along with the first 12 T-14 Armata main battle tanks after the Russian Ministry of Defense agreed a contract in August 2018 for the supply of some 132 T-14, T-15 and T-16 armoured recovery vehicles.

Header image of T-80BV courtesy Vitaly V Kuzmin CC BY-SA 4.0