Class: Main Battle Tank
Vehicles Built: cca 3000
Operators: Soviet Union, Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, Cyprus, South Korea, Azerbaijan, Pakistan
The T-80U Main Battle Tank was the ultimate mass-produced variant of the T-80 series until the recent appearance of T-80BVM. It replaced the Leningrad production of the T-80B in December 1984. The problem with the T-80B model was that it was more of a reactive measure, an attempt by the Soviet tank industry to catch up with the evolving western designs. The T-80U, however, was an attempt to once again establish undisputed Soviet armor hegemony on the modern battlefield. The development of the T-80U started in the early 1980s under N.Popov with the first prototype built in 1983 using a T-80B chassis. Unlike some other more economical models, the T-80U was, relatively speaking, a "spare no expense" project, which resulted in what was perhaps the most powerful MBT in the world for its time.
Compared to the T-80B, protection was significantly improved. The armor was made sturdier by introducing ceramic inlays. The hull and the turret were protected by an advanced Kontakt-5 Explosive Reactive Armor kit. This ERA kit was used from 1985 onwards and remains – albeit in a modernized form – in service today on such vehicles as the T-72B3 or the T-90A. It's considered a heavy ERA kit, as it improves protection not only against HEAT rounds, but also against kinetic shells. Some sources claim the kit increases the original vehicle's protection by 80 to 100 percent against HEAT shells and by approximately 20 percent against kinetic shells.
Its firepower was also improved. Compared to the original T-80B, the T-80U was equipped with an improved gun, the 125mm 2A46M-1 smoothbore cannon. The vehicle was also equipped with a Refleks gun-launched guided missile system and fitted with an advanced 1A45 Irtysh FCS. The T-80U was powered by a GTD-1000TF turbine, the power of which was increased from the original 1000hp to 1100hp. However, this upgraded turbine was extremely expensive, raising again the already high cost of the vehicle to the point where the Soviet Union could hardly afford it.
The first two dozen pre-series T-80Us were built in late 1983 with full production starting in 1985. In Soviet service, the vehicle received a new 1250hp GTD-1250 engine in the late 1980s, but that was as far as the Soviets got. The T-80U was produced between December 1984 and 1997, although much of the post-Soviet production took place in Ukraine. The best estimates place the number of T-80Us built at around 3000. Exports were moderately more successful. Unlike the T-80 and T-80B MBTs, the T-80U was actually offered for export. Cyprus bought a few and about three dozen were given to the Republic of Korea to cover a debt. The biggest export deal concerned the diesel T-80UD version from Ukraine – more than 300 were sold to Pakistan between 1997 and 2002. Despite finding their way across the world, the T-80Us were never used in combat.
- Armored: This vehicle's armor can withstand a lot of punishment, allowing it to survive even serious firefights.
- Heavy Weapon: This vehicle carries one of the largest weapons around with significantly increased damage per shot.
- Gas Turbine: This vehicle is powered by a gas turbine, providing smoother acceleration compared to an ordinary diesel.
|125mm 3VBM12 APFSDS||APFSDS||Stock||565||610[note 1] mm||1700 m/s||7.65 s|
|125mm 3VBM17 APFSDS||APFSDS||57,320||590||690[note 2] mm||1750 m/s||7.65 s|
|125mm 3VOF22 HE||HE||Stock||890[note 3]||45 mm||850 m/s||7.65 s|
|125mm 3VBK16M HEAT-FS||HEAT||47,085||745||770 mm||905 m/s||7.65 s|
|3UBK14 "Refleks" ATGM-TH||ATGM||45,040||700[note 4]||900 mm||300 m/s||7.65 s|
|7.62mm AP||AP||Stock||8||15[note 5] mm||855 m/s||5.00 s|
|XP Cost||Credit Cost||Hull
|Stock||Stock||985 mm (vs AP)
1725 mm (vs HEAT)
|Composite||975 mm (vs AP)
1565 mm (vs HEAT)
|Composite||Kontakt-5 ERA (Gen 2)||25% (vs AP)|
80% (vs HEAT)
|This MBT's front is protected by composite armor. Composite armor consists of combined layers of steel and other material and offers excellent protection against HEAT shells and ATGMs. Its steel sides and rear are considerably more vulnerable. The second generation ERA kit offers excellent protection against standard HEAT rounds or warheads, and marginal protection against kinetic rounds.|
|Name||XP Cost||Credit Cost||Aim Time||Reload Time||More Info|
|125mm 2A46M-1 Smoothbore Cannon||Stock||Stock||1.70 s||7.65 s|
125mm 3VBM12 APFSDS
125mm 3VBM17 APFSDS
125mm 3VOF22 HE
125mm 3VBK16M HEAT-FS
3UBK14 "Refleks" ATGM-TH
- 610 mm at 150m;
458 mm at 500m
- 690 mm at 150m;
518 mm at 500m
- 250 for Partial Penetration;
63 for Non-Penetrating Hits
- 140 for Non-Penetrating Hits
- 18 mm at 100m;
9 mm at 1000m