Russia to Re-start Production of T-80 Tanks Following its ‘Effectiveness’ in Ukraine

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  • 01:10 PM, September 10, 2023
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Russia to Re-start Production of T-80 Tanks Following its ‘Effectiveness’ in Ukraine
T-80BVM tank. @ Russian MoD

Russia is preparing to resume production of T-80 tank following its ‘effectiveness’ during the current war in Ukraine.

The T-80BVM tank is equipped with an auto-loader capable of firing depleted uranium shells. This capability assumes significance in the light of the United States’ decision to deliver depleted uranium shells to Ukraine which can penetrate tank armor and set it on fire due to the intense heat they generate.

This is the task (to manufacture T-80 tanks), the military has set it for us. And we are now actively exploring these issues with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, because this requires new production capacities,” Alexander Potapov, General Director of Uralvagonzavod Concern JSC (Russia’s sole tank manufacturer), stated on the  Zvezda TV channel which is owned by the Russian MoD.

The modernized T-80, called the T-80BVM has been further improved based on combat experience in Ukraine.

It now sports a new roof shade to ward off top-attack munitions, new armor protection, new cumulative gratings besides an anti-drone system are among the noticeable changes in the the new T-80BVM. It is considered as one of the fastest tanks in the world.

The Russian armed forces have received some 500 of the older generation T-80 tanks modernized to T-80BVM standard so far.

Russia to Re-start Production of T-80 Tanks Following its ‘Effectiveness’ in Ukraine
3BM60 Svinets-2) munition. Image via Twitter

 T80-BVM Tank upgraded to fire depleted uranium rounds

The T-80 BVM tank was upgraded in 2018 to fire depleted uranium shells, a December 2018 TASS report said quoting a Russian MoD bulletin.

The T-80BVM features "an improved weapons stabilizer and the loading mechanism for the 3BM59 (also called Svinets-1) and 3BM60 (also called Svinets-2) munitions," TASS said quoting from the bulletin.

The Svinets-1 armor-piercing  projectile has the core made of tungsten carbide while the Svinets-2 features a uranium alloy core. The Svinets-1 is capable of piercing 700-740 mm of tank armor at a distance of 2 km while the Svinets-2 can pierce 800-830 mm at the same distance.

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