Military Wiki
Victory Day Parade 2005-18.jpg
T-80BV at the Victory Day Parade 2005
Type Main battle tank
Place of origin  Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1976 – present
Used by Belarus, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, Ukraine
Wars First Chechen War, Second Chechen War, 2008 South Ossetia War[1]
Production history
Designer Nikolay Popov, LKZ (T-80),[2] KMDB (T-80UD)
Designed 1967 – 1975
Manufacturer LKZ and Omsk Transmash, Russia
Malyshev Factory, Ukraine[3]
Unit cost USD $2.2 million T80U export, 1994.[5]
Produced 1976 – 1992[4]
Number built 5,404 (as of 2005)[3]
Variants engineering & recovery, mobile bridge, mine-plough with KMT-6 plough-type system and KMT-7 roller-type system.
Specifications (T-80B / T-80U)
Weight 42.5 tonnes T-80B, 46 tonnes T-80U[6]
Length 9.9 m (32 ft 6 in) T-80B, 9.654 m (31 ft 8.1 in) T-80U (gun forward)
7.4 m (24 ft 3 in) T-80B, 7 m (23 ft 0 in) T80U, (hull)[6]
Width 3.4 m (11 ft 2 in) T-80B
3.603 m (11 ft 9.9 in) T-80U[6]
Height 2.202 m (7 ft 2.7 in) T-80B, T-80U[6]
Crew 3[6]

Armour T-80B 550mm turret,500mm hull, T-80U turret 780mm vs APFSDS 1,320mm VS HEAT [7]
125 mm 2A46-2 smoothbore gun,[10] 36 rounds T-80B, 2A46M-1 with 45 rounds T-80U
9M112 Kobra ATGM, 4 missiles T-80B, 9M119 Refleks ATGM, 6 missiles T-80U[6]
7.62 mm PKT coax MG, 12.7 mm NSVT or PKT antiaircraft MG
Engine SG-1000 gas turbine T-80B, GTD-1250 turbine T-80U, or one of 3 diesel T-80UD[8][9]
1,000 hp T-80B, 1,250 hp T-80U[6]
Power/weight 23.5 hp/tonne T-80B
27.2 hp/tonne T-80U
Transmission manual, 5 forward gears, 1 reverse T-80B, 4 forward, 1 reverse T-80U[6]
Suspension torsion bar[6]
Ground clearance 0.38 m (1.2 ft) T-80B, 0.446 m (1.46 ft) T-80U[6]
Fuel capacity 1,100 litres (240 imp gal) (internal)
740 litres (160 imp gal) (external)
335 km (208 mi) (road, without external tanks)
440 km (270 mi) (road, with external tanks)[6]
Speed 70 km/h (43 mph) (road)
48 km/h (30 mph) (cross country)[8]

The T-80 is a third-generation main battle tank (MBT) designed and manufactured in the Soviet Union. A development of the T-64, it entered service in 1976 and was the first production tank to be equipped with a gas turbine engine for main propulsion.[nb 1] The T-80U was last produced in a factory in Omsk, Russia, while the T-80UD and further-developed T-84 continue to be produced in Ukraine. The T-80 and its variants are in service in Belarus, Cyprus, Kazakhstan,[11] Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, and Ukraine. The chief designer of the T-80 was the Russian engineer Nikolay Popov.[12]

Development history

The project to build the first Soviet turbine powered tank began in 1949. Its designer was A. Ch. Starostienko, who worked at the Leningrad Kirov Plant (LKZ). The tank was never built because available turbine engines were of very poor quality. In 1955 two prototype 1,000 hp (746 kW) turbine engine were built at the same plant under the guidance of G. A. Ogloblin. Two years later a team led by the famous heavy tank designer Ż. J. Kotin constructed two prototypes of the Ob'yekt 278 tank. Both were hybrids of the IS-7 and the T-10 heavy tanks, powered by the GTD-1 turbine engine, weighing 53.5 tonnes and armed with the M65 130 mm tank gun. The turbine engine allowed the tank to reach a maximum speed of 57.3 km/h (35.6 mph) but with only 1950 liters of fuel on board, range was a mere 300 km (190 mi). The two tanks were considered experimental vehicles and work on them eventually ceased. In 1963, the Morozov Design Bureau designed the T-64 and T-64T tanks. They used a GTD-3TL turbine engine which generated 700 hp (522 kW). The tank was tested until 1965. At the same time in Uralvagonzavod a design team under the guidance of L. N. Karcew created the Ob'yekt 167T tank. It used the GTD-3T turbine engine which supplied 801 hp (597 kW).[13]

In 1966 the experimental Ob'yekt 288 rocket tank, powered by two aerial GTD-350 turbine engines with a combined power of 691 hp (515 kW), was first built. Trials indicated that twin propulsion was no better than the turbine engine which had been in development since 1968 at KB-3 of the Kirov Plant (LKZ) and at WNII Trans Masz. The tank from LKZ equipped with this turbine engine was designed by Nikolay Popov. It was constructed in 1969 and designated Ob'yekt 219 SP1. It was renamed the T-64T, and was powered by a GTD-1000T multi-fuel gas turbine engine producing up to 1,000 hp (746 kW). During the trials it became clear that the increased weight and dynamic characteristics required a complete redesign of the vehicle's caterpillar track system. The second prototype, designated Ob'yekt 219 SP2, received bigger drive sprockets and return rollers. The number of wheels was increased from four to five. The construction of the turret was altered to use the same compartment, 125 mm 2A46 tank gun, auto loader and placement of ammunition as the T-64A. Some additional equipment was scavenged from the T-64A. The LKZ plant built a series of prototypes based on Ob'yekt 219 SP2. After seven years of upgrades, the tank became the T-80.[14]


The T-80 is similar in layout to the T-64; the driver's compartment is on the centre line at the front, the two man turret is in the centre with gunner on the left and commander on the right, and the engine is rear mounted.[15] Overall, its shape is also very similar to the T-64. The original T-80 design uses a 1,000 horsepower gas turbine instead of a 750 horsepower diesel engine, although some later variants of the T-80 revert to diesel engine usage. The gearbox is different, with five forward and one reverse gear, instead of seven forward and one reverse. Suspension reverts from pneumatic to torsion bar, with six forged steel-aluminium rubber-tyred road wheels on each side, with the tracks driven by rear sprockets.[15] The glacis is of laminate armour and the turret is armoured steel. The turret houses the same 125 mm 2A46 smoothbore gun as the T-72, which can fire anti-tank guided missiles as well as regular ordnance.[15] The tracks are slightly wider and longer than on the T-64 giving lower ground pressure.[15]

The main gun is fed by the Korzina automatic loader. This holds up to 28 rounds of two-part ammunition in a carousel located under the turret floor.[16] Additional ammunition is stored within the turret. The ammunition comprises the projectile (APFSDS, HEAT or HE-Frag) plus the propellant charge, or the two part missile.[16] The autoloader is an effective, reliable, combat tested system which has been in use since the mid-1960s. The propellant charge is held inside a semi-combustible cartridge case made of a highly flammable material - this is consumed in the breech during firing, except for a small metal baseplate.[16]

A disadvantage highlighted during combat in Chechnya was the vulnerability of the T-80BV to catastrophic explosion.[16] The reason given by US and Russian experts is the vulnerability of stored semi-combustible propellant charges and missiles when contacted by the molten metal jet from the penetration of a HEAT warhead, causing the entire ammunition load to explode.[16] This vulnerability may be addressed in later models. When Western tank designs changed from non-combustible propellant cartridges to semi-combustible, they tended to separate ammunition stowage from the crew compartment with armoured blast doors, and provided 'blow-out' panels to redirect the force and fire of exploding ammunition away from the crew compartment.[16]

The autoloader takes between 7.1 and 19.5 seconds to load the main weapon, depending on the initial position of autoloader carousel.

The T-80's armor is made of composite armor on the turret and hull, while rubber flaps and sideskirts protect the sides and lower hull. The later T-80 models use explosive reactive armor and stronger armor, like the T-80U and T-80UM1. Other protection systems include the Shtora-1 and Arena APS, as well as the discontinued Drozd APS (though a limited number of T-80Us have them installed).

The latest T-80 variant in service, the T-84 Oplot, has an entirely new turret with armoured ammunition compartment to help prevent accidental detonation.

Production history

This T-80BV (a monument in St Petersburg) has reactive armour adapted to its turret and hull. The later T-80U has a large applique of explosive reactive armour installed — providing higher crew and tank survivability than prior models.

Initially, the T-80 was confused with the Soviet T-72 by some Western analysts. They are the products of different design bureaus; the T-80 is from the SKB-2 design bureau of the Kirov Factory (LKZ) in Leningrad while the T-72 is from the Uralvagonzavod factory in Nizhny Tagil, Russia. They are similar in superficial appearance, but the T-80 is based on the earlier T-64, while incorporating features from the T-72, which was a complementary design.[17] The T-64 in turn was an earlier high-technology main battle tank, designed by the Morozov Design Bureau (KMDB) to replace the obsolescent IS-3 and T-10 heavy tanks, used before in the Red Army's independent tank units.

From a long distance T-64, T-72 and T-80 look alike even though the T-80 is 90 cm longer than the T-64. Despite the similarities, the T-80 and T-72 are mechanically very different. The T-72 is mechanically simpler, easier to manufacture, and easier to service in the field. As such, the T-72 was intended to be a tank mass-produced to equip the bulk of the Soviet Motor Rifle units, and for sale to export partners and eastern-bloc satellite states.

The T-80 design improved in several points upon the earlier T-64 design, introducing a gas turbine engine in the original model (which was denied for many years by western analysts[11]), and incorporating suspension components of the T-72. This gave the tank a high power-to-weight ratio and made it easily the most mobile tank in service, albeit with acute range problems, as the turbine consumed fuel rapidly, even at engine idle. (Morozov's subsequent parallel development of the T-80UD replaced the gas turbine with a commercial turbo-diesel, to decrease fuel consumption and maintenance.) In comparison to its anticipated opponent, the M1 has a larger 1,500 hp (1,120 kW) gas turbine, but weighs 61 tons compared to the T-80s 42.6 tons, so it has a worse hp/t ratio of 24.5 compared to 27.1 and is less maneuverable than the T-80 (with GT). The T-80 can fire the same 9K112 Kobra (AT-8 Songster) anti-tank guided missile through the main gun as the T-64.

T-80U on exhibition at the Kubinka Tank Museum

The T-80U main battle tank (1985, "U" for uluchsheniye, meaning "improvement") was designed by SKB-2 in Leningrad (hull) and the Morozov Bureau (turret and armament). It is a further development of T-80A and is powered by the 1,250 hp (919 kW) GTD-1250 gas turbine. It is a step ahead of the GTD-1000T and GTD-1000TF engines that were installed on the previous tanks of the T-80 line. This gas turbine can use jet fuels as well as diesel and low-octane gasoline, has good dynamic stability, service life, and reliability. The GTD-1250 has a built-in automatic system of dust deposits removal. It retains the T-80s high fuel consumption, which the Russian army found unacceptable during the Chechen conflicts. It is equipped with the 1A46 fire control system and a new turret. The T-80U is protected by a second generation of explosive reactive armour called Kontakt-5, which can severely dissipate the penetrative capabilities of an APFSDS round, such as the M829A1 "Silver Bullet".[18] The Kontakt-5 is integrated into the design of the turret, hull, and Brod-M deep wading equipment. Like all of the previous T-80 models, the T-80U has full length rubber side skirts protecting the sides but those above the first three road wheels are armored and are provided with lifting handles. It can fire the 9M119 Refleks (AT-11 Sniper) guided missile and the Long-Rod penetrator (HVAPFSDS) 3BM46. The remotely controlled commander's machine gun is replaced by a more flexible pintle-mounted one. A special camouflage paint distorts the tank's appearance in the visible and IR wavebands. The T-80U's 1A46 fire control system includes a laser range finder, a ballistics computer, and a more advanced 1G46 gunner's main sights, as well as thermal imaging sights, which greatly increases the T-80Us firepower over previous models. These new systems, together with the 125mm D-81TM "Rapira-3" smooth bore gun, ensures that the T-80U can accurately hit and destroy targets at a range of up to 5 kilometers (ATGMs and HV/APFSDS).

The T-80U(M) of the 1990s introduced the TO1-PO2 Agava gunner's thermal imaging sight and 9M119M Refleks-M guided missile, and later an improved 2A46M-4 version of the 125 mm gun and 1G46M gunner's sight was used.

Perhaps because of the turbine-powered tank's high fuel consumption, and the poor combat performance of older T-80BV tanks in the early days of the war in Chechnya,[19] the Russian Army decided to standardize on the Uralvagonzavod factory's T-90 tank (derived from the T-72BM, but incorporating some T-80 technology), and have had some success selling it to the Indian Army. All T-72s, T-80s, and even the T-90 will be replaced starting 2025 by a new Russian tank which several designs are under development[citation needed]. The Omsk Tank Plant in Siberia is facing a shortage of domestic orders, unlike the Ukrainians which embraced the T-80 design and has had success updating and selling the tank. The Russians have only sold a small number of T-80 tanks to South Korea and China, and have demonstrated versions intended for export, including the T-80UM1 with active protection systems, and the advanced T-80UM2 Black Eagle concept tank. Although the T-80 production has stopped for the Russian Army, the Omsk plant still makes the tank for export. As of 2014 the Russian military has removed the T-80 fleet from service but it still has 4,500 in storage.[20]

Ukrainian T-80UD

In parallel with the T-80U and Russia in general, the Morozov Bureau in Ukraine developed a diesel-powered version, the T-80UD. It is powered by the 1,000-hp 6TD-1 6-cylinder multi-fuel two-stroke turbo-piston diesel engine, ensuring high fuel efficiency and a long cruising range. The engine support systems make it possible to operate the tank at ambient fuel temperatures of up to 55 °C and to ford to a water depth of 1.8 m. The T-80UD shares most of the T-80U's improvements, but can be distinguished from it by a different engine deck and distinctive smoke-mortar array and turret stowage boxes. It retains the remotely-controlled commander's machine gun. About 500 T-80UD tanks were built in the Malyshev plant between 1987–91. About 300 were still at the Ukrainian factory when the Soviet Union broke up, so the T-80UD tank and its design was far more welcomed in Ukrainian Military service. And is more common in Ukrainian service than Russian. The T-84 and Ukraine's older T-80s will be Ukraine's main battle tank well into the 21st century.[citation needed]

A further improvement of the T-80UD is the Ukrainian T-84 main battle tank, which includes the new welded turret, a 1,200-hp (895 kW) 6TD-2 engine, Kontakt-5 reactive armour, the Shtora active protection system, a thermal imaging sight, a muzzle referencing system, and an auxiliary power unit. The T-84U (1999) shows many refinements, including deeper sideskirts, modified reactive armour, a small reference radar antenna near the gunner's hatch (used to track rounds and compensate for barrel wear), and a large armoured box for the auxiliary power unit at the rear of the right fender. Unlike Russia, Ukraine has had much better success selling T-80s and T-84s to foreign customers. Cyprus has bought a number for its small army. Pakistan countering India's adoption of the Russian T-90 has bought Ukrainian T-80UDs for its main armored corps in the Pakistani army. The T-84 Oplot (ten delivered in 2001) introduced turret-bustle ammunition storage, and to offer more sales to international market, the T-84-120 Yatagan has been offered for export, featuring a very large turret bustle and NATO-compatible 120 mm gun. As of 2010 Bangladesh has ordered a major purchase of T-84 Yatagans. In 2011 Azerbaijan announced its intention to buy Ukrainian T-84 Oplots to be Azerbaijan's main battle tank in its Army (It later bought 94 T-90's).

T-80 models


This section lists the main models of the T-80, built in the Soviet Union, Russia and Ukraine, with the dates they entered service.

Command tanks with additional radio equipment have K added to their designation for komandirskiy ("command"), for example, T-80BK is the command version of the T-80B. Versions with reactive armour have V added, for vzryvnoy ("explosive"), for example T-80BV. Less-expensive versions without missile capability have a figure 1 added, as T-80B1.

  • T-80 (1976): Initial model, with 1,000-hp gas turbine engine, laser rangefinder, and no missile capability. This model does not have fittings for explosive reactive armor.
  • T-80B (1978): This model had a new turret, fire-control, and autoloader allowing the firing of 9M112-1 Kobra antitank guided missile, and improved composite armour. An improved 1,100-hp engine was added in 1980, a new gun in 1982, and fittings for reactive armour in 1985. Reactive armor adds protection for 400mm equivalent armor to defend against HEAT warheads.
  • T-80BV (1985): T-80B with explosive reactive armour.
  • T-80A (1982): A move to standardization led to a single new larger and better-armoured turret being adopted for both this tank and the T-64BM, with improved fire-control.
  • T-80U (1985): Further development with K5 explosive reactive armour, improved gunsight, and 9K119 Refleks missile system. In 1990 a new 1,250-hp engine was installed.
  • T-80UD Bereza (1987): Ukrainian diesel version with 1,000-hp 6TD engine and remote-controlled antiaircraft machine gun.
  • T-84 (1999): Further Ukrainian development of T-80UD with 1,200-hp diesel and new welded turret.
  • Black Eagle tank (prototype: cancelled): Several Russian prototypes shown at trade shows, with a longer chassis and extra pair of road wheels, and very large turret with separate ammunition compartment.

Service history

Soviet T-80 MBT during maneuvers, 25 March 1986

Soviet Union

Two T-80UD MBTs on the Red Square in Moscow during the failed Coup d'état attempt, August 1991

In 1985 there were 1,900 T-80 MBTs overall.[21] According to data publicized in Russia, 2,256 T-80 MBTs were stationed in East Germany between 1986 and 1987. NATO realized that new Soviet tanks could reach the Atlantic within two weeks and because of that started to develop counter methods that could stop them. This led to a sudden increase in development of anti-tank weapons including attack helicopters. In 1991 when the Soviet Union was breaking up the Soviet Army operated 4,839 T-80 MBTs in several different models.[22]

T-80 MBTs were never used in the way in which they were intended (large scale conventional war in Europe). They were deployed during the political and economical changes in Russia in the 1990s; In August 1991 communists and allied military commanders tried to overthrow Mikhail Gorbachev and regain control over the unstable Soviet Union. T-80UD tanks of the Russian 4th Guards Kantemirovskaya Tank Division drove onto the streets of Moscow but the Soviet coup attempt failed.[23][24]


While a number of T-80 MBTs were inherited by Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, Russia had possession of the majority of the tanks.

In 1995 the number of T-80 tanks increased to around 5,000 but was reduced in 1998 to 3,500.

The Russian Army had 3,044 T-80s and variants in active service and 1,456 in reserve as of 2008.[20][21][22] There are at least 460 T-80UD in service with 2nd Guards Tamanskaya Motor Rifle Division and 4th Guards Kantemirowsk Motor Rifle Division.[25] A T-80BV is on display in Kubinka Tank Museum and a T-80U is on display at an open air museum in Saratov. The T-80Us have recently been seen at arms expos in Russia such as VTTV.

During the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis Boris Yeltsin ordered the use of tanks against the Supreme Soviet and the Congress of People's Deputies which opposed him. On 4 October 1993 six T-80UD MBTs from 12th Guards Tank Regiment, 4th Guards Kantemirovskaya Tank Division took positions on a bridge opposite the Russian parliament building, and fired on it.

In July 1998, a T-80 commanded by Major Igor Belyaev was driven into a square in front of the administration building of Novosmolensk and its gun aimed at the building in protest of several months of unpaid wages.[11]

First Chechen War

T-80B and T-80BV MBTs were never used in Afghanistan in the 1980s, but they were first used during the First Chechen War. This first real combat experience for T-80 MBTs was unsuccessful, as the tanks were used for capturing cities, a task for which they were not very well suited. The biggest tank losses were suffered during the ill-fated assault on the city of Grozny. The forces selected to capture Grozny were not prepared for such an operation, while the city was defended by, among others, veterans of the Soviet War in Afghanistan. The T-80 tanks used in this operation either did not have reactive armour (T-80B) or they were not fitted before the start of the operation (T-80BV), and the T-80 crews lacked sufficient training before the war.

The inexperienced crews had no knowledge of the layout of the city, while the tanks were attacked by RPG teams hidden in cellars and on top of high buildings. The anti-tank fire was directed at the least armoured points of the vehicles. Each destroyed tank received from three to six hits, and each tank was fired at by six or seven rocket-propelled grenades. A number of vehicles exploded when the autoloader, with vertically placed rounds, was hit: in theory it should have been protected by the road wheel, but, when the tanks got hit on their side armour, the ready-to-use ammunition exploded. Out of all armored vehicles that entered Grozny, 225 were destroyed in the first month alone, representing 10.23% of all the tanks committed to the campaign.[26] The T-80 performed so poorly that General-Lieutenant A. Galkin, the head of the Armor Directorate, convinced the Minister of Defence after the conflict to never again procure tanks with gas-turbine engines.[27] After that, T-80 MBTs were never again used to capture cities, and, instead, they supported infantry squads from a safe distance. Defenders of the T-80 point out that the T-72 performed just as badly in urban fighting in Grozny as the T-80 and that there were two mitigating factors: after the breakup of the Soviet Union, poor funding meant no training for new Russian tank crews, and the tank force entering the city had no infantry support, which is considered to be suicidal by many major military strategists of armored warfare.[25]

Exported T-80s

While other kinds of Soviet equipment, like the T-72, were exported to many countries around the world, T-80, like T-64 before it, had a status of secret weapon which meant that it was not planned to be exported early on.[28] Despite that, Poland was[when?] negotiating with the Soviet Union to buy either T-72S or T-80 MBTs. There were plans to start serial production of T-80 MBTs in Poland but it turned out that Polish industry wasn't yet ready to handle T-80 production. After the political changes of 1989 in Poland and the dissolution of the Soviet bloc, Polish-Soviet talks on purchase of modern tanks came to a halt. This led to Poland developing the PT-91 MBT.

United Kingdom

In 1992, the United Kingdom bought a number of T-80U MBTs for defence research and development. They were not bought officially but through a specially created trading company which was supposed to deliver them to Morocco. The price of five million USD offered for each tank ensured a lack of suspicion on the part of the Russians. Britain evaluated the tanks on their proving grounds and transferred one to the US where the Americans evaluated it on the Aberdeen Proving Ground. While evaluating the vehicle, the US and UK are alleged to have noted any weak spots and flaws of the T-80U. In January 1994, British Minister of State for Defence Procurement Jonathan Aitken (answering a Question to the Secretary of State for Defence) confirmed in parliamentary debates that a Russian T-80U tank was imported for "defence research and development purposes".[28][29]

People's Republic of China

Some sources considers in late 1993 Russia signed a contract with the People's Republic of China for the sale of 200 T-80U MBTs for evaluation. Only 50 were delivered.[30][31][32] But there is no corresponding materials from China.


Ukrainian exports of the T-80UD have been moderately successful. In 1993 and 1995 Ukraine demonstrated the tank to Pakistan, which was looking for a new main battle tank. The tank was tested in Pakistan and in August 1996 Pakistan decided to buy 320 T-80UD tanks from Ukraine for $650 million in two variants: a standard Ob'yekt 478B and export Ob'yekt 478BE.[30][33][34][35] The tanks were all supposed to be delivered in 1997. After the first batch of 15 vehicles were shipped in February 1997, Russia protested that they held the rights to the tank and that Ukraine couldn't export it.[30][33] Nearly 70% of T-80UD components were produced outside of Ukraine (mainly in Russia). Under the guise of keeping good relations with India, one of its most important military customers, Russia withheld 2A46-2 125 mm smoothbore guns, cast turrets and other technology, which forced Ukraine to make its tank industry independent.[35] It developed domestic components, including a welded turret which was in use on the new T-84. Ukraine was able to ship 20 more T-80UD tanks to Pakistan between February and May 1997.[30][33] These 35 tanks were from Ukrainian Army stocks of 52 T-80UDs; they were built in the Malyshev plant several years before but were not delivered to their original destination. Their capabilities were below the standard agreed by both Ukraine and Pakistan.[33] The contract was completed by shipping another 285 Ukrainian T-80UD MBTs between 1997 and early 2002. These had the welded turret and other manufacturing features of the T-84.[30][33]


Cyprus is the first foreign country to officially obtain T-80 tanks. Russia sold 27 T-80U and 14 T-80UK for $174 million to Cyprus in 1996. The tanks arrived in two batches. The first shipment consisted of 27 T-80U MBTs arriving in 1996, while the second batch of 14 T-80UK MBTs arrived in 1997. This significantly reinforced the army of this country; their best tank up until that point was the AMX-30B2. New tanks gave the Cypriot National Guard the edge in a possible confrontation with the Turkish Army in Northern Cyprus.[30][36][37] In October 2009 Cyprus ordered an additional batch of 41 used T-80Us and T-80UKs from Russia for €115 million. Deliveries are expected to be completed in the first half of 2011.[38]

South Korea

South Korea was given 33 T-80U and 2 T-80UK tanks to pay Russian debts incurred during the days of the Soviet Union. The tanks came in three batches; the first was of six T-80Us in 1996, followed by 27 T-80Us in 1997, and finally two T-80UKs in 2005. Originally, eighty T-80Us were planned.[30][36]

United States

The US Government obtained one T-80U from the United Kingdom. It was evaluated on the Aberdeen Proving Ground.[28] In 2003, the Ukraine transferred four T-80UD MBTs to the USA.[39]

Failed export attempts

Apart from Cyprus and the People's Republic of China,[30][40] Russia has tried to export T-80 MBTs to Turkey and Greece, who were looking for new tanks. These two attempts have failed.[30]

List of operators

T-80 operators in blue.

The Soviet Union never exported the T-80 tank only perhaps to Syria(320 tanks) according to Military Today(source 40).

  •  Belarus: There were 95 in service in 2000 and 92 in 2003 and 2005.[41] Currently, 90 are in service.[30]
  •  Cyprus: 27 T-80Us and 14 T-80UKs were ordered in 1996 from Russia;. In 2010, a further 25 T-80Us and 16 T-80UKs were delivered from Russian surplus.[30][31][36][37]
  •  Egypt: 14 T-80UKs and 20 T-80Us purchased in 1997.[42]
  •  Kazakhstan:[30]
  •  South Korea: 33 T-80Us were ordered in 1995 from Russia and delivered between 1996 and 1997. Two T-80UKs were acquired from Russia in 2005.[30][37][43]
  •  Pakistan: 320 T-80UDs (Ob'yekt 478B and Ob'yekt 478BE) were ordered in 1996 from Ukraine and delivered between 1997 and 2002.[30][33][34][35][37]
  •  People's Republic of China: Ordered 200 T-80Us for evaluation in late 1993. 50 delivered.[30][31][32][40] Tanks were not assigned to combat units. Research is used for the Type 96 tank.
  •  Ukraine: 345 were in service in 1995, 273 in 2000, and 271 in 2005.[44]
  •  Yemen: Bought 31 from Russia in 2000.[45]

Former operators

  •  Russia: 3,144 in active service and around 1,856 in storage in 1995.[21][22] 3,500 in active service in 1998.[22] 3,058 in active service and 1,442 in stock in 2000.[21] 4,500 in both active service and storage in 2005.[21] 3,044 in active service and 1,456 in storage in 2008.[20][22] In 2012 there were around 1,400 in active service and less than 3,100 in storage.[20] In December 2013, the Russian Ground Forces withdrew the entire T-80 fleet from service due to maintenance expenses, with all 4,500 now in storage.[20][40]
  •  Soviet Union: 1,900 in service in 1985, 4,000 in 1990,[21] and 4,839 during the breakup of the USSR.[22] All were passed on to successor states.

See also

Tanks of comparable role, performance and era


  1. the Swedish Stridsvagn 103 of 1971 used a gas turbine alongside a conventional engine
  1. David Axe, "By Land, Air, Sea & PC, Georgia Tried to Match Russian Arsenal", in Popular Mechanics, August 13, 2008.
  2. Foss 2005, p.89.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Foss 2005, p. 94.
  5. Dejong 1995
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 Foss 2005, p. 93.
  7. T-80 Standard Tank, p14-24.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Baryatinsky, p 95.
  9. "T-80U Main Battle Tank" Army Technology
  10. Baryatinsky, p 23.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Kolekcja Czołgi Świata, Issue 8[page needed]
  12. "Умер создатель "летающего танка"". Lenta. 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  13. Kolekcja Czołgi Świata, Issue 8, pp 1,2
  14. Kolekcja Czołgi Świata, Issue 8, p 2
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Foss 2005, pp. 89-90.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 Warford 1995, pp 18-21
  17. Sewell 1998, pp 28,29.
  18. "Modern Explosive Reactive Armours". Retrieved 2013-09-22. 
  19. Zaloga 2000, p 3.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 Russian Army Equipment
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 Kolekcja Czołgi Świata, Issue 8, p 10
  23. Kolekcja Czołgi Świata, Issue 8, p 11
  24. Zaloga 1992 (no page numbers). The official designation of the newly-revealed T-80U/T-80UD was unclear at the time of publication, and Zaloga labels the photographs "T-80U", but the description and photographs are clearly of the diesel-powered T-80UD.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Kolekcja Czołgi Świata, Issue 8, pp 11,12
  26. "Foreign Military Studies Office Publications - Russian-Manufactured Armored Vehicle Vulnerability in Urban Combat: The Chechnya Experience". Retrieved 2013-09-22. 
  27. Mikhail Zakharchuk, 'Uroki Chechenskogo krizisa' (Lessons of the Chechen crisis), Armeyskiy sbornik, April 1995, 46.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Kolekcja Czołgi Świata, Issue 8, p 12
  29. Hansard Debates for 3 Feb 1994 UK House of Commons
  30. 30.00 30.01 30.02 30.03 30.04 30.05 30.06 30.07 30.08 30.09 30.10 30.11 30.12 30.13 30.14 Kolekcja Czołgi Świata, Issue 8, p 13
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 "JED The Military Equipment Directory". Archived from the original on December 14, 2007. 
  32. 32.0 32.1 Global Security T-80
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 33.5 "T-80UD" Global Security
  34. 34.0 34.1 T-80UD deagel
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 [Nowa Technika Wojskowa issue 07/09]
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 T-80U deagel
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 SIPRI Arms Transfers Database
  38. [1][dead link]
  39. United Nations Register of Conventional Arms
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 Military Today
  41. Global Belarus
  42. "Procurement: July 15, 2002". Retrieved 2013-09-22. 
  43. ROK Army Equipment- South Korea
  44. Global Ukraine
  45. Russian arms sales to Yemen grow


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