The main battle tank T-80UD


The T-80UD main battle tank was designed and developed by the Morozov Machine Design Bureau of Kharkiv at the start of the 1980s and entered series production at the Malyshev tank plant in Kharkiv in 1985.

The T-80UD is outfitted with an advanced fire control system, and either the gunner or commander can lay and fire the main armament at stationary and moving targets while the tank is stationary or moving with a high first round hit probability. The T-80UD MBT armament includes a 125-mm gun, 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun and 12.7-mm anti-aircraft machine gun. The tank crew is also equipped with submachine guns, hand grenades and a signal pistol. The main armament comprises a 125-mm KBA3 smoothbore gun fed by a carousel-type automatic loader. The specific feature of the tank is that it is fitted with a guided missile system to enable the main gun to fire a laser guided missile with a maximum range of 5,000 m. The fire control system has a so-called fire gating capability, i.e., after the gun firing button has been pushed, the gun will only fire when the misalignment between the line of sight and the gun bore axis is within pre-determined limits. The fire gate size is adjusted when calibrating the fire control system after installing it in the tank.

To enable a broad sector of terrain to be observed, the crew members are provided with unity magnification periscope vision blocks. The armor protection of the T-80UD, which includes advanced multi-layer armor and explosive reactive armor package for the turret and chassis, provides to the T-80UD a high level of battlefield survivability. The T-80UD can disguise itself on the battlefield by laying a smoke/aerosol screen. Mounted on either side of the turret is a bank of four electrically operated smoke grenade launchers. The T-80UD can lay its own smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel in the engine exhaust (i.e. by using so-called engine smoke emitter). To reduce the thermal signature of the tank on the battlefield, the T-80UD power pack compartment top deck is fitted with special heat insulation. The T-80UD is powered by a model 6TD-1 6-cylinder diesel engine developing 1,000 hp. The air inlet of the engine allows air to be ducted from the least dusty quarter and enables water obstacles to be crossed to a water depth of 1.8 m without preparation. There are two parts to the air filtration system, the centrifugal pre-cleaners and the air cleaner casing. This enables the tank to be operated in hot and dusty conditions for up to 1,000 km without a change of filters and to carry out combat under radioactive conditions. The suspension is of the torsion bar type with each side having six dual rubber-tired road wheels with the idler at the front, drive sprocket at the rear and track support rollers. The upper part of the suspension is covered by a skirt, the forward part of which is armored (fitted with explosive reactive armor). A rubber mat hangs at the front of the vehicle and this helps to keep down dust. The T-80UD MBT standard equipment also includes an NBC system, provision for deep fording, fire detection/suppression system, radiation shielding and a dozer blade mounted under the front of the hull. The NBC protection system protects the crew and inner equipment of the tank against the effects of nuclear explosions, radioactive dust, toxic agents and bacteriological materials. The radiation shielding is designed in the form of liner fi xed on both internal and external surfaces of the tank. The deep fording equipment enables the tank to cross water obstacles to a water depth of 5 m (1.8 m deep water obstacles can be crossed without preparation).

The T-80UD MBT was demonstrated and subjected to trials in Pakistan in 1993 and 1995 to meet this country's requirement for a new MBT. In 1996, Pakistan placed an order with the Ukraine for the supply of 320 T-80UD MBTs with the first batch of 15 vehicles being delivered in March 1997 and with the second batch of 35 following in mid-1997. The final deliveries took place in late 1999. The vehicles of the final batches incorporated many features of the T-84, including an all-welded turret and other improvements. To date, the T-80UD MBT is in service with Ukraine, Russia and Pakistan.