Russia’s Upgraded T-80BV MBT Capable of Firing Depleted Uranium Rounds
MOSCOW, the Russian Federation, (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Today (20th December), Russia’s Ministry of Defence published a bulletin ‘The Russian Army in Comparison’ that notes the modernization of the Russian main battle tank T-80BV. According to the information, the tank is now upgraded to feature the capability of firing depleted uranium shells, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
The new version, which is dubbed T-80BVM (M stands for ‘modernized’), is upgraded with “the improved weapons stabilizer and the loading mechanism for the 3BM59 Svinets-1 and 3BM60 Svinets-2 munitions.”
According to an open source, quoted by TASS, the Svinets-1 armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot tracer (APFSDS-T) features the core made of tungsten carbide and the Svinets-2 APFSDS-T has the uranium alloy core, both used on 2A46M-5 with new autoloader. The Svinets-1 armor-piercing fin-stabilized sub-caliber projectile is said to feature penetration from 700 to 740 mm of the homogeneous armor at a distance of 2 km, while the Svinets-2 can pierce from 800 to 830 mm at the same distance. Due to their higher density, the armor-piercing shells with the tungsten/depleted uranium alloy are considered to be efficient than steel.
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The information about the upgraded MTB T-80BV that now features shell with depleted uranium core was been confirmed by the military expert Viktor Murakhovsky, who is Editor-in-Chief of the Arsenal of the Fatherland journal. He said that it has “the alloy of the depleted uranium and tungsten,” and added that the open sources referred to it as “the Material B.”
Viktor Murakhovsky also stated that the use of depleted uranium ammunition did not violate any international treaty. Such shells belong to the category of special stockpiles and are stored separate from the arsenals of military units in the Russian Army. Murakhovsky pointed out that the U.S. armed forces also have tank shells that feature the depleted uranium core. For example, the ammunition load of the U.S. Abrams MTB can include M829A1 APFSDSs that feature penetration from 650 mm to 700 mm of the homogenous armor at a distance of 2 km.
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The T-80BVM is an upgraded version of Russia’s T-80BV MBT. The T-80BVM is equipped with the Sosna-U multi-channel gunner sight, the upgraded gas turbine engine and the Relikt explosive-reactive armor. It is also armed with the improved 125mm gun 2A46M-4.
According to the press office of Russia’s Ministry of Defence, the deliveries of the T-80BMV tanks, for the Russian Army, have begun this year.
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