Russia delivers rusted and unequipped T-80BV tanks for repair
Moscow continues to supply heavy ground combat equipment to its army in Ukraine. This time, photos taken a few days ago from the train station in Perm caught our attention.
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A transport train has loaded dozens of Soviet T-80BV tanks. It is clear from the photos that the tanks have been stored for a long time. Russia has many warehouses around the country that house obsolete and decommissioned weapons systems. These T-80BVs are heavily rusted.
The tanks are without much of their equipment, including active protection systems and dynamic armor. It is unclear if the devices inside the tank, such as the fire control system, are working. It is clear from the photos that even the electro-optical systems were dismantled some time ago.
The comments below the pictures are that most likely the tanks are being transported to the repair plants to be brought back to life. A possible contractor for the repairs could be the largest tank manufacturer in Russia – UralVagonZavod. Another option is the plant in Omsk. However, the tanks may be directed to two other displaced repair plants – one near Moscow, the other near Kazan.
The tanks will go to the huge tank factories to be stripped down and rebuilt from the inside out with new armor, modern electrics, and modern weapons. Russia has a lot of such equipment. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that decades ago, when the Iron Curtain fell, Russia agreed to the US proposal to disarm a large part of the military equipment. It is said that it was then that Moscow decided to “retire” at least 100,000 tanks in Siberia.
Most likely, these T-80BVs will be upgraded to the T-80BVM version. In fact, this is the last modification of the T-80, which began in 2017. The T-80BVM is equipped with Relikit dynamic armor, as well as the Irtysh fire control system. The gunner’s sight known as Sosna-U is also included in this tank modification. The same sight is used by the gunners who operate the T-90A tank guns.
The 125mm gun remains but is in a new configuration – the 2A46M-5. Why this matters. It is known that the 2A46M-5 can fire shells with depleted uranium. Additional weaponry such as the melee machine gun will also be returned to the turret. A 9K119M Refleks-M missile system will also be installed next to it.
As for the power unit, the T-80BVM gets a modernized gas turbine engine. It will be the GTD-1250, which will provide power in the range of 1,250 horsepower. The T-80BVM is adapted to use the depleted uranium 3BM59 APFSDS tank shells and the tungsten 3BM60. Also, the automatic loading system of the shells will be changed on the tanks.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that at the beginning of the year, Russia announced its intentions for a multi-thousand tank fleet. Then, in the words of the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council, Mr. Dmitry Medvedev at least 1,600 T-90M tanks should be produced this year. However, achieving a multi-thousand tank fleet probably requires Moscow to use old and retired Soviet tanks.
The T-80BMV is one of the most supplied tanks of the Russian army since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. The last known delivery was late last year, but a new batch of T-80BVMs was spotted a month ago in Donetsk, being built alongside the T-90M. The last known order of the T-80BVM was a year and a half ago, before the start of the war, when Moscow ordered 50 units of this model.
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