T-80BVM’s gas turbine engine prevents it from ‘drowning in the mud’

The Russian T-80BVM tanks appear to have a performance advantage over the German Leopard 2 tanks, supplied to Ukraine, particularly in muddy conditions. Such are the claims made by a Russian tank division commander stationed in the Zaporizhzhia direction in Ukraine. These insights were shared with the Russian news agency, Sputnik, and subsequently featured in one of their articles. 

Russia began equipping T-80BVM tanks with a laser target designator
Photo credit: Yandex

According to the commander, the issues plaguing the German Leopard 2 tanks in Ukraine’s mucky chernozem soil are apparent, especially in drone footage. In stark contrast, the Russian T-80BVM, equipped with a gas turbine engine, effortlessly navigates the rough terrain. “Our tank is powered by a gas turbine engine, so it’s perfectly suited to muddy conditions and slush,” shared the Russian commander. 

“It’s this unique feature that enables our tank brigades to function in all types of weather conditions, support the infantry, and navigate enemy trenches and dugouts without losing speed,” he emphasized.

Die Welt Leopard 2 tanks were just useless on the battlefield
Photo credit: Reddit

GTD-1250 drives T-80BVM

The Russian T-80BVM tank is powered by a GTD-1250 gas turbine engine. This engine is a high-powered model that provides the tank with a significant amount of horsepower, which is critical for maneuvering through challenging terrains.

The GTD-1250 engine is unique in that it uses a gas turbine rather than a traditional diesel engine. This technology provides a smoother, more efficient power output. The engine’s design allows it to maintain a high power-to-weight ratio, which is particularly beneficial in a tank.

T-80BVM's gas turbine engine prevents it from 'drowning in the mud'
Photo credit: Quora

Deliver power instantly

Gas turbines, such as the GTD-1250, are known for their ability to deliver power instantly. This is crucial when navigating through muddy roads and slush, as it allows the tank to maintain its speed and momentum, preventing it from getting stuck.

Furthermore, the GTD-1250 engine’s high power output allows the T-80BVM tank to use its active suspension system effectively. This system adjusts the tank’s height and tilt, improving its ability to traverse uneven and difficult terrains, such as muddy roads and slush.

Finally, the GTD-1250 engine is more resistant to the type of wear and tear that can occur when operating in harsh conditions. This durability makes it an ideal choice for the T-80BVM tank, providing it with the reliability needed to perform in various environments.

GTD-1250’s technical characteristics

The engine operates on the principle of a combined gas-steam cycle, which significantly enhances its efficiency. The GTD-1250 can reach a thermal efficiency of up to 40%, making it one of the most efficient gas turbines in its class.

The GTD-1250 has a power output of 1250 MW, which is achieved through a two-shaft arrangement. The high-pressure compressor and turbine are mounted on one shaft, while the low-pressure compressor and turbine are on the second shaft. This design allows for a more efficient transfer of energy.

The engine features a 16-stage axial flow compressor, which ensures a high compression ratio and contributes to the overall efficiency of the engine. The compressor is followed by a combustion chamber, where fuel is burned to generate high-pressure, high-temperature gas.

Three-stage turbine system

GTD-1250 gas engine
Photo credit: Reddit

The GTD-1250 utilizes a three-stage turbine system. The high-pressure turbine drives the high-pressure compressor, while the low-pressure turbine drives the low-pressure compressor and the generator. The third stage, an exhaust gas turbine, is used to drive the steam cycle.

The engine is designed to operate on a variety of fuels, including natural gas, diesel, and kerosene. This flexibility allows it to be used in different environments and under varying operational conditions.

In terms of environmental impact, the GTD-1250 is designed to minimize emissions. It features advanced combustion technology that reduces the production of nitrogen oxides, making it a more environmentally friendly choice for power generation.

Finally, the GTD-1250 is known for its robustness and reliability. It is designed to operate continuously for long periods, with minimal maintenance requirements. This makes it a cost-effective choice for power generation in a variety of industrial applications.

New delivery

On January 4, reporters received confirmation from Sputnik sources that the first delivery of modernized T-80BVM tanks had been received by the Russian armed forces. The tank division commander in the region noted that this marks the inaugural shipment of this specific tank model to the Zaporizhzhia direction since 2022. 

Russian army received a batch of 'new serial produced' T-80BVM tanks
Video screenshot

Describing the newly minted addition, he exclaimed, “Our newest addition is a game-changer. A brand-new communication system… It’s impervious to being silenced and functions exceptionally well. The audio quality it delivers is crisp, uninterrupted, and high-grade. Plus, the tank boasts an entirely new protection system.” 

In addition to these features, the commander indicated that the tank has received upgrades in the form of additional armor modules. These enhancements enable the vehicle to deflect strikes from drones and anti-tank missiles. He went on to commend the new T-80BVM tank’s maneuverability and dependability.

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