KYIV ($1=36.95 Ukrainian Hryvnias) — A very rare tank appeared in Ukraine – T-84 Oplot-M, Ukrainian production. This main battle tank is a new concept of the Kharkiv Armored Plant presented in 2008. Then, within three months, the first T-84 Oplot-M was produced. The T-84 Oplot-M is a modernized and based version of the Soviet T-80 design.
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Remarkably, Ukraine has only six manufactured T-84 Oplot-M tanks. Even more remarkable, Thailand has 64 units of the T-84 Oplot-M, according to The Military Balance 2019. There is one more, and it is in the inventory of the US Army – for technological analysis and use in training. I.e. there are currently only 71 units of T-84 Oplot-M in the world, six of them are in Ukraine and one of them was recorded on video fighting in the war against Russia.
It is known that the project was started through independent self-financing. In 2011, Ukraine and Thailand signed a contract for the production of 64 units. 2013 marked the official entry into serial production of the T-84 Oplot-M. I.e. Kyiv’s costs for its design, testing, and serial production have been small.
About T-84 Oplot-M
After entering serial production, Ukraine adopted the short name of the tank to simply BM Oplot. This is the most advanced version of the T-84 tank. This is also the last known modernization of the T-84 tank.
BM Oplot is armed with a 125mm smoothbore KBA-3 cannon with 46 rounds. This gun is a Soviet design. Depending on the ammunition, the operational range is from 3,000 to 5,000 meters. 5,000-meter range is achieved by firing an anti-tank guided missile [ATGM].
The tank also has secondary armament – a 7.62-mm KT-7.62 machine gun with a rate of fire of 700-800 rounds per minute. The ammunition for it is 1250 cartridges. Later, however, the Ukrainians replaced this armament with a 12.7 mm KT-12.7 anti-aircraft machine gun, remotely controlled by the tank commander.
A 6-cylinder diesel engine powers the tank. However, two different versions of the engine are known. One provides 1,200 horsepower, the other up to 1,500 horsepower. 500 km tank can travel after filling the tank with fuel. Its maximum speed on the road is 70 km/h, while off-road it is 45 km/h.
BM Oplot or T-84 Oplot-M has an integrated Combat weapon system for firing anti-tank guided missiles. The tank has an integrated modern day and night firing system. Last but not least, BM Oplot has installed more advanced armor and new electronic countermeasure systems.
The tank in service in Thailand is the export version and is designated as the T-84 Oplot-T. “T” is most likely for the first customer – Thailand. It has some minor modifications to meet local requirements, such as different radio, air conditioner and so on.
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