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​Why Does russia Want to Renew the Production of T-80 Tank

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Modified T-80 tank under the Burlak project during testing / Open source photo
Modified T-80 tank under the Burlak project during testing / Open source photo

What could be behind the enemy's plans to renew the production of this particular combat vehicle "from scratch"

In one of the propaganda shows, the management of the russian concern "Uralvagonzavod" stated that it is currently working on resuming the production of T-80 tanks "from scratch". These vehicles are planned to be produced at the facilities of the Omsktransmash plant, which in Soviet times was the main producer of the T-80 tanks, but now has essentially turned into an armored tank repair plant.

General Director of "Uralvagonzavod" Aleksandr Potapov separately emphasized that the concern received the task of resuming T-80 production from the Ministry of Defense of the russian federation.

Read more: ​russia’s Troops Are Reluctant to Get Notorious T-14 Armata Tanks Because of Their Poor Condition
Why Does russia Want to Renew the Production of T-80 Tank, Demonstration of the russia’s T-80BVM, September 2023, Defense Express
Demonstration of the russia’s T-80BVM, September 2023 / freeze frame from a propaganda video

The choice of the T-80 tank for the resumption of production "from scratch" by the russians could be due to the fact that the number of available vehicles of this type at storage bases began to fall critically, especially in relation to other types of tanks.

Here, for example, you can refer to data from French research institution Institute Action Resilience (IAR, or The Action Resilience Institute in English), which indicate that before February 2022, the russian army had only 7,000 tanks in storage, which could realistically be restored to combat-ready state, of which T-80 type tanks (identified) - a total of 624 vehicles.

Why Does russia Want to Renew the Production of T-80 Tank, Transfer of the batch of T-80BVM from Uralvagonzavod, September 2022, Defense Express
Transporting of the batch of T-80BVM from Uralvagonzavod, September 2022 / Open source illustrative photo

In turn, of these mentioned 624 T-80 tanks, only half of the vehicles were clearly identified by modifications - 151 units of T-80BV and 170 units of T-80UD, and special attention should be paid to the latter.

For the russians themselves, the T-80UD, according to some statements, was considered "problematic", since the diesel engines for these tanks were manufactured in Kharkiv (Ukraine), and getting the components for these power plants in the right amount for the russian federation seemed to be a problem. Because of this, it seems that the occupiers themselves were in no hurry to remove the T-80UD from conservation until the very end, but recently there were footages showing that the russians are already taking such tanks from the storage base for further repairs. This demonstrates how close to exhaustion the stock of T-80 tanks is in russia, and why the russians decided to renew production "from scratch" for this type of tank.

Why Does russia Want to Renew the Production of T-80 Tank, russians are transporting the T-80UD removed from conservation by rail, September 2023, Defense Express
russians are transporting the T-80UD removed from conservation by rail, September 2023 / Open source illustrative photo

In turn, the authors of the BTVT resource assume that if the russians really resume the production of the T-80, then it will rather not be an "original" Soviet vehicle, but an already improved tank according to the Burlak project, which at one time was "buried" in favor of the T-14 Armata project.

In addition to the characteristic shape of the tower, the improved T-80 according to the Burlak project is distinguished by the placement of the charging machine in the isolated compartment of the tower, and also the isolation of fuel in protected compartments, which generally increases the chances of the crew survival in such a vehicle.

How much time and resources the russians will need to resume production of the T-80 "from scratch" is currently unclear. But it is possible that the Ministry of Defense of the russian federation decided to launch this project precisely as a "substitute" for the stillborn the Armata tank, which was never able to reach the front of the russian-ukrainian war.

Why Does russia Want to Renew the Production of T-80 Tank, Modified T-80 under the Burlak project during testing, Defense Express
Modified T-80 under the Burlak project during testing / archival image from open sources

As Defense Express reported, that The russians Dreamt of Armata Tanks, But in Fact Boast of Modernized "Khrushchev coffins" and BRDM-2 Scout Cars.

Read more: ​No "Armata" On Ukrainian Frontlines, But Here You Have the "Modernized" T-62 of 2022 Edition