​Ukrainian Tank Crew Shares the Experience of Driving a Seized russian Newest T-80BVM

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The T80BVM that is fighting against russians in the 93rd Mechanized Vrigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine / Screenshot credit: Nashe Misto
The T80BVM that is fighting against russians in the 93rd Mechanized Vrigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine / Screenshot credit: Nashe Misto

Ukrainian soldiers put the russian high-speed tank novelty to a good use against its creators

Ukrainian journalists of Nashe Misto talked to a crew of a T-80BVM – a russian modernization of a T-80 main battle tank that entered service with the russian army just in 2018.

The driver of the seized tank noted its mobility and combat power:

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"Very powerful vehicle. With great firepower, very good sight, engine, comfortable to operate, and fast. It is a very fast vehicle. It quickly arrives, strikes and leaves."

Serhii "Caesar", the driver of the captured T-80BVM / Screenshot credit: Nashe Misto

Indeed, the speed that the T-80BVM can reach is a strong point of this vehicle – up to 80 km/h. The tank is equipped with a more practical and reliable.gas turbine in contrast to its T-72 family counterpart, as noted by WeaponSystems, but on the other hand, it consumes more fuel.

One of the captured T-80BVM tanks / Photo credit: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

In an interview with a russian tank crew member published in June, we can learn that the excessive fuel consumption caused troubles for the russian logistics in Ukraine. Nevertheless, they are forced to use the swiftness of the tank to not get shot with a Ukrainian ATGM.

It turns out that russians are scared of the Western modern anti-tank missiles such as Javelin or NLAW capable of causing fatal damage to the vehicle despite the newest "Relikt" explosive reactive armor, which the T-80BVM modernization is equipped with.

A russian T-80BVM with Relikt reactive armor
A russian T-80BVM with Relikt reactive armor / Open source photo

That is why russians are likely trying to avoid direct contact of their tanks with Ukrainian infantry equipped with portable launchers, instead engaging in tank duels against inferior vehicles.

However, in the hands of Ukrainian forces, the T-80BVM doesn’t have such a problem because russian army doesn't have anti-tank armament of the same level. In May, there was a report about a T-80BVM "Bunny" crew that already had five russian tanks and 24 other vehicles destroyed at that point. And in June, it managed to defeat a T-72B3 tank which is essentially a similar to the T-80BVM upgrade for the T-72 tank.

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