TechUkrainian T-64 tanks challenge Russian frontlines in Avdiivka, showing revived military prowess

Ukrainian T‑64 tanks challenge Russian frontlines in Avdiivka, showing revived military prowess

Ukrainian tank T-64 near Avdiivka firing at Russians.
Ukrainian tank T-64 near Avdiivka firing at Russians.
Images source: © X (formerly Twitter) | OSINTtechnical

10:33 AM EST, January 28, 2024, updated: 4:44 AM EST, March 7, 2024

The key to maintaining control over Avdiivka hinges on securing the village of Stepne and the railway mound, both of which have been in severe battles for weeks. In these locations, the renowned duel featuring the M2A2 Bradley ODS Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) and the T-90M tank occurred. The Ukrainians now seem to have deployed veteran units equipped with T-64 family tanks to this region.

These tanks are employed to neutralize Russian infantry assaults and finish off vehicles damaged by, for example, artillery. In the following video, you can witness a T-64 tank destroying a Russian IFV from the BMP family using a HEAT missile.

The T-64 tanks, which are seen as a revolution from the 1960s, were deemed too complex for production and operation in the USSR. Consequently, the more user-friendly T-72 was designed, as reported by Łukasz Michalik, a journalist from Virtual Poland. Notably, until the fall of the USSR, the resultant T-64 tanks were neither exported nor modernized to the T-64BW standard until the 1980s.

Ukraine received the majority of these advanced tanks and elected to further develop the design from the Malyshev Factory in Kharkiv. On the contrary, the Russians continued to advance the T-72. In recent years, Ukraine has developed exciting upgrades for these machines, including the most prevalent ones: T-64BM Bulat, T-64BW 2017, T-64BM2 Bulat, and the T-64BW 2022 version, made possible through collaborations with Poland and the Czech Republic.

All these versions have been fitted with a "Knife" reactive armor that marks a significant evolution from the former Kontakt-1 bricks. They offer excellent protection primarily against HEAT warheads and also fare well with APFSDS-T kinetic penetrators. In the right conditions, these "Knife" bricks can be potent.

Furthermore, since 2017, the tanks have been fitted with an upgraded fire control system complete with a thermal imaging camera. This addition provides them an edge in identifying and eliminating targets over all T-72 tank models below the B3 version. These models have lost duels against the T-64BWs. It's also important to note that the T-64 tanks have the most experienced crews, a factor that often results in more victories compared to the newly conscripted Russians operating the T-90M tanks.

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