TechUkrainian T-84 tanks prove indestructible, two years without losses

Ukrainian T‑84 tanks prove indestructible, two years without losses

Ukrainian tank T-84 Oplot.
Ukrainian tank T-84 Oplot.
Images source: © X (formerly Twitter) | Andrei_bt

12:51 PM EST, November 23, 2023

Despite nearly two years of warfare in Ukraine, there have been zero losses recorded for the T-84U and T-84 Oplot tanks. These tanks, representing the pinnacle of Ukrainian armored technology, continue to function unaffected. This article delves into the capabilities of these mighty machines.

The T-84 tanks, the latest upgrade in the T-80 family of machines, while scarce on the battlefield, have demonstrated formidable potency in repelling Russian forces, sans any losses. One such specimen is currently engaged in battle in the Donetsk region.

The Ukrainian army possibly employs six T-84 Oplot tanks and a minimum of one T-84U (completed August 12, 2021). The former model, created at the now-destroyed Malyshev Factory in Kharkiv, is the epitome of refinement, while the latter, a deeply modernized T-80UD, offers a more economical solution. As a trade-off, the latter model retained the carousel autoloader which shares space with the crew.

In contrast, the T-84 Oplot tank design isolates the crew from the 28-round ammunition magazine, similar to modern Western tanks. Its primary weapon, the 125 mm KBA-3 cannon, features a modern fire control system equipped with thermal imaging.

The T-84 Oplot tanks can also operate in hunter-killer mode, a standard feature in modern tanks like the Leopard 2A6. In this mode, the commander searches for a target using a panoramic sight, subsequently guiding the cannon, thus leaving only the final adjustments to the gunner. This streamlined process reduces the time lapse between target identification and firing.

The T-84 Oplot tanks also employ a unique variant of the reactive armor called "Duplet". It's a dual-layered version of the "Knife" armor utilized on the T-64BM tanks, among others. The armor design relies on shaped charges, thus facilitating the usage of substantially thicker cassette walls that produce larger fragments and could damage or fragment a kinetic APFSDS penetrator. The dual layers of armor provide adequate protection against projectiles fitted with a tandem-shaped charge warhead.

However, the high efficacy of this protective shield weighs more and requires complex manufacturing processes. Weighing approximately 56 tons, the T-84 Oplot is considerably heavier than the 47-ton T-90M Proryv-3, which also boasts a double-layered reactive armor (Relict). To counterbalance the extra weight, the Ukrainian tank is powered by a robust 1200 HP diesel engine.

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