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The T-84 Evolution: From Soviet Roots to a Formidable Modern Tank

The strife in Ukraine has demonstrated the significance of tanks in contemporary warfare. Ukraine is home to the T-84 Oplot, the first domestically designed main battle tank, originating from the Soviet Union.

The Role of Tanks in War The military incursion in Ukraine has suggested the loss of 40% to 50% of the Russian armored vehicle fleet. Russian tanks, such as the T-62, T-64, T-80, and T-90, have shown limited adaptability on Ukrainian terrain.

On the flip side, Ukraine will gain from the upcoming arrival of more advanced Western main battle tanks in the following months, including the M1 Abrams, Challenger 2, and Leopard 2.

Moreover, Ukraine possesses the T-84 Oplot, the first homegrown main battle tank.

Origin of the T-84 Oplot The T-84 Oplot was created from the Soviet Union’s T-80 UD program during the Cold War. Following the USSR’s collapse, Ukraine was left with thousands of T-80s that required components from the newly established Russian Federation.

Thus, Ukraine opted to develop its own armored vehicle based on the T-80 platform. Although a modern tank, the T-84 could not be produced in large quantities due to budget limitations and lack of prioritization.

Currently, only six T-84s remain in Ukraine, as four were sold to the United States for evaluation.

Characteristics of the T-84 The T-84 features significant enhancements compared to the T-80. It includes blowout panels for secure ammunition storage, a welded turret, and a high-output diesel engine that makes it one of the fastest tanks globally.

The T-84’s weaponry is akin to that of the T-80, comprising a 125mm smoothbore main gun, a KT-7.62 coaxial machine gun, and a KT-12.7 anti-aircraft machine gun. The main gun can load various ammunition types, such as HEAT and APFSDS shells. The 6TD-2 turbocharged diesel engine supplies 1,200 horsepower to the Oplot.

The Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau in Ukraine manufactured the T-84. It is a third-generation main battle tank, an enhanced version of the T-80 tank, initially produced in the 1970s by the Soviet Union. Some of the T-84 tank’s most critical aspects include:

The T-84 is armed with a 125mm smoothbore gun capable of firing a range of rounds, including high-explosive, armor-piercing, and guided missiles. A 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and a 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun are also mounted on the tank.

Armor: The T-84 has improved composite armor, providing better protection from small arms fire and anti-tank weapons. The tank’s armor also has explosive reactive armor (ERA) modules, which can detonate incoming weapons and reduce their impact.

The T-84 has a 1200 horsepower diesel engine, allowing a top speed of about 70 km/h on and 45 km/h off the road. The tank also features a hydro-pneumatic suspension system that facilitates movement over rough terrain.

Electronics: The T-84 is equipped with modern electronics, such as a fire control system with a laser rangefinder and thermal imaging sights. The tank also has a battle management system, enabling communication with other tanks and units on the battlefield.

Crew: Three people operate the T-84: a commander, a gunner, and a driver. The tank’s advanced electronics and automation systems simplify the crew’s tasks and increase the tank’s effectiveness in combat.

In summary, the T-84 is a contemporary main battle tank

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