ⓘ T-84. The T-84 is a Ukrainian main battle tank, a development of the Soviet T-80 main battle tank introduced in 1976. The T-84 was first built in 1994 and enter ..

                                     

ⓘ T-84

The T-84 is a Ukrainian main battle tank, a development of the Soviet T-80 main battle tank introduced in 1976. The T-84 was first built in 1994 and entered service in the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 1999. The T-84 is based on the diesel-engined T-80 version, the T-80UD. Its high-performance opposed-piston engine makes it one of the fastest MBTs in the world, with a power-to-weight ratio of about 26 horsepower per tonne. The T-84 Oplot is an advanced version incorporating an armoured ammunition compartment in a new turret bustle; ten of these entered Ukrainian service in 2001. The T-84-120 Yatagan is a prototype model intended for export, mounting a 120 mm gun capable of firing standard NATO ammunition and guided missiles.

                                     

1. Production history

The T-84 is the latest Ukrainian development of the T-80 series, designed by KMDB in Kharkiv. A main design objective was to make Ukraines arms industry independent of Russias, after resulting difficulties in fulfilling a contract to supply T-80UD tanks to Pakistan. An external difference from earlier models is the new Ukrainian welded turret, replacing the T-80s Russian-built cast turret some T-80s shipped to Pakistan were fitted with the T-84 welded turret, but lack other T-84 improvements.

The T-84s outstanding feature is the 26 hp/t power-to-weight ratio. The tank is also designed to perform well in hot climates, and even includes an air-conditioned crew compartment operating temperature range is claimed to be −40 °C to 55 °C.

Due to the collapse of Soviet Union, the Malyshev Factory was no longer able to obtain ceramic armour modules from Russia and only the initial batch of T-84 were produced with such. Instead, later batches of T-84s composite armour is composed of special purpose rubber sandwiched between steel and alloy plates. The exact difference in performance between the new and previous armor is not known and depends on performance of dynamic armor.

Ukraine has demonstrated several upgraded prototypes of this tank, intended for both domestic employment and international sale.

                                     

2. Design

The BM Oplot is a further development of the previous Oplot, which is based on the T-84 main battle tank. The tank has a conventional layout with the drivers compartment at the front, fighting compartment in the middle and engine at the rear, accommodating a crew of three members.

The driver sitting in the centre is provided with a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the right. The commander on the right and the gunner on the left have single-piece hatches.

Tank has a length of 9.7 m including the forward-facing gun, a width of 3.4 m without removable side skirts, and a height of 2.8 m. The combat weight of the tank is 51 tons.

                                     

3. Armament

The Oplot MBT is armed with a 125 mm smoothbore KBA-3 cannon, a KT-7.62 PKT Coaxial machine gun and a KT-12.7 anti-aircraft machine gun. The main gun is fed by a loading system equipped with conveyor, automatic loader and control system. The ammunition includes high explosive fragmentation HE-FRAG, armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding-sabot APFSDS, high explosive anti tank HEAT and gun mount GM rounds.

The main gun can also fire a laser guided missile against battle tanks, armoured vehicles and hovering helicopters within the range of 5.000m. The missile can be fired on the move against travelling targets. The tandem warhead fitted on the missile can defeat targets equipped with explosive reactive armour and advanced spaced armour.

The Oplot has 46 rounds of ammunition for the main gun, of which 28 rounds are placed in the automatic loader. Other ammunition types carried are 1.250 rounds for KT-7.62 machine gun, 450 rounds for KT-12.7 machine gun and 450 rounds for AKS submachine gun.



                                     

3.1. Armament Fire control

The vehicle has three forward-facing periscopes in front of the drivers cupola. The centre periscope can be replaced with a night driving device.

The fire control system includes a gunners day sight, PNK-6 commanders panoramic sighting system, PTT-2 thermal imaging sight, anti-aircraft sight and anti-aircraft machine gun control system. Detection range of targets for thermal sighting system is up to 8 km.

The tank is also equipped with LIO-V ballistic computer, armament stabiliser and other systems.

The advanced fire-control system enables the gunner or commander to lay and fire the main armament on the move. The stationary and moving targets can be hit with a high first round hit probability.

                                     

3.2. Armament Protection

The protection system includes multilayer passive armour, Duplet explosive reactive armour, Zaslon active protection system, Varta optronic countermeasures system and other tank protection means.

Built-in new generation Duplet anti-tandem-warhead explosive reactive armour protects against APFSDS, HESH or high-explosive plastic HEP and HEAT-type projectiles.

Duplet ensures protection against:

  • HEAT projectiles fired by 125 mm tank smoothbore guns
  • anti-tank missiles of TOW-2, MILAN and Shturm-S type
  • APFSDS projectiles fire by 125 mm and 120 mm tank guns
  • hand anti-tank grenades, hand-held and stationary grenade launchers and recoilless guns including ammunition with tandem warheads

Both sides of the drivers compartment are fitted with explosive reactive armour panels for extended protection. The hull sides are hinged with large rubber skirts to withstand the attacks of man-portable anti-tank weapons. The modular explosive reactive armour package can be easily replaced or upgraded according to the future requirements.

Oplot features a Varta optronic countermeasures system for deceiving incoming missiles and anti-tank guided weapons. The system integrates laser warning sensors, infra-red jammer and smoke / aerosol screen laying system. The optronic countermeasure system provides:

  • jamming of the ATGM guidance systems that use laser illumination of targets, semi-automatic laser guided homing projectiles as well as artillery systems equipped with laser range-finders by activating the remote fast-deploying aerosol screens in a sector of ±45° relative to the main gun tube
  • confusing of the guidance systems of ATGM by putting out laser jamming covering the horizontal plane of ±18° relative to the main gun tube and ±2° in the vertical plane

Crews collective protection system ensures protection of the crew and interior equipment against effects of nuclear explosions, radioactive substances, toxic agents and biological warfare agents, as well as detection and suppression of fires in the crew compartment and power pack compartment.

The Oplot tank can withstand an explosion of up to 10 kg trinitrotoluene TNT under the tank track and up to 4 kg TNT under the drivers compartment. The vehicle has overpressure-type NBC protection system and can be fitted with track mine-clearing systems.

                                     

4. Engine and mobility

BM Oplot is powered by a 6TD-2E 6-cylinder turbocharged liquid-cooled engine, which delivers 1.200 horsepower 895 kW. It is improved and more environmentally friendly version of the previous 6TD-2 diesel engine, used on the T-84 MBT. Also tank would be powered by a more powerful 6TD-3 diesel, developing 1.500 hp. Both engines could use diesel, jet engine fuel, petrol or any mixtures of them.

The engine provides a maximum on-road speed of 70 kilometres per hour 43 mph and a range of 500 kilometres 311 mi with additional fuel tanks. The battle tank is also equipped with a diesel-electric auxiliary power unit 10 kilowatts 13 hp to supply power to onboard systems when the main engine is turned off.

BM Oplot is equipped with torsion bar type suspension. Either side of the six dual rubber-tyred road wheels are provided with idler at forward, drive sprocket at the rear, and track support rollers.

The first, second and sixth road wheel stations are fitted with hydraulic shock absorbers. The tank can negotiate a gradient of 32° and side slope of 25°. Equally, the tank can ford a water depth of 5m using deep water fording equipment.



                                     

5. Variants

T-84 Ukrainian Modernization of the T-80UD. New welded turret and Shtora-1 countermeasures suite, new electronics, new main gun, new armor, and 1.200 hp 895 kW 6TD-2 diesel engine. T-84U Ukrainian upgrade of the T-84. New armoured side skirts, turret-conformal Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armour, auxiliary power unit, thermal imaging sight, satellite navigation, commanders laser range-finder, muzzle reference system, and other improvements. T-84 Oplot T-84U with a new welded turret with separate crew and ammunition compartments with blowout panels on the ammunition compartment, a new bustle-mounted autoloader. T-84-120 Yatagan A prototype version of Oplot tailored for evaluation by the Turkish Army prototype designation, KERN2-120. Mounts a 120 mm main gun which fires both NATO 120 mm rounds like the M829 DU series and a special 120 mm version of the AT-11 Sniper ATGM. It also has automated gear shifting in place of mechanical gear selector, drivers T-bar control replacing tiller bars, air conditioning, and projectile muzzle velocity sensor, as well as differences in the fire control system, communications, etc. T-84 Oplot-M Modernized, or "BM Oplot": The newest and most sophisticated version of the T-84 is an upgraded version of the "T-84 Oplot" mounting more advanced armor, new electronic countermeasure systems, and others. One visible feature is the new PNK-6 panoramic tank sight. T-84 Oplot-T "BM Oplot-T" is an export version for Thailand. It has some minor modifications to meet local requirements, such as different radio, air conditioner and so on. Thailand ordered 49 of these main battle tanks. Originally it was planned that all of these MBTs will be delivered by 2014. However due to ongoing military conflict in Ukraine by 2017 only 25 of these tanks were delivered. BREM-84 Atlet Armoured recovery vehicle based on the T-84 Oplot chassis. BREM-T Armoured recovery vehicle based on the T-84 Oplot-T chassis. BMU-84 Bridgelayer tank. BTMP-84 Heavy infantry fighting vehicle prototype based on the T-84 Oplot tank, with lengthened hull, an extra pair of road wheels, and a rear compartment for five infantrymen.


                                     

6. Operational history

Ukraine

The first T-84 prototype vehicle rolled out in 1994, and in the same year it was decided to build several more vehicles. They were subjected to extensive company and army trials. After successful completion of the extensive trials programme in the late 1990s the T-84 MBT entered service with the Ukrainian Army in 1999.

Thailand

In September 2011, the Malyshev Plant announced plans to produce the first batch of five Oplot-M tanks for the Thai Army by the end of the year. Under the contract, the Ukrainian company will make 49 tanks worth over US$200 million. As of November 2017, 31 tanks have been delivered.

                                     

7.1. List of operators Current operators

  • Ukraine
The Ukrainian Ground Forces has 10 T-84 Oplot in service.
  • United States
1 unit, for technologies analysis and operational OPFOR training.
  • Thailand
The Royal Thai Army has received 31 T-84 Oplot-T and an additional 5 were expected in November 2017. In March 2011, the Royal Thai Army placed an order for 49 T-84s to replace its fleet of aging M41A3 Walker Bulldog light tanks. The government has approved 7.155 billion baht to purchase the first 49 Oplot tanks to be assigned to several units: the 2nd Cavalry battalion Royal Guard at Fort Chakrabongse, Prachinburi, the 4th Cavalry battalion Royal Guard at Kiakkai, Bangkok, the 8th Cavalry battalion Fort Suranari, Nakhon Ratchasima, and the 9th Cavalry battalion Fort Ekathotsarot, Phitsanuloke. In April 2017, it was reported that following the delayed deliveries from this tank, the Royal Thai Army was expected to decline the remainder of the sale and acquired the Chinese VT-4 main battle tank instead of the Ukrainian tank, due to the long term delivery schedule. The signed order for 49 units has to be completed by the month of January, 2017, it was reported that other deliveries may not be expected. A 26 March 2018 press release by Ukroboronprom stated that the 2011 contract for supplying Oplot-T tanks to Thailand had successfully completed and that the last party of tanks had passed checks by the customers and would be sent to the buyer in the near future. According to The Military Balance 2019, Thailand had acquired 49 T-84 Oplot main battle tanks.
                                     

7.2. List of operators Potential sales

  • Peru
In 2009, Peru reportedly tested the Oplot tank, but the government of Alan Garcia later decided to acquire test examples of the Chinese MBT-2000 in late 2010, only to have the government of his successor, Ollanta Humala, abandon the purchase in early 2012 to seek other alternatives. In May 2013, the T-84 was reported to be part of comparative tests to be conducted by Peru. The T-84 competed against the T-90S, the M1A1 Abrams, the Leopard 2A4 and A6, and the T-64 also offered by Ukraine. By September 2013, only the T-84, T-90S, Russian T-80, and M1A1 Abrams were still competing. In the end Polish PT-91 based on T-90 was chosen.
  • Pakistan
Ukraine is in talks with Pakistan for the sale of 100 Oplot Tanks.
                                     

7.3. List of operators Failed bids

  • Azerbaijan
In January 2011, Azerbaijan showed interest in the Oplot main battle tank. The Defense Ministry of Ukraine has long been holding negotiations on this issue. In June 2013, it has been made public that Azerbaijan had instead purchased 100 Russian T-90 tanks, in a series of rearmament deals worth $4 billion with Russia.
  • Bangladesh
In 2007 the Bangladesh Army began negotiations for the procurement of 76 T-84 Yatagan tanks in the first batch. The Bangladesh Army intends to induct a substantial number of Yatagans 200 to 300 over the next several years as part of its third generation main battle tank procurement program. However, Bangladesh finally decided to buy 44 MBT-2000 in 2011.
  • Greece
In 1998, the T-84M Oplot entered the tender for a new base tank for Greece. The Leopard 2A6 won the tender, defeating the French Leclerc, the British Challenger, the American Abrams, the Ukrainian T-84M and the Russian T-80U.
  • Malaysia
T-84 Jatagan was offered to the Malaysian Army but lost to the Polish PT-91.
  • Turkey
The Turkish army was planning to buy the T-84, but withdrew from it in favor of developing the Altay tank with Hyundai Rotem.
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