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T___A posted a topic in Open DiscussionThis thread is for all things Ukrainian Civil War. I will start off by posting this analysis from SA: Link
BM "Oplot" Ukrainian designers managed to make biggest panoramic sight i ever saw - overall weight of it is reaching 500 kg. Oplot-M, or BM "Oplot" after addoption to service in Ukrainian army, is Ukrainian MBT based on another Ukrainian MBT - T-84 "Oplot", which is Soviet-designed T-80UD with some modifications. BM Oplot was designed by Morozov Kharkiv Machine Building Design Bureau and produced by Malyshev factory. Chief designer of BM Oplot - Mikhail Dem'yanovich Borisuk (he was born in 1934, BTW). It have several features, separating it from T-80UD, T-90A and T-84. Engine is new 6 cylinder 6TD-2E 1200 HP diesel with lowered smokiness and exhaust toxicity (wich is a problem for Kharkov engines) in new engine-transmission compartment (which is 2 part - lower is for engine itself and upper part is for big airfilters, which are needed because of how much air 6TD "eats"), new sort-of automatical transmission. Tank is equipped with new navigation systems, FCS, panoramic sight for commander with day and night (thermal imager) capabilities, new remotely controlled KT-12.7 12.7 mm HMG for commander, new gunner sights, which bring it to modern level of how tank should be equipped. A lot of that equipment is made not in Ukraine. From the side BM Oplot looks different from Soviet T-64-like MBTs. Main gun is not really different from 2A46 125 mm guns of T-72/ T-80/T-90 series of tanks, 125 mm KBA-3 L48 gun with autoloader for 28 shots (46 in total is carried). Main gun can fire HE, HEAT, APFSDS, GL-ATGMs (Ukrainian "Kombat" missiles). AFAIK part of ammunition is carried outside of the tank, in turret "basket", mounted to the rear part of it. Nothing really fancy here, 5 km range with ATGMs, up to 2.5-2.8 km effective range with APFSDS, which is standart for late Soviet and current Russian MBTs like T-72B3, T-80UE and different models of the T-90. Vehicle is also equipped with Ukrainian version/local variant of Shtora system - "Varta", with additional laser-warning sensors on the turret sides. BM-Oplot use somewhat unusual type of ERA (which is most interesting feature of that tank) - ~layered ERA named "Duplet". It is rumored that it can defeat tandem HEAT warheads like PG-7VR and PG-29V. Vehicle sides are also covered by Duplet ERA. Note that the hull UFP is covered by differently shaped blocks of ERA (long and narrow). How much it is effective is unknown, but designers claim that it can defeat tandem HEAT warheads, EFP and APFSDS projectiles. Upper frontal hull armor layout: Side ERA modules: Overall, BM Oplot is tank with better perfomance than T-80UD thanks to improvements in electronics and FCS, engine, transmission, driver controls, new ERA and better side armor, and in some areas this vehicle can be superioir to T-72B3 (latest Russian serial produced modification of the T-72 MBT, although it wasn't best proposed modification for it). But..., there is always "but" - it is vehicle that Ukraine can not produce in any serious numbers, as their one and only contract with Thai army showed - out of 95 BM Oplot ordered in 2011 only 5-6 were delivered to this day. During trials in Thailand Kombat GL-ATGMs also showed not very good results - AFAIK out of 5 test firings, 2 missiles exploded before reaching targets. Another interesting fact about that tank is that no BM Oplot MBTs are presented on battlefields of Eastern Ukraine - T-64 and T-72s are primary tanks of the VSU. Seems to me Ukraine is either can't service them, or simply can't produce them in a first place. Oplot-BM on trials in Pakistan. No accurate information on results, rumors say that Chinese VT-4 won that competition. Oplot-BMs for Thai army on prooving ground.
From BMPD blog: Croatian media continue to "untwist" scandal with the repair and purchase of Ukrainian MiG-21bis fighters. In particular, the newspaper "Jutarnji list" notes that one plane had one wing of Ukrainian origin, another belonged to the MiG-21 from Algeria. Internal fuel tanks were used were made in the USSR, although practically unused, but in the contract they were supposed to be new. Fuselages of five "Ukrainian" MiG-21 actually had Bulgarian origin, despite the fact that they have been written off in Bulgaria itself. On airplanes, there are two fixed plates with serial number - on plane that was transmitted to Croatia had one plate painted over, and the second is attached later. There were also a technical problems. So, on the repaired aircraft "friend or foe" system didn't work well enough, five "Ukrainian" MiG-21 had leaking fuel tanks, navigation system made by CLS production (the Czech company) was not installed in time and worked poorly, radars on all aircraft have technical breakdowns. Also, all planes had unsatisfactory condition of hydraulic system, there have been cases when the landing gear could not get out of their niches. Two planes had engine failers in flight, which means that the quality of repair is unsatisfactory or it was not performed at all.
I confess; when EE or Looser or whoever characterized the Ukrainian government's muscle as fascists, I thought this was Russian hyperbole. I was aware of the presence of far-right elements during the protest period, and had no doubt that there were some neo-nazis in the ranks currently, the characterization seemed exaggerated. After all, the Soviets had accused NATO of similar things, and surely the Ukrainians wouldn't be so dumb as to openly play into the role of villains in the Russian cultural monomyth of the Great Patriotic War? I am reconsidering this view.