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T-80 Megathread: Astronomical speed and price!

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On 7/16/2018 at 10:06 PM, Jim Warford said:

soviet%2Bmilitary%2Bopower%2Bt-80.jpg

Not true...that drawing was published in the 1981 edition of the Pentagon's annual journal, "Soviet Military Power." That journal was primarily a propaganda tool used by the US DOD and it included many hypothetical drawings over the years to include this infamous "T-80." While it's true that there was some confusion around identifying the T-80 exactly (which was finally corrected for the public in that unclassified journal in the 1986 edition), classified reporting regarding the T-80 had already been in use for many years before the published photo in 1986. A CIA report published in Oct 1979 (2 years before the release of the hypothetical drawing above), for example, confirms the first sighting of the actual T-80 with a photo. 

 

Here are the pics related to the Oct 1979 intel report on the T-80. The pic was actually taken "prior to 1976." The higher quality version didn't become available until much later... 

T-80%20Tank%20Prototype_CIA-FOIA_Oct1979

 

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16 hours ago, Jim Warford said:

Here are the pics related to the Oct 1979 intel report on the T-80. The pic was actually taken "prior to 1976." The higher quality version didn't become available until much later... 

/.../

So why then painting that thing if they had some sort of photo of actual vehicle?

 

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12 minutes ago, LoooSeR said:

So why then painting that thing if they had some sort of photo of actual vehicle?

 

An explanation can be the following : sometimes intelligence services don’t want to make it clear to the enemy what they know about him. 

Maskirovka.

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6 minutes ago, Serge said:

An explanation can be the following : sometimes intelligence services don’t want to make it clear to the enemy what they know about him. 

Maskirovka.

We should start to put people into gulags for using this word everywhere.

 

I don't see any hard from making accurate T-80 drawings. 

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16 minutes ago, Serge said:

You, you don’t see. But other people, by the 70’d, saw. 

Maskirovka.

   Taking into account that news about Murican's getting some info on new Soviet MBTs (Boxer/Molot) sparked a lot of redesigns, extra cost and longer development time there is a good reason to release such info.

 

   And that is not a maskirovka.

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In 1976, when I was child, I was not in charge of maskirovka for the French Army. So, ask to people concerned by this period. I just give an explanation I was given a little after this period. When we were preparing war. 

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The Soviet Military Power annuals were intended for multiple audiences...in my opinion, those audiences were both foreign and domestic. Again, in my opinion, folks and organizations in the US would be energized to see images of Soviet tanks with slab-sided turrets that imply advanced western-style armor of some kind. It's clear that some people not in the know, believed that drawing of the "T-80" to be accurate. Also, showing the world that the US had a good photo of the T-80 in 1976/1979 would have confirmed where and when we were looking, and more importantly, (potentially)...how the US got the photo. Those are the most important secrets of all...

 

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Lostarmor article on T-80BV in Yemen war.

 

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/.../

   As it was said, before the war in Yemen, the T-80BV was used only during the fighting in the Chechen Republic in 94-96, where a number of tanks of this type were lost (exact figures are unknown, but there were 65 tanks of all types in total during 1994-1996). Perhaps, it will be possible to get closer to truthful figures if the LostArmour administration opens an appropriate section - on the Internet, it was easy to find photos of a dozen lost T-80BV.

/.../

 

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Spoiler

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   In Yemen, the T-80BV got rather late - in 2011-2012 from Belarus, 66 (according to other data 92) modernized tanks were obtained, which went to the elite 3rd armored brigade of the Republican Guard. At that time, the Republican Guard was the basis of Ali Abdullah Saleh Affah's regime. The commander of the brigade was the president's nephew, Brig. Gen. Tariq Affash. However, in the same 2012, after the overthrow of Saleh and subsequent conflicts with representatives of the old authorities, the new president Hadi dissolved the Republican Guard and created Strategic Reserve Forces on its base. The whole fleet of T-80 tanks was transferred to the Presidential Guard, consisting of several brigades, isolated from the Yemeni Armed Forces. The Guard was created to protect the president and was under his personal control. Most likely, the T-80s were transferred to the 1st brigade, based at the Al-Nukhaddin camp, not far from the capital.

 

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   With the beginning of the uprising against the Hadi regime in 2014, the Houthis and their allies quickly took over the greater part of the capital and on September 21 announced the expulsion of the Saudi puppet, but they could not completely take the province until the beginning of February 2015. After that the Houthis began active assault in the direction of the largest cities of Yemen after Sana'a - Aden, Taiz and Marib.

 

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Even during the fighting for Sana, Houthis captured a large number of armored vehicles, among them were several T-80BVs, another was destroyed during the battle for the Presidential Palace on January 19, 2015.

 

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Spoiler

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   However, they caught the largest catch during the capture of that same Al Nukhaddin camp, not far from Sanaa - that was where the lion's share of the Presidential Guards armored vehicles lay. Hadi's guards retreated so quickly under the Houthis pressure that they could not evacuate any armored vehicles.

 

80-%D0%B1%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%B011.jpg

 

Spoiler

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   It should be noted that the fate of most of the tanks is unknown - with the beginning of the intervention, all military bases under the control of the Houthis were under the massive bombing of the Saudi Air Force's air force, including the first brigade camp, but no photos were found from there. With a high degree of probability, the Houthis still managed to evacuate the equipment to a safe place, and it was not destroyed.

   Also, a small number of T-80BV tanks were sent to the front in the province of Marib, where the Houthis suffered significant losses of equipment under the air strikes of the coalition. At the moment, we know of the loss of at least 4 T-80BV tanks, in addition to the tank destroyed in the Presidential Palace area.

id8018-04.jpg

 

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   Another T-80BV tank was captured by the Hadists at the end of September 2015 during the infamous offensive on the Mariba Dam, where the allies of the coalition lost a huge amount of Oshkosh M-ATV MRAPs.

 

80-6.jpg

 

Spoiler

80-4.jpg

 

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   However, in the army of Hadi, this tank served very briefly and already in October received damage, most likely from fire ATGM, while ERA worked in the normal mode. Since then, the tank no longer appeared in the Arab media reports.

 

80-5.jpg

 

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   The fate of the remaining Hothis armored vehicles is unknown, and they preferred other types of tanks, mostly more customary for Yemen T-55/62 and their modifications.

   Noteworthy is the fact that one of the last spotted tank on the territory/in use by the Hothis was T-72S, which they rolled out in Sana for battles with supporters of Saleh, who did jump to the side of the coalition in a wrong time.

 

Spoiler

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   Most likely, the unpopularity of T-80 tanks among Yemenis is caused by the difficulty in servicing, as well as the peculiarities of the gas turbine engine. The fuel shortage that began with the beginning of the blockade of Yemen by the coalition countries also significantly complicated the possibility of its use in combat. In any case, we can state the fact that, despite all its merits, the T-80 tank, which was created as a breakthrough weapon, is not suitable for the war in Yemen.

 

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1 hour ago, Scolopax said:

Going to chime in and ID this further as a T-80UE-1 based on the cupola and presence of air filter.

air filter and cupola are not part of UE-1 modernization, those are stand parts for U models. 

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15 minutes ago, LoooSeR said:

air filter and cupola are not part of UE-1 modernization, those are stand parts for U models. 

I point out the cupola because it's the T-80UD type with the MG mounted to it and the sighting device jutting out of the left.  Given that T-80UDs don't have the air filter, I thought it was T-80UE-1, unless I'm mistaken.

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   There is a thing about turrets - AFAIK T-80Us had sometimes different turrets, thats why some people switched from "B/U/whatever" designations to "Objxxx" designations to refer a specific T-80 model. I didn't dig into it much. That T-80 could be UE-1, but airfilter is not a give away, and i am not sure on ZPU either, as some tanks also received some upgrades (like IR lamps changed for PL-1, but not as part of modernization). It would be easier to ID it from the front (especially if there is no IR lamp or PL-1 projector, than it would be T-80UE-1 Sp2 for sure). Although you are right about ZPUs being primarly T-80Kharkovite thing, and i missed it. 

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