|This page is about the Soviet medium tank T-80U. For other versions, see T-80 (Family).|
The T-80U is a rank VII Soviet medium tank with a battle rating of 10.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.87 "Locked On".
Survivability and armour
The armour protection of the T-80U is adequate, especially if the incoming round hits one of the CONTACT-5 ERA plates while newer shells such as the DM53 can still frontally penetrate the hull armour at close range. The strongest parts of the tank are the turret front and a majority of the upper front plate. It does, however, have some weaker areas, the most important being the driver's hatch, the immediate areas of the turret surrounding the gun and its breech, and its lower frontal plate. These weak spots are however pretty small targets at range, and thus by hiding them properly, the risk of being hit can be minimized. Owing to its very low profile, a hull-down T-80U is a small target in itself; the weaker parts of its armour are even smaller.
Fuel tanks on either side of the driver cannot soak up some shrapnel as recent changes have added fuel explosions, and these tanks detonate dramatically. As with all Russian auto-loaded MBTs, there are only three crew members so a well-placed shot is capable of causing a crew knock-out. It's also worth noting that the placement of the ammo rack, below the turret in a carousel-style setup, leaves the T-80U particularly vulnerable to side shots causing ammunition detonation. The protection of the T-80U is very similar to the T-64B in terms of the size and placement of the weak areas. The sides of your tank should always be protected, and when engaging an enemy, your front armour should always be aligned directly towards him to reduce the risks of a shot penetrating your weaker side. The tank does, however, have some CONTACT-5 ERA on its upper front skirts, meaning that you have some extra protection against kinetic penetrators, and a lot against chemical shells, until the ERA bricks are detonated (leaving the area vulnerable for another hit).
As mentioned above, the T-80U also benefits from the typical low silhouette Russian tankers will be accustomed to, with the vehicle being significantly smaller than its competitors. This allows the T-80U to be hidden behind small terrain deformities which other MBTs would otherwise be visible. It's also harder for an enemy tank commander to immediately tell which area is the most vulnerable. But armour cannot be relied on in any circumstance, the tank is no longer new, and weaknesses are well known. Most tankers will have a steady aim at hitting weak spots even on the move.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The mobility of the T-80U is actually much better than that of the T-80B, despite the U model weighing three tons more. This is thanks to the improved engine mounted in theT-80U which has a stock engine power of 1,106 hp, going up to 1,250 hp once the appropriate modules have been researched. It has a maximum speed of 69 km/h (43 mph) forward and -9.7 km/h (-6 mph) in reverse. The one downside is the traverse in neutral, taking around 19 seconds for a full 360° spin, but this can be greatly reduced if the tank is already in at least in 3rd gear.
As with most Russian MBTs, the reverse speed (-9.7 km/h (-6 mph)) does leave the tank vulnerable in situations where a fast retreat would be preferable. The commander should always be aware of his immediate surroundings and have a plan to get out of the area in case of a debilitating hit.
Modifications and economy
The T-80U has two night vision modifications. The first modification "NVD" grants access to an image intensifier for each crew member. The second modification "NVD Upgrade" replaces the gunner's image intensifier with a thermal imager.
The T-80U is armed with the same 125 mm cannon found in the T-80B, with its 3BM46 "Svinets" round proving adequately competitive against other Rank VII offerings (The 3BM42 round has lost quite a bit of its luster however, and struggles with some of the more heavily armoured opponents at range, and lacks reliable post pen effect). As with previous vehicles of the family, the main gun is auto-loaded, so the loss of a crew member or an engine fire does not affect the loading times and the 6.5-second loading speed is competitive when compared to the 120 mm guns on the Leopard 2A5 and M1A1 Abrams. One notable perk of the auto-loader mechanism is that the gun will be reloaded even if the gunner is knocked out, if you're fighting a fire, or repairing. It does however also come with the drawbacks of a reload time that cannot be improved, the large ammo carousel concentric with the turret, and the chance of a single penetrating shot detonating the ammo racks. Another thing to note, since update 1.97 if the tanks battery runs out of power, the autoloader will not function and the cannon will need to be manually loaded, which is a much slower process.
Like with the T-80B and T-64B, the T-80U can launch missiles out of its gun. Unlike the previous two vehicles though, it gets the upgraded 9M119 which has 700 mm of penetration compared to the previous ATGM's 650 mm penetration. These ATGMs can prove useful for shooting over hills to hit a hiding enemy or to engage helicopters or low-flying aircraft.
|125 mm 2A46M-1||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The 3BK18M HEAT shell is the stock ammunition, along the 3OF26 HE shell. The HE can deal overpressure damage even to enemy MBTs if carefully aimed at the turret roof or frontal deck. The researchable 3BM46 APFSDS and 9M119 ATGM prove powerful and can be used against tanks and helicopters alike.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
| 45 (+0)
| 44 (+1)
| 43 (+2)
| 38 (+7)
| 37 (+8)
| 34 (+11)
| 31 (+14)
| 30 (+15)
| 29 (+16)
| 1 (+44)
The T-80U main ammo rack consists of a mechanized carousel at the bottom of the turret which carries 28 propellants and projectiles.
- The T-80U uses two-piece ammunition, composed of projectiles (yellow) and propellant bags (orange). Both have separate racks.
- Projectiles and propellants are modeled individually and disappear after having been shot or loaded.
- The 10th Rack is the carousel at the bottom of the turret; it serves as First-Stage ammo stowage.
Optics and night vision
|Type of optic||Magnification||Night Vision Devices|
|Gunner's Sight||X2.7 - X12||1600 x 1200||9.0||High||500 x 300||Thermal imager unlocked by "NVD Upgrade" mod (tier 4), replaces image intensifier.|
|Commander's View||X6||1600 x 1200||9.0||High||Not Fitted||Image intensifier unlocked by "NVD" mod (tier 3)|
|Driver's View||X1||1600 x 1200||5.0||High||Not Fitted||Image intensifier unlocked by "NVD" mod (tier 3)|
|T-80U IR Searchlight|
|Max Range||Beam Width||Location / Notes|
|1,400 m||8.2°||Searchlight mounted on turret front, just right of the gun. Light moves up and down with main gun.|
|12.7 mm NSVT|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
|7.62 mm PKT|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
Learning to use terrain to hide the lower front plate and hull if possible is key to surviving. Like any other tank at the top rank, do not let enemies see your side armour. This is especially true for the T-64/T-80 line since their ammo is stored vertically and makes it very easy to hit. Since the Russian MBTs are relatively small, you can also use teammates as cover.
The T-80U is a fantastic sniper due to the great penetration and thick turret, so that is also a viable option as long as you keep your eyes open on your flanks. The most dangerous enemy to the T-80U are helicopters, although the CONTACT-5 will usually protect against one missile. However, it is still ERA, and will be blown off after it is detonated. Since the interior of the tank is so compact, this makes it easy for good pilots to knock you out in 2-3 rapid missile shots. To avoid helicopters, stay close to buildings or hide next to trees/large bushes and wait for an anti-air vehicle or plane to take it out. Or use the ATGM or range finder to shoot down the enemy yourself.
Pros and cons
- Effective armour against KE and chemical munitions. The CONTACT-5 ERA mounted to the tank's frontal arc and turret means that even helicopter-launched ATGMs may fail to penetrate
- Varied and powerful ammunition available, from stock HEAT and HE to APFSDS and ATGM.
- Accurate and high muzzle velocity gun combined with the laser rangefinder provides easy long-range gameplay
- Autoloader provider a steady reload time in any situation
- Nimble tank for its size and tonnage - a fully upgraded T-80U is much more responsive than the T-80B.
- Low silhouette, a hull-down T-80U is hard to spot and harder to hit
- Rather "easy to hit" weak spots at close medium ranges - some of them leading to turret kill or ammo detonation
- Vertical gaps between ERA plates are many small weak spots
- The cramped interior, with the crew placed tightly together, means that the tank is easily disabled if a shot penetrates
- Ammo detonation hazard from side shots due to the vertical ammunition carousel in the centre of the hull
- Spare ammunition is distributed around the hull and turret and increases the chance of ammo detonation
- Relatively low reverse speed and lack of neutral steering, makes it hard to fall back when flanked or damaged
- Poor gun depression of -5° due to the low turret height, makes it difficult to shoot over hills and other obstacles, especially on rough terrain
Work on improving the existing T-80 MBT begun as early as the mid-1970s with the design bureau in Leningrad. Here, developers were responsible for the production of the T-80 and started working on a joint project to further enhance the T-80's capabilities.
In the early 1980s, the first prototypes were being built and after extensive testing and design tweaking, the new tank was considered ready for production. The resultant tank was accepted by the Soviet military under the designation T-80U.
The T-80U received turret and upper frontal enhancements as part of its new construction along with being equipped with a second generation ERA protection system known as Kontakt-5. In contrast to the previous generation of dynamic protection, Kontakt-5 increased the tank's protection against HEAT and armour-piercing shells. The modifications also affected the armament of the tank - the T-80U is equipped with a new 1A45 fire control system and Reflex ICBM, which used more advanced 9M119 guided missiles. Subsequently, the tank was equipped with a new, more powerful GTD-1250 gas turbine engine which helped compensate for the increased weight of the vehicle and improved its dynamics.
The T-80U had been factory produced in Leningrad in 1987, but in 1989, its production was moved to Omsk. Work on upgrading the T-80 was carried out in Kharkov, but there, they constructed their own vehicle equipped with a diesel engine, which was designated 'T-80UD'. The latter would evolve into further developed Ukrainian derivatives of the T-80.
T-80Us served with the Soviet military until the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and have since continued serving with the Union's successor states to this day. The vehicle also saw service abroad with some other countries as well, primarily with South Korea and Cyprus. Overall, around 700 T-80Us have been produced since 1985, but this vehicle has yet to be put into any actual combat situations.
- From Devblog
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
|USSR medium tanks|
|T-28||T-28 (1938) · T-28 · T-28E|
|T-34-76||T-34 (Prototype) · T-34 (1940) · T-34 (1941) · T-34 (1st Gv.T.Br.) · T-34 (1942) · T-34E STZ · T-34E|
|T-34-57||T-34-57 · T-34-57 (1943)|
|T-34-85||T-34-85 (D-5T) · T-34-85 · T-34-85E|
|T-44||T-44 · T-44-100 · T-44-122|
|T-54||T-54 (1947) · T-54 (1949) · T-54 (1951)|
|T-55||T-55A · T-55AM-1|
|T-62||T-62 · T-62M-1|
|T-64||T-64A (1971) · T-64B|
|T-72||T-72A · T-72AV (TURMS-T) · T-72B · T-72B (1989) · T-72B3|
|T-80||T-80B · T-80U · T-80BVM|
|Germany||▂T-III · ▂T-V|
|Great Britain||▂МК-IX "Valentine"|
|USA||▂M3 Medium · ▂M4A2|