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 exceptional, especially if the incoming round hits one of the Kontakt-5 ERA plates. 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 can soak up some shrapnel and add to the overall survivability. However, 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 Kontakt-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).
Like 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.
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 an debilitating hit.
The T-80U is armed with the same 125 mm cannon found in the T-80B, with its 3BM42 "Mango" round proving competitive against other Rank VII offerings. As with previous vehicles of the family, the main gun is auto-loaded, so the loss of a crew member 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.
As with the T-80B and T-64B, the T-80U can launch 9M119 missiles out of its gun. These 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)|
|Mode||Stock||Upgraded||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Stock||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Penetration in mm @ 0° Angle of Attack|
Mass in kg
|Explosive Mass in g(TNT equivalent):||Normalization At 30° from horizontal:||Ricochet:|
Only First Stage: 28-20
Optics and night vision
The T-80U has two night vision modifications. The first modification "NVD" is unlocked at tier 3 and grants access to an image intensifier for each crew member. The second modification "NVD Upgrade" is unlocked at tier 4 and replaces the gunner's image intensifier with a thermal imager.
|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|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)||Fire rate
|7.62 mm PKT|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)||Fire rate
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 small 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 Kontakt-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. Another option is to use the ATGM or range finder to shoot down the enemy yourself.
Pros and cons
- Effective armour, especially against chemical munitions. The Kontakt-5 ERA mounted to the tank's frontal arc and its turret means that even helicopter-launched ATGMs may fail to penetrate.
- Good stock ammunition, very good 3BM42 unlockable. Has access to 3OF26 HE-Frag-FS ammunition which does short work of enemy MBTs if the shell detonates above the turret roof or frontal deck.
- Nimble tank for its size and tonnage - a fully upgraded T-80U is much more responsive than the T-80B. It still isn't as quick as a Leopard, however, and its reverse speed is punishing along with the lack of neutral steering.
- Low silhouette - if you can find a sufficiently flat area behind a hilltop or a wide enough ditch, a hull-down T-80U is hard to spot and harder to hit.
- Its autoloader, as with the other tanks in the T-64, -72 and -80 lines, ensures that ammunition will be loaded even when replacing crew, repairing, or extinguishing a fire!
- Accurate gun, and its muzzle velocity combined with the laser rangefinder permits easy long-range shots with little lead required to hit moving targets.
- Gun-launched anti-tank guided missiles can be used as multipurpose munitions for tanks and helicopters alike.
- Great turret protection
- Rather easy to hit weak spots at closer ranges - some of them possibly leading to a one hit knockout.
- Poor survivability from side shots due to the massive ammunition carousel mounted in the centre of the hull.
- Relatively low reverse speed, hard to retreat from a threatening situation.
- The cramped interior, with the crew placed tightly together, means that the tank is easily disabled if a shot penetrates.
- ...and the spare ammunition not carried in the autoloader is distributed around the hull and turret - meaning a penetrating shot might ignite a round carried as a spare, setting off the carousel.
- Poor gun depression of -5° due to the low turret height. This makes it difficult to shoot over hills and other obstacles, especially on maps with 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
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- reference to the series of the vehicles;
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|USSR medium tanks|
|T-28||T-28 · T-28E · T-28 (1938)|
|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|
|Trophies/Lend-Lease||▂T-III · ▂T-V · ▂M3 Medium · ▂M4A2 · ▂МК-IX "Valentine"|