T-80 Main Battle Tank
Gary's Combat Vehicle Reference Guide

  T-80B T-80U
Alternative Designations N/A SMT (Soviet Medium Tank) M1989
Country of OriginCIS (formerly USSR)
RoleMain battle tank
Date Of Introduction 1978 1987
Crew3 (commander, gunner, driver)
Combat Weight 49.1 tons (44.5 mt) 50.7 tons (46.0 mt)
Ground Pressure 12.4 psi (0.87 kg/cm²) 13.1 psi (0.92 kg/cm²)
Length, Hull 22.9 ft (6.98 m) 23 ft (7.01 m)
Width, Overall 11.75 ft (3.58 m) 11.81 ft (3.60 m)
Height, Without AA MG 7.28 ft (2.22 m) 7.22 ft (2.20 m)
  T-80B T-80U
Engine 1,000 hp (746 kw) or 1,100 hp (820 kw) multi-fuel gas turbine 1,250 hp (932 kw) multi-fuel gas turbine
Range 230 miles (370 km).  311 miles (500 km) with extra tanks 311 miles (500 km).  559 miles (900 km) with extra tanks
Road Speed43 mph (70 km/h)
Cross Country Speed25 mph (40 km/h)
Swim SpeedN/A
Fording Depth5.9 ft (1.8 m) unprepared.  16.4 ft (5.0 m) with snorkel.  39.4 ft (12.0 m) with BROD-M system
  T-80B T-80U
Armor Turret front: Defeat 120mm rounds (triple layer) Turret front: Against 120mm rounds
Applique ArmorN/ASide of hull and over track skirts
Explosive Reactive Armor 1st Generation ERA available Kontakt-5 2nd Generation ERA
Active Protective SystemAvailableArena available
NBC Protection SystemYes
Smoke EquipmentVehicle engine exhaust smoke system.  Four 81mm smoke grenade launchers on each side of turret
Type Mount Typical Ammo Load
125mm 2A46-2 smoothbore gun Turret; auto and manual loading 39.
AT-8/SONGSTER anti-tank guided missiles.
SACLOS; encoded radio frequency
Gun-launched 6.
7.62mm PKT machine gun Coaxial to main gun 1,250
12.7mm NSVT AA machine gun Turret top 500
Type Mount Typical Ammo Load
125mm 2A46M-1 smoothbore gun Turret; auto and manual loading 39.
AT-11 anti-tank guided missiles.
SACLOS; infrared laser-beam rider
Gun-launched 6.
AT-11, AT-11B
7.62mm PKT machine gun Coaxial to main gun 1,250
12.7mm NSVT AA machine gun Turret top 500
  T-80B T-80U
Fire Control System FCS 1A33 FCS 1A42
Main Gun Stabilization 2E26M, 2-plane 2342, 2-plane
Infrared SearchlightYes


The T-80-series tank turrets can rotate a full 360° in just 6 seconds, which is as fast as the US M1 Abrams and M2 BFV.

The tank's night sight cannot be used to launch the ATGM. The daysight can be used at night for launching ATGMs if the target is illuminated.

A variety of thermal sights is available. They include the Russian Agava-2, French SAGEM-produced ALIS and Namut sight from Peleng. There are thermal sights available for installation which permit night launch of ATGMs.

The 12.7mm MG NSVT has both remote electronically operated sight PZU-5 and gun-mounted K10-T reflex sight.


The T-80B and -BV variants are often misidentified as T-80. They are visibly different and bear other distinctions, such as T-80B/-BV capability for launching AT-8/ Songster ATGM.
Original production model. The T-80 has some features of both the T-64 and T-72, and other features unique to itself. In general, the offensive capabilities of the T-80 are similar to the T-64B, but it is faster and better protected.

Visual keys are rubber-tired road wheels, a self-entrenching blade on the lower glacis, a large left-hand optic, and smoke grenade launchers on the rear of the turret sides.

Significant differences are the ability to fire the AT-8 Songster through the gun barrel (like the T-64B), improved mobility through a 1,000 horsepower turbine engine, a probable laser range finder, and probable enhanced armor on the glacis and turret (an upper glacis of steel layers enclosing fiberglass layers and a cast steel turret enclosing nonmetallic materials).

Recognition features:
  • Fully tracked.
  • Six large die-cast, irregularly spaced road wheels with three support rollers.
  • Sharply sloped upper glacis with V-shaped splash guard.
  • Seven smoke grenade dischargers on left side of turret; five smoke grenade dischargers on right side of turret
  • Single snorkel mounted on rear of turet.
  • Engine exhaust on rear of hull.
  • Integrated fuel cells and storage containers, with streamlined fenders.
  • Laser range finder.
See data above. The ATGM may be launched while moving slowly (no further information). The AT-8 can be auto-loaded with the two halves mated during ramming; but the stub charge is manually loaded.
Variant with ERA.
See data above. GTA-18A Auxiliary Power Unit is used when the engine is off. The original night sight is the II Buran-PA (800-1,300 meters range).
Version produced in the Ukraine with a 1000-hp diesel engine instead of the turbine engine, and 1st generation ERA.
Command version with R-163-50K and R-163-U radios, TNA-4 land navigation system, and an electronic fuze-setting device that permits use of Ainet Shrapnel Round. The AGAVA thermal sight provides a 2,600-meter night acquisition range.
Ukrainian upgrade of T-80UD with a welded turret, a French ALIS thermal sight, a more powerful engine, optional use of ARENA active protection system (APS) and SHTORA-1 active IR ATGM jammer system. Prototypes have been demonstrated, and the tank is available for export.
FM 3-22.34: T-80UD