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The T-80 is a main battle tank of Soviet origin. It was early 1970's as a more capable alternative to the T-72 that was to up the bulk of the tank force. The T-80 is a further development of the T-64 but has been improved in all key areas. For instance the T-80 is the first tank in active service to use a gas turbine engine. Compared to earlier Soviet tanks the T-80 was a much better match for NATO tanks and remains a potent weapon today.


The T-80 has a layout which is similar to other modern Soviet tanks. Compared to contemporary NATO tanks the T-80 is smaller and has a limited silhouette. The driver is seated in the middle of the hull, just in front of the turret. The turret houses the commander and gunner and since the 125mm cannon is connected to an autoloader no additional crew is needed to load the gun. The gas turbine engine and drivetrain are located in the rear. Fuel drums can be carried at the rear for additional range.


The main armament is the 125mm 2A46 smoothbore cannon which is connected to an automatic loader with 28 rounds ready to fire. The rate of fire is 7 to 9 rounds per minute. The fire controls and stabilization are of much better quality than used in the T-72 and some T-80's feature a fuzing system for HE rounds. In the early models the cannon has the ability to launch the 9M112 Kobra (AT-8 Songster) missile and in later models the improved 9M119 Svir (AT-11 Sniper) is used. A 7.62mm PKT machine gun is mounted as a coaxial weapon and a 12.7mm NSVT heavy machine gun is mounted at the commander's cupola on the roof and may be fired from under armor protection.


The original T-80B has a high level of passive protection with its passive ceramic armor. The T-80BV has a much improved level of protection due to the first generation Kontakt ERA over the frontal arc. The T-80U introduced a new shape turret with improved protection and the latest Kontakt-5 ERA. Additionally all variants are fitted with a NBC system and smoke grenade launchers. Some late production models are fitted with the Shtora-1 active defense system.


The T-80 has a good cross country mobility with its tracked chassis and powerful engine. The gas turbine engine requires more maintenance and is somewhat more prone to breakdowns compared to diesel engines, although the power and reliability steadily increased in later models. Both in terms of power and controlability the T-80 performs better than the earlier T-72. The maximum road speed is 70 km/h and the range on roads is 335 km due to its high fuel consumption. Using a snorkel it may ford in water up to depths of 5 meters.

Usage in Ghost Recon

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