The T-80 is a third-generation main battle tank designed and manufactured in the Soviet Union. A development of the T-64, it entered service in 1976 and was the first production tank to be equipped with a gas turbine engine for main propulsion. The T-80U was last produced in a factory in Omsk, Russia, while the T-80UD and further-developed T-84 continue to be produced in Ukraine. The T-80 and its variants are in service in Belarus, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, and Ukraine. The chief designer of the T-80 was the Russian engineer Nikolay Popov. In 1963, the Red Army began use of the T-64 MBT which formed the spearhead of Soviet armor strength during the critical years of the Cold War. The T-64 incorporated an automatic loader coupled with an 125 mm smoothbore main gun that is also capable of firing guided antitank missiles. Its arrival certainly forced the West to take notice, as it represented the most modern Red Army tank of the time. The T-72 was then developed in short order as a simpler, economical counterpart to the T-64, though it ended up surpassing it in both numbers and world popularity (some 25,000 T-72s were produced to the 13,000 T-64s). Soviet tank doctrine called for both tank types to serve concurrently and allowed for financial flexibility in the long term. As the T-64 was considered something of a "state secret" in terms of its technology and capabilities, it was not openly exported as the T-72 was.
The T-80 is the final vehicle of the Soviet main battle tanks. The sides are bit weak, so try to cover those as much as possible. The speed is very high for a medium armed tank. The frontal plates have an excellent angle, so the enemy will cause not very high damage from the front. This tank is best used in close combat because it has relatively poor accuracy. A maxed out T-80 reach level 60. The maneuverability is medium for a medium armed tank.
Pros and Cons
- Armor is great, though the health pool is still not rather low like the T-72 or T-90
- Frontal armor and all round turret armor have excellent angling
- Very fast speed, unlike its predecessor or successor
- Very low profile
- Cannot use spaced armor, unlike the T-72 or T-90
- AP performance is absolutely horrible, gets only one tier of upgrade for it
- Alpha damage is rather low, DPM is poor (though still better than the T-72)
- Usual Soviet MBT reverse speed and gun depression, agility and turret rotation speed are subpar