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In Development: T-80BVM

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We’re happy to announce that the T-80BVM progression MBT will be making its appearance in the foreseeable future.



T-80BVM (with additional side armor)


As you already know, we’re introducing additional progression vehicles to Armored Warfare in order to complete the line previously ending with the T-80U MBT. We have launched the T-80UM-1 Bars in October and have announced the final vehicle of the line but, unfortunately, there have been some delays in adding the “middle” model as it is a complicated one. But there has been progress since and today, we’d like to tell you more about this tank.

The history behind this vehicle is actually quite complicated. It started well before the fall of the Soviet Union with numerous proposed T-80 upgrades, but almost ended with it as there just wasn’t enough money to go around in the 1990s. Russia’s military was simply in bad shape and things would not improve until the early 2000s. That, however, didn’t mean there were no attempts. There was the 1997 T-80UM-1 Bars and the Black Eagle that appeared the same year. But things didn’t properly take off until the establishment of a program called “Motobol” in 2005 or 2006.

The goal of this program was to upgrade the existing fleet of Russian T-80s for a number of reasons, most importantly that turbine vehicles fared better in cold environments and that there were thousands lying around the army’s warehouses, a perfect framework for a massive upgrade. Another idea was to offer some for export (for countries like Cyprus and Yemen), but that’s another story.



T-80BVM (early configuration)


It’s worth noting that this program wasn’t really connected to the Bars because that was done by Omsktranshmash whereas the Motobol program began at the Kirov Plant (also known as the Leningrad Kirov Plant, LKZ) and the Spetsmash design bureau (KB Spetsmash) in St. Petersburg.

The goal of the program was to modernize the existing T-80B/BV tanks and included the development of numerous components as well as various T-80 variants, most notably:

  • T-80UA (T-80U upgrade featuring 2A46M-4 gun, improved 1A45-1 FCS, new gunner and commander optics and Shtora soft-kill APS)
  • T-80UE-1 (2005 T-80BV overhaul including T-80UD turret, new GT-1250 1250hp turbine engine, 18kW APU, improved 1A45-1 FCS, Kontakt-5 ERA instead of Kontakt-1 and numerous other features)
  • T-80BV fitted with Relikt ERA (unknown designation, one-off prototype)
  • Object 219AM2 (T-80U with Arena-E hard-kill APS), one-off prototype
  • Object 219M (deep T-80BV overhaul, also called T-80BV-RM or T-80UM), one-off prototype

Most of these vehicles sort of disappeared in the annals of history. The T-80UE-1 was kind of mass-produced but not really, as Russia couldn’t afford to buy too many of these – it was formally accepted in service in 2005 with 10 allegedly built between 2007 and 2008, but there isn’t much else.



Object 219M


The Object 219M is more interesting though, as it represents a predecessor to the vehicle we are discussing today. In many ways the Object 219M (we’ll be using this name as it is by far the best-known one) was the T-80BVM should have been. It featured the following firepower upgrades:

  • New 125mm 2A46M-4 gun replacing the 2A46M-1
  • Replacing the by-then obsolete gun-launched Kobra ATGM capability with a newer system called 9K119 Refleks
  • New FCS called 45M

As a result, the effective firing distance grew by 15 to 20 percent. Effective rate of fire at night was doubled (it took less time to line each shot).

The protection was enhanced by replacing the old Kontakt-1 ERA with the cutting-edge Relikt system and the Arena-E hard-kill APS was added as well. Its mobility was improved by improving the engine output from 1250hp to 1400hp. The tank really came with all bells and whistles – it even came with an anti-mine system and Nakidka camouflage.

A single prototype was unveiled around 2012 and was shown several times to public but, as you can imagine, it was still way too expensive for the upgrade to be launched en-masse. The tank would end up paraded around for a few years until its disappearance. It is said that the hull was used in the Burlak program as a turret carrier and that’s how it got to Omsk.

Following the failure of Object 219M, Russia still had tons of old T-80BVs on its hands and nothing to show for its years of development. The idea was therefore simple – “let’s take the concept of Object 219M, simplify it to make it affordable and we’ll have viable tank in no time.” And that’s what the the T-80BVM basically is.



T-80BVM (double ERA configuration)


Developed by Omsktransmash, the first demonstrator appeared in 2017 at the Army 2017 expo in Moscow and featured numerous improvements, but not as many or as high-quality ones as the Object 219M. They include:

  • Brand-new Relikt armor (the Arena-E APS was left out despite being initially announced as a part of the upgrade)
  • New 2A46M-4 gun (the 2A46M-5 model info is incorrect) with improved 2E58 gun stabilizer
  • New Sosna-U gunner optics (similar to those on the T-72B3)
  • New ATGM launching system (replaced the old 9K112 Kobra system with the 9K119 Refleks one)
  • Improved automatic loading mechanism to use the larger Svinets rounds
  • New R-168-25U-2 “Akveduk” comms system

The contract to upgrade the first T-80Bs to this version was signed in 2017 and the mass-produced vehicle first appeared in public in 2018. It has officially entered service in either 2018 or 2019.

Since then, it went through numerous iterations with various armor and optics configurations (including the so-called “mobilized” version with downgraded optics).

It’s unclear how many were built since but the estimates range between 200 and 300 vehicles. The T-80BVM has been relatively widely used in the Ukraine conflict by both sides as a number of these tanks (possibly several dozen) were captured by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2022 and early 2023. The production on the Russian side still continues and the tank remains (along with the T-90M) the most modern MBT of the Russian Federation.



Click the image to open a larger version


In Armored Warfare, the T-80BVM will be a Tier 9 Main Battle Tank.

The tank will be possible to unlock from the Tier 8 T-80UM-1 Bars MBT of Marat Shishkin’s MBT branch by completing an achievement using the Bars (not to worry, it won’t be a repetition of the previous requirement and it will emphasize active gameplay).

Regarding the vehicle itself, it’ll be, as one might expect, an evolution of the T-80-style gameplay – a highly mobile, heavy hitting machine with decent protection. There will be, however, several features setting it apart from its peers.



Click the image to open a larger version


For one, the vehicle will offer 4 differed protection upgrades:

  • Basic Relikt ERA coverage
  • Relikt ERA with additional side plates (based on the later models)
  • Relikt ERA with another, secondary Relikt ERA layer covering its sides (this second ERA will be placed in soft bags similar to those used on the BMPT Mod.2017 – this version first appeared in 2022)

The fourth protection upgrade is the Arena-E hard-kill APS.

The engine will be possible to upgrade to 1400hp (Klimov GTD-1400 turbine – not bad for 46 tons).



Click the image to open a larger version


And, finally, there’s the firepower consisting of the usual assortment of 125mm ammunition including 3VBM23 APFSDS, 3VBK27 HEAT, 3VOF36 HE and gun-launched ATGM. There will be two new shell types that’ll be available as upgrades though:

  • 3UBK14F1 gun-launched thermobaric ATGM
  • 3VOF77 “Namestnik” programmable HE

Both should provide some additional gameplay elements for the vehicle.

And that’s pretty much it. We hope that you’ll enjoy this vehicle that’s coming in the first quarter of this year and will be followed by the Object 292 Tier 10 MBT to complete the line.


  • The T-80UM-1 Bars was originally going to get the thermobaric ATGM and programmable HE (as seen in article), but that ultimately didn't happen upon release.
  • SS says there are no plans to review large calibre programmable HE (also available on Leclerc and T-14) despite their relatively poor performance compared to autocannon counterparts.
  • SS also says that the armour configurations will be a linear upgrade
Edited by Qbicle
Mentioned armour configurations will be a linear upgrade (see edit history)
  • Upvote 1


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As of 07.02.24 - The news article has been removed and it leads to a 403 error.  No official comments on why it was removed

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SS now has an answer on the article's disappearance (source):

T-80BVM is still planned as a progression vehicle. The article contained some incorrect information and will be updated.



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