T-64 Tank: The Soviet Weapon Ukraine Has Turned Against Russia

It’s a weapon that Ukraine used to make for Russian troopers. However now Ukraine’s turned the T-64 tank in opposition to its erstwhile comrades — and proving that this Chilly Warfare tank nonetheless has some combat left in it.           

The Soviet origin of the t-64

When the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, it left three tank constructing institutions in operation. Two, within the Russian Federation, had been at Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), sustaining manufacturing of the T-80, and Nizhni-Tagil, main producer of the comparatively easy and cheap T-72 and its Russian-designed successor, the T-90. The remaining manufacturing unit, within the Ukrainian metropolis of Kharkiv, Ukraine, produced probably the most revolutionary and problematic tank of the late 20th century: the T-64.

The T-64’s chief designer, Aleksandr Morozov, had beforehand gained fame for 2 outstandingly easy however efficient tanks, the T-34 and the T-54. The T-64, in distinction, sought to achieve qualitative superiority on the battlefield with unprecedented inventiveness, corresponding to a compact engine association and an auto-loader for its 125 mm smoothbore cannon, which might hearth shells or antitank missiles. They added as much as produce a tank weighing a mere 38 tons and carrying a three-man crew, succesful (in idea) of taking up the usual four-man predominant battle tanks of its Western opposition. When it entered service in 1964, the T-64 was used completely by Soviet tank regiments, and its technical particulars had been veiled in secrecy for a few years.

Additionally saved secret for so long as doable was the embarrassing frequency with which its technological improvements malfunctioned within the area, together with an inclination of the autoloader to “eat” the left arms of insufficiently attentive gunners. The comparatively modest 13,000 T-64s constructed between 1964 to 1987 mirrored the tanks’ difficulties and its expense — 40 p.c greater than the easier T-72 that was developed to complement and in the end eclipse it in Soviet use, in addition to dominate worldwide gross sales.


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Changing into a Submit-Communist tank

When the postwar Soviet Union transitioned from a single Communist empire to a various assortment of impartial states, it left all of them economically challenged — however their militaries well-stocked with weaponry. In Ukraine’s case, its arsenal included the vast majority of T-64s produced and a still-active manufacturing unit. As relations with Russia grew to become strained, the Ukrainians strove to make do by upgrading the armor they’d available.

Along with the getting older T-64BV, the Ukrainians improved the fundamental design with the T-62BM Bulat, which featured an 850-horsepower 5TDFM diesel engine able to attaining a most pace of 70 kilometers per hour (43 miles per hour) and a variety of 385 kilometers (239 miles). This enhance in energy compensated for enhancements that added as much as 45 tons.

Its 125 mm 9K119Svir (NATO designation AT-11 Sniper) cannon fires a wide range of shells or missiles and options an improved autoloader, though its hearth management system is reportedly inferior to its predecessor’s. It could hearth its shells to a variety of two,500 meters (8,200 toes) by day and 1,500 meters (4,920 toes) by night time. The principle armament is supplemented by a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun and a 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun.

The tank is protected by add-on passive and explosive reactive armor, in addition to composite armor within the entrance of each the hull and the turret. A wading equipment permits the tank to ford streams as much as 5 meters deep.


Upon gaining independence, Ukraine had about 2,000 T-64s, 1,000 T-72s and 300 T-80s. Russia additionally had some T-64s, as did Uzbekistan, along with which 25 discovered their approach to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The primary upgraded T-64BM Bulats had been revealed in 1999, entered Ukrainian service in 2005 and entered fight in 2014, when the Russians started supporting insurgents within the jap Ukraine. Ukraine had 720 T-64BVs and T-64BMs operational at the moment, with one other 600 in reserve. A big variety of Ukrainian tanks reportedly fell sufferer to insurgents armed with antitank infantry weapons, exhibiting that they had been simply as weak to these weapons as had been their Russian counterparts.

ukrainian t-64 versus russian t-64

When Russia launched its 2022 invasion, Ukraine, although outnumbered general, dedicated all its obtainable tanks towards participating and later driving again the Russian military. The T-64BVs made up the majority of their offensive armor, though the Russians used a few of their very own smaller shares of the aged however nonetheless lethal autos. As of April 29, the Ukrainians had misplaced 110 T-64BVs and on April 25 the Russians reported knocking out their first T-64BM. The Russians, in flip, misplaced 16 of their very own T-64BVs throughout the identical interval.

As of mid-Could 2022, counterattacking Ukrainian drive drove the Russians again from Kharkiv. Undoubtedly T-64s constructed there have been within the vanguard of that effort. It’s equally doubtless that Ukraine’s inherited, improved tanks will likely be turning up in additional operations to return.

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