Developed from the late 1970s, the T-80 represents the final phase of Soviet tank development in the era before the break-up of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the Russian Federation and the other new states created as the Soviet Union gradually imploded. Amongst the most technologically advanced of all amour to have emerged from the old Soviet Union, the T-80 and its later variants, such as the T-90 'Black Eagle', remain central to the Russian army's armored units as well as the armies of several of the ex-Soviet states, such as the Ukraine. In addition to service with the forces of the erstwhile Soviet union, the T-80 has also found a significant place in the global market place with orders from, amongst others, Pakistan and Korea.
In the third of the new 'Russian Armour' series, Mikhail Baryatinskiy provides the reader with a comprehensive account of the development and operational record of the T-80 main battle tank. Utilising photographs, line drawings and specially prepared artworks, he provides a detailed portrait of these highly successful tanks.
The book includes six chapters. Chapter 1 describes the T-80's development history; chapter 2 deals with the production of the baseline diesel-engine T-80 and its subsequent modernization to T-80BV standard, a detailed structural description of the T-80B following in Chapter 3. The next chapter describes the production of the turbine-powered T-80U and its mid-life upgrade, the T-80UD. Chapter 5 gives an account of the T-80's service, including combat use by the Russian Army. Finally, Chapter 6 describes the T-80U's further development into the most advanced Russian tank of today, the T-90 'Black Eagle'.
Aimed at the modeler, military historian and war-gamer, the new 'Russian Armour' series is designed to provide, probably for the first time in the English language, authoritative information on the classic Soviet tank designs of the 20th century. The series will be required reading for all those interested in the development of armored warfare over the past 100 years.