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Profile: KMDB-Malyshev Oplot main battle tank
July 16, 2018
KMDB T-84 Oplot M main battle tank (MBT).

Profile: KMDB-Malyshev Oplot main battle tank

The Oplot main battle tank (MBT), designed by the Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau (KMDB) and manufactured by the Malyshev Factory in Ukraine, is a contemporary variant of the T-84, which is an upgrade of the T-80UD MBT. Thailand ordered 49 Oplot MBTs in March 2011. The tank has also reportedly elicited interest from the Pakistan Army, which bought 320 T-80UDs in 1996. The Oplot-M is an upgraded variant of the Oplot, it reportedly possesses improvements in armour and a new sight.

Armament

While based on the T-80UD/T-84’s chassis, the Oplot boasts a new all-welded turret incorporating a 125 mm KBA3 smoothbore gun with a carousel automatic shell loader.

The Oplot can carry 40 rounds for the KBA3, with 28 in the autoloader. The KBA3 can fire armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) rounds, high-explosive fragmentation rounds (HE-FRAG), high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds and semi-active laser-homing (SALH) anti-tank guided-missiles (ATGM). The Oplot is also armed with a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and 12.7 mm machine gun (which can be used against low-flying aircraft).

Internal Electronics

The Oplot has an integrated gun-and-fire control system (IGFCS). This comprises of a panoramic sight system with thermal imaging – it can detect and identifying targets on the ground and at low-altitude. For detecting tanks, the sight as a range of 5,500+ m through its visual channel and 8,000+ m through a thermal channel with a narrow field-of-view. The laser rangefinder has a targeting range of 400 to 5000 m. In the crew area, the Oplot has two air conditioners (one in the hull and another in the turret).

Armour & Protection

The Oplot is built using KMDB’s proprietary armour technology supported by Nozh explosive reactive armour (ERA) panels. As with other ERAs, the Nozh is designed to explode in response to ATGM and shells (including APFSDS and HEAT), providing a layer of protection ahead of the tank’s armour. The Nozh was designed for defensibility against tandem warheads as well. KMDB claims that the Nozh does not require maintenance, is safe to handle and has a shelf-life of 10 years (with field-storage life of five years and post-application life of three years).

The Oplot also benefits from a countermeasures system centering on the Varta active protection suite (APS). The Varta APS’ primary function is to interfere with the laser-riding of a SALH ATGM. The Ukrainian defence industry is also offering the Zaslon APS, which builds upon the Varta’s soft-kill capabilities with a hard-kill element using explosive charges directed at incoming projectiles.

Powerplant

The Oplot is powered by a 1,200 hp 6TD-2 diesel engine, which enables the MBT to reach a top speed of up to 70 km/h on road and 50 km/h cross-country. The Oplot-M has a range of 450 km on road and 350 km cross-country. KMDB claims that the Oplot-M can operate in temperatures of -40° to +55° Celcius.

The aforementioned details were acquired from KMDB and Ukroboronprom.