Oplot – Ukraine Main battle tank
In terms of overall performance it is rather comparable to the Russian T-90 tank. On the other hand the whole concept behind the Oplot is rather successful, but the faulty components let the side down.
The Oplot is an improved version of Ukrainian T-84 main battle tank, fitted with new turret. Sometimes it is referred as T-84 Oplot. Overall in terms of protection, firepower it is broadly similar to the Russian T-90. The Oplot was officially adopted in 2000. Only 10 of these tanks were produced in 2001 and delivered to Ukrainian armed forces.
How Much Damage Can the T-84 Oplot Deliver?
Ukrainian army never ordered this tank in large numbers due to funding problems and relies ageing T-64 main battle tanks and its upgraded versions. Currently its improved version, the Oplot-M is in production, which is being built in small numbers for Thailand. In 2003-2004 an unspecified number of Oplot tanks were delivered to USA for trials and evaluation. Some sources report that only a single tank was delivered to the USA.
Recently 6 surviving Ukrainian Oplot tanks were repaired and refurbished. Status of remaining 4 tanks is unclear, but these tanks are certainly not operational. In 2018 Ukrainian team with Oplot tanks took part in Strong Europe tank challenge. Other participants included American M1A2 SEP V2, British Challenger 2, French Leclerc, German Leopard 2A4, 2A5 and 2A6 tanks, Swedish Strv 122.
However in this competition Ukrainian team lost to all other participants and took the last place. It was mainly due to numerous reliability issues. So the Ukrainian Oplot proved to be inferior to modern Western main battle tanks due these reliability issues. In terms of overall performance it is rather comparable to the Russian T-90 tank. On the other hand the whole concept behind the Oplot is rather successful, but the faulty components let the side down.
This Ukrainian tank has a much smaller profile than most Western main battle tanks. So it is a smaller target on the battlefield. Protection of the Oplot has been improved over the previous T-84. It has a welded hull and turret with built-in explosive reactive armor.
The tank is fitted with Shtora-1 countermeasures system which reduces the chance of being hit by enemy anti-tank guided missiles with semi-automatic guidance. As usually vehicle is fitted with NBC protection and automatic fire suppression systems. The Oplot tank delivered to USA was fitted with Drozd active protection system.
The Oplot is armed with a 125 mm smoothbore ԍuɴ. It is compatible with all Soviet/Russian 125 mm tank ammunition. This tank is fitted with a carousel-type autoloader, similar to that of the Soviet and Russian tanks. Four types of different rounds can be used. Typically these are APFSDS, HEAT, HE-FRAG, and guided missiles. A total of 28 rounds are stored in the autoloader and ready to use. The rest are stored inside the hull.
The Oplot tank is capable of launching anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary rounds. It is either a Soviet 9K119M Refleks (Western reporting name AT-11 Sniper-B), or its Ukrainian version.
There is a coaxial 7.62 mm machine ԍuɴ. Also there is a roof-mounted remotely-controlled 12.7 mm machine ԍuɴ. It has an effective range of 2 km against air and ground targets. This machine ԍuɴ is operated by vehicle commander.
This main battle tank is operated by a crew of three, including commander, ԍuɴner and driver.
This tank is powered by 6TD-2 turbocharged multi-fuel diesel engine, developing 1 200 hp. The Oplot is much faster than the Russia’s T-90. It is also fitted with auxiliary power unit, which powers all systems when the main engine is turned off. This tank has a deep wading kit and can ford water obstacles up to 5 m deep. The Oplot is fitted with a self-entrenching blade and can prepare itself a defensive emplacement. This tank can be airlifted by an An-124 or similar heavy military transport aircraft.