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New Video Shows Ukraine Drone Dropping Grenade Inside Russian Tank

T-80 Tank Destroyed in Ukraine. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Russian T-80BV Tank Dies on Twitter – The Twitter world, more specifically the Ukraine Weapons Tracker account, has proven in the last two weeks alone to be a veritable treasure trove of video clips of Russian armored vehicles sacrificing themselves futilely on the altar of Vladimir Putin’s interminably wasteful “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Last week that page provided us here at 19FortyFive with back-to-back stories discussing videos of BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) getting schwacked.

Just recently, we ran a story about footage of a T-72B3 main battle tank (MBT) biting the dust. And to put a morbid paraphrase on an old cliché, “Variety is the spice of death,” as less than 24 hours later, Ukraine Weapons Tracker has furnished video of a relatively newer Russian MBT ending up every bit as dead, a T-80BV

The War in Ukraine: The Video Keeps Rolling

This newest video (newest relatively speaking as I type these words, anyway) has a running time of 48 seconds, with a blurb/caption that reads as follows: “#Ukraine: In #Donetsk Oblast, an abandoned Russian T-80BV tank was destroyed by another drone-dropped munition, dropped inside the drivers’ hatch.” 

One might wonder at first why the Ukrainians didn’t opt to simply capture the abandoned Russian tank like they’ve done so repeatedly and famously, but upon further consideration, perhaps they were exercising an abundance of caution against potential boobytraps.

There is an absence of any smoke plume that would serve as the telltale indicator of a missile launch, and the piece of ordnance we see dropped inside the tank looks like some sort of bomblet or grenade (for lack of a better descriptor).  

The Killee: T-80BV History & Specifications 

As noted by my 19FortyFive colleague Wesley Culp, “The first T-80s entered service in 1976, after years of development on a tank project which the Soviets hoped would be able to improve on some of the mechanical deficiencies of the T-64, its spiritual and technical predecessor.”  

What distinguishes the T-80BV MBTs from the original iteration are upgrades such as the Sosna-U fire-control system that incorporates optical sight, laser rangefinder and thermal imager, as well as an ATGM control channel, an updated energy generator and engine starter, and advanced explosive reactive armor (ERA) plates.

The tank accommodates a 3-man crew. 

Primary armament of this tank is a 125mm 2A46 smoothbore gun, backed up by a 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun and a 12.7mm NSVT machine gun is mounted at the commander’s hatch. Besides APFSDS (Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding-Sabot), HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank), and HE-Frag (High Explosive Fragmentation) rounds, that 125mm main gun can also launch AT-8 `Songster’/9M112 Kobra anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) with a range from 100 to 4,000 meters.

T-80 Tank

T-80 Tank firing. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Russian Tanks

Russian T-80 tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.


Russian T-80 tank. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Dimensions include a length of 9.65 meters, a width of 3.4 meters, and a height: 2.21 meters. Weight is 43,700 kilograms. Max speed is 70 km/h on paved roads and 48 km/h off-road, with a range of 335 kilometers (that can be extended tp 400 km with additional fuel drums.  

The Killer: (Bayraktar?) Drone 

The blurb doesn’t specify what type of drone was used to destroy the T-80, but one can venture an educated guess that it’s the Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 UAV that the Ukrainians have immortalized in song.

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Christian D. Orr is a former Air Force Security Forces officer, Federal law enforcement officer, and private military contractor (with assignments worked in Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kosovo, Japan, Germany, and the Pentagon). Chris holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California (USC) and an M.A. in Intelligence Studies (concentration in Terrorism Studies) from American Military University (AMU). He has also been published in The Daily Torch and The Journal of Intelligence and Cyber Security. Last but not least, he is a Companion of the Order of the Naval Order of the United States (NOUS)

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Christian D. Orr is a former Air Force officer, Federal law enforcement officer, and private military contractor (with assignments worked in Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kosovo, Japan, Germany, and the Pentagon).