T-84 (Oplot) History

The nation of Ukraine was under the Soviet sphere of influence up to 1990 when the Empire was dissolved amidst a move to a more democratic state. Nations such as the Ukraine garnered their independence to become sovereign powers once more. During its years under Soviet rule, the Ukrainian military was subject to procurement of Soviet-inspired designs that included aircraft, small arms, tanks and armored vehicles. One such system became the T-80, a Soviet main battle tank that had entered service in 1976 with the Soviet Army and never saw export until the end of the Soviet Empire. The tank still operates in large numbers (albeit dwindling to an extent) across the globe. Over 5,400 of the type were produced and subsequently passed on to successor states when the new Russia emerged. It was this tank - or, more specifically, the T-80UD production model - that was selected by the Ukrainian government to modernized and upgrade to new Ukrainian Army standards. Ukraine managed up to 345 T-80s as recently as 1995 though this number has since declined over time. Nevertheless, Ukrainian experience with Russian equipment was there.

The selection of the T-80 was essentially one of necessity for the Ukrainians sought to become more independent concerning their military requirements. As such, it was seen that localized efforts would become the call of the day, resulting in a Ukraine that was less dependent on foreign parties for which to staff her military requirements in the foreseeable future. While the resulting design initiative actually began in the late 1980s, the new "T-84" did not appear until 1995, entering frontline service with the Ukrainian Army in 1999. Design of the type was undertaken by the KMDB (Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau) firm with production coming out of the Malyshev Factory of Kharkiv, Ukraine.

The T-84 "Oplot" became a rather ambitious modernization program for the T-84 series as a whole. The turret was redesigned again and of welded construction. Ammunition was now stored in separated compartments from the crew to help increase crew safety in the event of a direct hit from an enemy projectile or missile. The autoloader was now installed to the turret bustle. The Ukrainian Army currently fields only a handful of Oplot series tanks as of this writing though recent developments have seen procurement of the type in greater quantity.

The T-84 "Oplot-M" is nothing more than the latest incarnation of the T-84 and naturally based on the Oplot production variant. The type is a modernized form of the Oplot (hence the "M" in the designation) and brings about an updated countermeasures suite to deal with the ever-expanding potency of new anti-tank/anti-armor weapons on the battlefield today. Armor protection is also improved through Nozh ERA blocks which protect the vehicle from newer tandem projectile warheads.

The export-minded T-84-120 "Oplot" sports a revised turret installation and fits a NATO-standard 120mm main gun with new autoloader. Side armor skirts are standard.

Naturally, as with any other main frontline tank system available in number, the T-84 has been evolved into various other battlefield forms including the BREM-84 armored recovery vehicle (ARV, also known as the "Atlet"), the BMU-84 bridgelayer and the BTMP-84 infantry fighting vehicle - the latter currently residing in prototype form as of this writing. The infantry fighting vehicle version deserves special notice here for it is one of the few modern instances where a main battle tank design has served as the basis for an IFV. This particular modification sees an extra pair of wheels added to a lengthened hull design which mounts a 125mm main gun in a traversing turret installation. The engine is relocated to permit installation of a five-man fighting compartment to the rear of the hull.

The Ukrainian government has attempted to swoon the Turkish Army into procuring their T-84 system and developed the T-84U "Yatagan" prototype specifically for the task (also becoming a marketable model for any other interested customer). The major difference in this version is the inclusion of a 120mm main gun over that of the original's 125mm caliber system as well as an all-new autoloader system. The main gun is, therefore, cleared to fire both NATO-standard projectiles as well as AT-11 "Sniper" anti-tank guided missile. The fire control system (FCS) and communications suites are all tailored to Turkish needs and side armor skirts are standard.

Operators (beyond Ukraine) are set to include Georgia (with twelve tanks ordered) and Thailand (with some 49 examples under order).

The T-84's first-actions were recorded in the 2014 Ukranian-Russian engagements as part of the ongoing War in Donbass.

T-84 (Oplot) Specification


Malyshev Factory - Ukraine
76 Units


- Engineering

- Infantry Support

- Tank vs Tank

- Main Battle Tank (MBT)

- Frontline

- Reconnaissance (RECCE)

- Troop-Carrying

- Support / Special Purpose



23.23 ft (7.08 m)


12.37 ft (3.77 m)


7.22 ft (2.2 m)


56 tons (50,692 kg; 111,757 lb)


1 x KMDB 6TD-2 6-cylinder diesel engine developing 1,200 horsepower OR 1 x KMDB 6TD-3 diesel engine developing 1,500 horsepower.


Maximum Speed:

40 mph (65 kph)

Maximum Range:

336 miles (540 km)

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1 x 125mm KBA-3 main gun

1 x 12.7mm KT-12.7 anti-aircraft heavy machine gun.

1 x 7.62mm KT-7.62 coaxial machine gun


1 x 120mm main gun

1 x 12.7mm anti-aircraft heavy machine gun.

1 x 7.62mm coaxial machine gun


42 x 125mm projectiles

450 x 12.7mm ammunition

1,250 x 7.62mm ammunition


T-84 - Base Production Model based on the T-80UD; fitted with KMDB 6TD-2 diesel engine of 1,200 horsepower; Shtora-1 series countermeasures.

T-84U - Upgraded T-84; laser-rangefinder; thermal imaging sight; GPS navigation; explosive reactive armor; side armor skirts; auxiliary gas turbine engine.

T-84 "Oplot" - Updated T-84U; redesigned turret; seperated ammunition stores; bustle-mounted autoloader.

T-84 "Oplot-M" / BM "Oplot" - Modernized version based on the T-84 Oplot model.

T-84U "Yatagan" - Prototype for possible sale to Turkey; fitting 120mm NATO-standard main gun and new autoloader.

T-84-120 "Oplot" - Export-minded variant fitting 120mm NATO-standard main gun, new autoloader and revised turret; standard side armor skirts.

BREM-84 - Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV)

BMU-84 - Bridgelayer

BTMP-84 - Infantry Fighting Vehicle

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