‘There are no secrets left’

Andrey Kots

Kiev continues to tr-ade in military sec-rets – the other day the Americans for seven million dollars received the last modification of the BM “Oplot” tank, the serial production of which has not been started yet. Why the Pentagon needed this car and what else did Ukraine sell to the United States – in the material of RIA Novosti.

The main battle tank “Oplot” is a Ukrainian modification of the Soviet T-80UD. The latest version is equipped with modern fire control systems and optoelectronic countermeasures, a combined panora-mic sight with independent day and night channels, Duplet reactive armor, a new driver’s on-board computer and communication facilities, and a 1200 horsepower engine. According to experts, the “Oplot” in terms of combat capabilities roughly corresponds to the Russian T-90A.

However, since 2008, the Ukrainian army has received only three such vehicles. Kiev supplied 49 more to Thailand, thus breaking all the terms of the contract. The low quality of the equipment also greatly angered the buyers: the factory paint very quickly ca-me off many cars, exposing the rust. It turned out that they used components and assemblies that had been in warehouses for decades or even in the open air. So, the “new” “Oplots” were equipped with TD-1000T engines, removed from the first T-80s of the mid-1970s. Then these motors were truly breakthrough, but over 40 years, of course, they were outdated.

The technical condition of those few “Oplots”, which were nevertheless purchased for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, is also of great concern. For example, in August one of the three tanks that took part in the rehearsal of the parade in Kiev simply stalled. A puddle of process fluid has spilled out under the engine compartment.

In addition, it was seen that the fashionable pixel camouflage was applied in a hurry – with wide tapes of masking tape. A natural question arises: why did the Pentagon need a Ukrainian tank, which is problematic in all respects?

Test of strength

“The interest of the Americans is clear:” Oplot “is a product of one of the leading tank-building enterprises of the USSR, – Viktor Murakhovsky, editor-in-ch-ief of the magazine” Arsen-al of the Fatherland “, exp-lained to RIA Novosti. Wh-at is relatively new the Ukr-ainians managed to implement on the old platform. T-hey are unlikely to copy so-mething directly for themselves, but they are quite c-apable of spying on some know-how and developing their own solution based on it. Moreover, they bought Oplot relatively cheaply. , the production of “Abrams” from scratch would cost at least ten million dollars today. “

The expert emphasized that, first of all, the Americans are interested in the Oplot multi-layer combined armor, the dynamic protection system, and sighting devices. The tank will be disassembled to a screw, the components and assemblies will be carefully examined, everything will be assembled and sent to the landfill. There, it is likely that a combat vehicle will be fired at with various anti-tank ammunition in order to find weak points. And the 125mm cannon is useful for checking your own armored vehicles for damage resistance.

In many respects, the Ukrainian tank is similar to other Soviet-school vehic-les still in service. The data obtained during the study of “Oplot” is used to develop tactics for dealing with modern Russian armored vehicles. In addition, Oplot is likely to take part in numerous exercises, where it will play the role of an enemy tank – there are special units in the US Army that portray the “bad guys”.

All for sale

It must be said that this is not the first time Ukraine has sold military equipment to the Americans. Of course, such deals are usually not publicized. In addition, defense technology is traded in convoluted and b-ureaucratic patterns. Neve-rtheless, information about some of the contracts leak-ed to the media. From 1993 to 2014, Ukraine sent several dozen infantry fighting vehicles to the United States. Basically BMP-2, as well as the newest BMP-3 at the time of the collapse of the USSR, adopted for service in 1987.

They bought fewer tanks – quite a lot of T-72s ended up in the United States from Germany after the unification of the country. In 2003, the Pentagon purchased four gas turbine T-84Us in Ukraine, and in 2010 – T-80BV. The Americans were primarily interested in booking. According to some reports, the machines were used as targets at training grounds.

During the Cold War, NATO underestimated the capabilities of Soviet tank armor. Already in zero, Pentagon specialists fired at 25 T-72A1 and T-72B1 tanks with dynamic protection “Contact-5” with M829A1 projectiles with a depleted uranium core. It was not possible to disable the combat vehicles then. And according to the test results for the Abrams, they developed M829A2 and M829A3 shells with increa-sed armor penetration.

Thus, a careful study of the technology of a potential enemy largely influen-ced the development of A-merican 120-mm ammunition. But today this is no lo-nger relevant: modern Rus-sian T-72B3 and T-90 are e-quipped with more advanc-ed reactive armor “Relikt”.

Naturally, the Americans did not miss the opportunity to buy several modern combat aircraft from Ukraine. It is reliably known that in 2009 Kiev sold two demilitarized Su-27UB “twin” vehicles to the Chicagobased private company Pride Aircraft. For six months, they put the cars on the wing and posted videos of the flights on the Internet, after which the traces of the “dryers” were lost. The company’s website reported that the fighters have been sold and are no longer available. The buyer was not disclosed, but, most likely, the cars went to the Pentagon.

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