The T-84 main battle tank is the result of continued main battle tank development by the Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau, which is Ukraine's leading design authority for armored fighting vehicles. The T-84 differed from the T-80 by the following: new all-welded turret, explosive reactive armor of new generation, thermal imaging sight, digitisation of the fire-control system, 1200 hp engine, auxiliary power unit, optronic countermeasures system, automatic muzzle reference system, navigation aids etc.
The overall layout of the T-84 is conventional with the driver's compartment at the front, fighting compartment in the centre and power pack at the rear. The driver is seated in the center and has a single-piece hatch cover that lifts and swings to the right. In front of this are three forward-facing periscopes, the centre one of which can be replaced by a night driving device. There is an escape hatch in the hull floor behind the driver. The commander is seated on the right and the gunner on the left both provided with single-piece roof hatches.
The T-84 is based on a T-80UD, but has a number of advanced features which distinguish it from the T-80UD. These include the following:
- new all-welded turret;
- explosive reactive armour of new generation to give more protection against both chemical energy and kinetic energy attack over the frontal arc;
- thermal imaging sight;
- 1,200 hp engine rather than a 1,000 hp engine the T-80UD is powered by;
- digitisation of the electronics packages associated with the fire-control system;
- optronic countermeasures system;
- auxiliary power unit;
- muzzle reference system;
- navigation system;
- enlarged side skirts to give additional protection of the hull sides and running gear components against attacks by infantry armed with short range anti-tank missiles.
The latest version of the T-84 offered for the export market also features an automated gear shifting rather than a mechanical gear selector, new driver's steering controls (the driver now steers the vehicle with a steering T-bar rather than tillers, thus reducing the load on the driver), an air conditioning system, projectile muzzle velocity sensor, and other improvements.
The T-84 uses locally produced components and subsystems, although systems of foreign origin can be incorporated at the customer's request. The T-84 MBT is a very efficient fighting machine intended to fulfil the mission of providing mobile protected firepower in all types of terrain. The T-84 is very well protected, has good battlefield mobility as well as good strategic mobility, and is able to undertake a wide range of battlefield missions on a 24 hour basis under all weather conditions.
The T-84 was developed under the leadership of Mykhailo D. Borysiuk on the basis of the T-80UD MBT. The first T-84 prototype vehicle rolled out in 1994, and then several more prototype vehicles were produced. They were subjected to extensive company and army trials. After successful completion of an extensive trials programme in mid-1990, the T-84 entered service with the Ukrainian Army in 1999.
The T-84 was offered for export and took part in comparative evaluation trials in Greece in 1998, in Turkey in 2000 and in Malaysia in 2000 to meet these countries' requirement for a new main battle tank. In Turkey, a special version of the T-84 fitted with a NATO 120 mm smoothbore gun fed by a bustle-mounted automatic loader was demonstrated.
The T-84 MBT is now in service with Ukraine (in 2000 the Ukrainian Defence Ministry ordered 10 new T-84 series main battle tanks) and Pakistan (the final delivery T-80UD tanks supplied to Pakistan in 1999 incorporated many features of the T-84 including a new all-welded turret and other improvements to give them enhanced T-84 configuration).
Addressing a meeting of servicemen and officials on the airfield near Kharkiv 06 December 2014, President Petro Poroshenko said the armor contracts with tank-building plants will be doubled in 2015, . The focus is on a new armored personnel vehicle which was modernized following its operation in Donbas, the president said. Production of new Oplot tanks will also be increased, he said.
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