The Russian military’s sole experimental T-80UM2 main combat tank was taken down during the Ukraine invasion. However, this one-of-a-kind fighting vehicle would not be the first instance of new or experimental Russian weapons systems being used in the war.
The Oryx blog‘s team of researchers has gathered visual proof. Material damage can be seen on both sides in the images. On March 17, researchers discovered T-80UM2’s wreckage. The tank is reported to have been dropped near Trostyanets in Sumy Oblast, northern Ukraine.
The T-80UM2 was allegedly part of a more giant stack of Russian vehicles engaged by Ukrainian forces, and photographs show the T-80UM2 destroying trucks. Its fall from grace is unknown; all we know is that its turret toppled, and its body was burned.
The T-80UM2 has a strange history since it is tied to the Objekt 640, commonly known as the Black Eagle, a new tank project. The mock-up by Black Eagle initially emerged in 1997. By 1998, the development on the T-80UM2, a Cold War-era follow-up to the T-80, had taken hold. The T-80UM2 and the Black Eagle look to have a lot in common. As a result, some individuals erroneously assume they are the same thing. If indeed the case, the T-80UM2 might acted as a testbed for the Black Eagle, which was never completed.
The T-80UM2 was based on an upgraded T-80U design, with a welded-steel turret including Kaktus explosive reactive armour (ERA) added to the front of the hull. Moreover, anti-fragmentation screens were fitted around the turret’s front, and more Kaktus was added to the track skirts.
In addition, the Drozd-2 active protection system uses radar to detect onrushing anti-tank rockets and anti-tank missiles before firing high-explosives at them. For example, it could aim at the target while disabling them at 20-30 feet from the tank.