The Russian Defense Ministry announced that new T-80BVM tanks are now being transported to Arctic military units. A source in the ministry told Izvestiya newspaper on June 4 that the 80th Motor Rifle Brigade will be completely stocked with the new machines, followed by the 200th Brigade.
The T-80 in their newest BVM modification are equipped with upgraded gas-turbine engines that can start at temperatures as low as —40 degrees Celsius and be ready for action in only minutes. Tanks with conventional diesel engines need some 40 minutes to warm up in such conditions.
Besides new engines, a new starting system and new electricity generator adapted for cold temperatures, the upgraded tanks will feature a new targeting system, new weapons control that, among other things, would allow both the gunner and the commander to fire, and new armor.
"Syrian experience is implemented on these machines," tank officer Sergey Korovin told Zvezda TV in June.
According to Russian media, there are some 3,000 tanks in Russian Defense Ministry storage that have not been upgraded yet. Overall, some 10,000 T-80s have been produced since 1970s.