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The T-80 is a main battle tank (MBT) designed and manufactured in the former Soviet Union. A development of the T-64, it entered service in 1976 and was the first production tank to be equipped with a gas turbine engine for main propulsion (the Stridsvagn 103 only used a supplementary gas turbine by 1971). The T-80U was last produced in a factory in Omsk, Russia, while the T-80UD and further-developed T-84 continue to be produced in Ukraine. The T-80 and its variants are in service in Belarus, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, and Ukraine. The chief designer of the T-80 was the Russian engineer Nikolay Popov.
T-80B and T-80BV MBTs were used during the First Chechen War. This first real combat experience for T-80 MBTs was unsuccessful as they were used for capturing cities, a task for which they were not very well suited. The biggest losses were suffered during the ill-fated assault on the city of Grozny. The reasons for that included the fact that the forces selected to capture Grozny were not prepared for such an operation while the city was defended by, among others, veterans of Soviet War in Afghanistan. The T-80 tanks used in this operation either did not have reactive armour (T-80B), or it was not fitted before the start of the operation (T-80BV).
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