Ukraine’s T-84 Tanks Have Problems

    Robert Beckhusen

    Security, Europe

    They still nearly beat U.S. M-1 Abrams at Europe’s annual tank competition.

    Since 2016, a slate of European militaries and the United States have gathered their tanks at Germany’s Grafenwoehr Training Area to put their armored beasts to the test in a variety of tactical exercises. This is the Strong Europe Tank Challenge, and a NATO-oriented — although not exclusive — competitor to Russia’s own famous tank biathlon.

    It’s like the World Cup, but for tanks.

    Since 2016, Germany with its Leopard 2A6 tanks has placed first twice — in 2016 and in 2018. Austria and its Leopards placed first in 2017. Unfortunately for Ukraine, it placed last in eighth place during the most recent competition in June 2018. The competition’s results are here.

    For a video of some of the action, see here.

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    Ukraine’s 14th Mechanized Brigade — a crack unit — competed using four T-84 Oplots, a Ukrainian-built spinoff of the Soviet-era T-80 tank, which was itself heavily inspired by the T-64.

    Ukraine has exported these T-84 tanks to Thailand, but they have only served in limited numbers in Ukraine and have not entered the fray in Donbass where hundreds of T-64s may have been lost in fighting since 2014.

    These T-84s encountered lot of problems at Grafenwoehr.

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