Is Pakistan really considering transferring T-80UD tanks to Ukraine? – Technology Org
In the late 1960’s the Soviet Union decided to combine the design of the T-64 tank with the features of the T-72. Result – T-80 main battle tank, which entered service in 1976. It’s armed with a 125 mm smoothbore gun and originally had a turbine engine. Ukraine is one of the operators of the T-80 tanks and has used them extensively against the Russian forces in the ongoing conflict.
When it was new, the T-80 was the first production main battle tank to use a turbine engine as its main mode of propulsion. However, the disadvantage of such a power unit is its complexity and cost. So, the Ukrainian-made variant T-80UD has a more conventional diesel engine.
While Russia stopped production of the T-80 in 2001, Ukraine continues to make T-80UD tanks and even exported them.
For example, between 1997 and 1999 Pakistan received 320 T-80UD tanks from Ukraine. Interestingly, in the beginning of March 2023 it was reported that Pakistan agreed to transfer dozens of T-80UD tanks to Ukraine.
Indian publication Firstpost published a news story about that and also noted that Ukraine is using Pakistani 122 mm ammunition. It was said that Pakistan offered to transfer 44 T-80UD tanks that were delivered to the country in the 1990’s. Pakistan would agree to that if it got financial support from Ukraine’s Western allies.
This is quite an interesting news story, because Pakistan is viewed as a close ally of the People’s Republic of China. Even though China is trying to keep itself away from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, China is a close partner of Russia.
In fact, there were rumors that China might start supplying arms and ammunition to Russia. Even though China is arguing for peace, it is not supporting Ukrainian positions of re-establishing control of the internationally recognized borders.
In the light of Pakistan’s proposal to transfer several dozen tanks to Ukraine, it was reported that the Russian Federation is dissatisfied with Pakistan’s offer and is allegedly asking China to “bring its friend to his senses.”
At this moment in time, it is just rumours. In fact, it is difficult to believe that Pakistan would offer such military aid to Ukraine with its current alliance with China. On the other hand, Pakistani ammunition has been spotted in Ukraine, so who knows?
Ukraine operated 271 T-80U tanks in 2005, but then retired them. They were reactivated in 2014 when Russia’s troops invaded the country. Ukraine had quite a few active T-80US tanks before the 2022 invasion.
Furthermore, many more T-80 tanks were captured from the retreating Russian forces. On the other hand, Ukraine lost at least 39 of its T-80 tanks, so it would be good to restore those forces with the help of Pakistan. This gesture would also show Russia that its actions are not approved of among China’s allies either.
Sources: Wikipedia , Defense-ua.com