The Soviet T-80 Standard Tank was the last tank fielded before the Soviet collapse, and the most controversial. Like the US M1 Abrams tank, the T-80 used a turbine power plant rather than a conventional diesel. Although the design was blessed with some of the most sophisticated armament, fire controls, and multi-layer armor ever fielded on a Soviet tank, its power plant remained a source of considerable trouble through its career. It saw very little service in the Chechen War, though T-80 tanks were used in some of the regional conflicts in the former Soviet Union in the 1990s.
Although the collapse of the Soviet Union might seem the end of the story, the T-80 lived on in Ukraine where one of its tank plants was based. A diesel powered version of the T-80 was developed, the T-84, which was successfully exported, including a major sale to Pakistan to counterbalance the Indian Army's Russian T-90 tanks. Steven J Zaloga charts the little-known history of the T-80, covering the initial construction, through the development to the subsequent variants, the T-84 and Russia's enigmatic "Black Eagle Tank." Accompanying detailed cut-away artwork illustrates the unusual design features that made the T-80 so controversial.
About the Author
Steven J. Zaloga received his BA in History from Union College and his MA from Columbia University. He has worked as an analyst in the aerospace industry for over two decades, covering missile systems and the international arms trade, and has served with the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federal think tank. He is the author of numerous books on military technology and military history, with an accent on the US Army in World War II as well as Russia and the former Soviet Union.
Innes McCartney is an historian and nautical archaeologist, specializing in 20th-century naval vessels. He lectures widely on a number of associated subjects. A passion for shipwrecks has led to some famous discoveries, including the submarine M1 and the battlecruiser "HMS Indefatigable," His previous book, "Lost Patrols" detailed his uncovering the 121 submarines sunk in the English Channel. His own underwater photography illustrates this book. The author lives in Cornwall, UK.
Tony Bryan is a freelance illustrator of many years' experience who lives and works in Dorset. He initially qualified in Engineering and worked for a number of years in Military Research and Development, and has a keen interest in military hardware - armor, small arms, aircraft and ships. Tony has produced many illustrations for partworks, magazines and books, including a number of titles in the New Vanguard series. Tony Bryan lives in Dorset, UK.
"The book is full of photos and illustrations, mostly in color, that again, will make this a much-used modeler’s book... If your interest includes modern Soviet/Russian armor, I highly recommend this book to you... This volume gives you a developmental history that is easy to read and understand, plus the many photos and illustrations chosen with the modeler in mind, make this a very valuable asset to every modelers library." -Howie Belkin, IPMS/USA
"Steven J Zaloga's T-80 Standard Tank: The Soviet Army's Last Armored Champion offers a narrowed focus for speciality military collections focusing on military equipment. The T-80 was the last tank fielded before the collapse of the Soviet Union - and the most controversial. Its history is revealed with photos and discussion." -California Bookwatch (April 2009)