Cyprus agrees to send its Soviet-made T-80U tanks to Ukraine in exchange for German Leopards.
In the spring, the US government asked Cyprus to provide Ukraine with Soviet equipment from its stockpile, including T-80U tanks. Cyprus has told Germany that it agrees to the supply, but wants Leopard 2 tanks in return.
It is reported Army Recognition.
Last year, the American government asked Cyprus to send to Ukraine C-300 and TOR-M1 anti-aircraft missile systems, BMP-3, Mi-35 fighters, rotorcraft and T-80U tanks, which Cyprus agreed to provide to Ukraine only in exchange for German Leopard 2. Official Berlin has not yet given its answer to such a proposal.
However, Cyprus wants these tanks to come from Greece, which has them in service in general 353 Leopard type tanks. All of them were released in the 1980s and are currently being upgraded.
In turn, Greece wants to get newer Leopard models instead of those that could theoretically go to Cyprus. In this way, Athens seeks to preserve the volume of its own arsenal against the background of worsening relations with Turkey.
It should be noted that Cyprus has 82 T-80U tanks in service. This is an improved variation of the T-80 with a modernized turret, dynamic “Kontakt-5” armor, improved sight and anti-tank missile complex 9M119 “Svir” aboard.
What is known about the tank T-80U
The T-80U tank has a 125-mm 2A46M-1 smoothbore gun with a heat-shielding sleeve that can fire 6 to 8 rounds per minute. The tank is equipped with an automatic loading system with 28 ready-to-fire shells. There are a total of 45 shells in the tank. The main gun can fire the 9M119 Refleks (NATO designation: AT-11 “Sniper”) semi-automatic laser beam missile at a maximum range of 5,000 meters. In addition, the tank has a 7.62-mm twin PKT machine gun and a large-caliber 12.7-mm machine gun mounted on the commander’s hatch.
It will be recalled that Slovakia and the Czech Republic are ready to hand over Leopard tanks to Ukraine, which were provided by Germany. As part of the so-called circular exchange, Berlin agreed to replace them in smaller numbers with refurbished Leopard 2A4s, i.e. not the latest versions.
However, the Czech Republic later declared that it does not plan to transfer Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, which it will receive from Germany as compensation for the Soviet tanks transferred to Kyiv.