Mud & steel: RT reporter test-drives T-80 Russian battle tank (VIDEO)

With Russia marking Tank Forces Day, RT’s Ilya Petrenko visited an army firing range outside Moscow to test-drive a T-80. Under the watchful eye of the tank driver, he was allowed to take control for a while.

Squeezing through the narrow hatch was probably the hardest part for Petrenko, but driving the heavy tank turned out to be a bit easier.

To check if the tank can really move smoothly even at full throttle, Petrenko entered the turret holding a glass of water. At the end of the test, the correspondent said he managed to keep the cup almost full, thanks to the T-80’s transmission and the driver’s skills.

The T-80 was the last main battle tank to be built in the USSR.

Designed to confront Western tanks during the Cold War, it was the first Soviet tank to feature a powerful multi-fuel gas turbine engine, giving it a maximum road speed of 70 kilometers per hour.

READ MORE: Inside a war machine: Take a ride in Russia’s T-90 main battle tank (VIDEO)

Its 125mm main gun is fed by an automatic loader which reduces the tank crew to three and helps boost performance.

Co-axial 7.62mm PKT and 12.7mm NSVT Utes machine guns are used against enemy soldiers or low-flying aircraft.

The T-80 and its upgraded versions are in use with the militaries of Belarus, Cyprus, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, and Ukraine.

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