T-80 Soviet light tank, special edition

Country of origin:Ukraine
This product was added to our catalog on 29 March, 2011
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Few people today realize how important the T-70s were in the early days of the war, and even at the famous battle of Prokhorovka in 1943 nearly one-third of the Soviet tanks engaged were T-70 and T-70M types. As a result, getting a tank that was likely to be more survivable was an important factor.

The Astrov design bureau at Factory No. 40 in Gor"kiy began serious work on this problem in October 1942, and eventually the prototype designs emerged as "Article 080" which eventually became the T-80 light tank. It took the proven T-70 chassis and added more powerful engines, increased side armor to 25mm, and added a totally new design of two man turret. This turret required increasing the diameter of the turret race from 966mm to 1112 mm, which was the same used by the old cylindrical turrets on the T-26 and BT series tanks. Due to the increased size and weight, the new turret race was firmly attached to the framework over the engine and formed one unit; this meant that the turret had to be removed to access the engines for more than routine servicing.

As with many Soviet tanks, not so fast. Due to problems the tank did not enter production in those time frames or rates. Even though Factory No. 176 had created 334 tank hull and turret sets for the T-80, production swung back to Factory No. 40 in April 1943. Problems then cropped with an old Soviet problem: "Better is the enemy of good enough." Searches for new hyper-velocity 45mm guns resulted in halts while new long-barreled 45mm guns were tested, as well as plans to use the GMC engines received via Lend-Lease to power the tank. But by that time, the day of the Soviet light tank was over, and in the fall of 1943 production was cancelled. Only 77 series production T-80 tanks were built, all by Factory No. 40. (Production then turned exclusively to the handy and effective SU-76 series SP guns on a modified T-70M chassis.)
This kit contains 375 parts.

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