The press service of Ukraine’s state defense Ukroboronprom reported that Kharkiv Armoured Plant has developed an upgrade package for Ukraine’s T-64BVK, a command variant of the T-64 main battle, which has successfully completed an initial round of tests. The modernization of the tank is extremely important, as it is necessary not only to significantly improve its current specifications, but also to create all the necessary conditions for effective management of a unit in all weather conditions and at any time of the day. At present the T-64 is in use in very few nations or regions, but is currently undergoing significant factory overhauls and modernization in Ukraine. The newest, the T-64BM Bulat, has increased in weight to 45 tonnes and is seeing active service in the field.
The upgraded tank got an additional filter for primary refining of the fuel system of the boiler, another surveillance camera for the commander with a detection range of up to 2000 m, enhanced protection of the NSVT machine gun and fuel tanks, rear-view mirrors, front rubber-metal screens and other improvements. The company’s specialists installed modern surveillance devices, including thermal imaging, a rear hemisphere television surveillance, the latest satellite navigation equipment and a commander’s cupola with a 12.7 mm NSVT machine gun. Illumination devices, a radio station, intercom and switching equipment, front ejection panels and others were also replaced.
The T-64 is a Soviet second-generation main battle tank introduced in the early 1960s. It was a more advanced counterpart to the T-62: the T-64 served in tank divisions, while the T-62 supported infantry in motorized rifle divisions. It introduced a number of advanced features including composite armor, a compact engine and transmission, and a smoothbore 125-mm gun equipped with an autoloader to allow the crew to be reduced to three so the tank could be smaller and lighter. In spite of being armed and armored like a heavy tank, the T-64 weighed only 38 tonnes (42 short tons; 37 long tons). These features made the T-64 expensive to build, significantly more so than previous generations of Soviet tanks. This was especially true of the power pack, which was time-consuming to build and cost twice as much as more conventional designs.
In 2010, the Kharkiv Malyshev Factory upgraded ten T-64B tanks (originally produced in Kharkiv in 1980) to T-64BM Bulat standard, and a further nineteen were delivered in 2011. In 2019, UkrOboronProm reported that the Kharkiv Armored Plant (KhBTZ) had delivered over 100 updated tanks to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The upgraded tanks included new thermal imaging for all crew, remove Luna infrared searchlight, include TPN-1-TPV Ukrainian night sight in place of TPN1-49-23, Nizh reactive armour modules designed for bolt-on replacement on T-64BV turrets, SN-4215 networked satellite navigation unit, and Lybid K-2RB digital radio (under licence from Motorola) providing secure communications with a 70 km range. In August 2019, UkrOboronProm announced the Lviv Armored Plant (LBTZ) had also started modernizing T-64s to the 2017 standard