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Ukrainian President Asks South Korea to Send Russian-Produced Armaments, T-80U MBT and BMP-3 IFV

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    Ukrainian President Asks South Korea to Send Russian-Produced Armaments, T-80U MBT and BMP-3 IFV

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made another surprise, in his speech on April 11, the former comedian president asked South Korea to be able to send key military assets, including tanks, air defense systems and other vital weapons.

    Quoted from (13/4/2022), Zelenskyy wanted some of South Korea's heavy weaponry which was produced by Russia. This is of course intended to make operations easier, considering that Ukrainian military personnel are relatively used to using a variety of defense equipment with ex-Soviet standards.

    Of course, it is not difficult what Zelenskyy wants, where South Korea is currently the operator of the T-80U MBT (Main Battle Tank) and the BMP-3 amphibious IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle).

    South Korea is known to operate a large number of T-80Us and BMP-3s, with 43 T-80Us and 67 BMP-3s. South Korea received both defense equipment from Russia during 1995-2006, namely to pay the debts of the countries of the former Soviet Union.

    Currently the T-80U and BMP-3 are used to simulate “aggressors” during military exercises. Supposedly, after 2020 South Korea plans to start decommissioning Russian-made armored vehicles.

    Global defense analysts say that South Korea can deliver the T-80U and BMP-3, without having to reduce South Korea's level of combat readiness, because the two ranpurs are only used for training purposes.

    In 2016, Russia had asked South Korea to get back the T-80U MBT and BMP-3 IFV supplied to the Republic of South Korea. The T-80U is an upgraded version of the Soviet-made T-80 MBT equipped with a modern turret, Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor, improved gun sight, and the 9M119 Svir anti-tank missile system.

    The T-80U MBT is equipped with a single 125mm 2A46M-1 automatic smoothbore gun with thermal sleeve, which can fire between 6 and 8 rounds per minute. The main tank is equipped with an automatic loading system with 28 shells ready to fire.

    BMP-3 Korea Selatan.

    As many as 45 rounds of 125 mm caliber can be carried in the tank. The main gun can fire 9M119 Refleks laser-guided beam-riding missiles (US/NATO designation AT-11 `Sniper') up to a maximum range of 5,000 meters.

    Meanwhile, BMP-3 is an amphibious IFV ranpur whose name is familiar in Indonesia, because it is the mainstay of the main defense equipment in the Marine Corps of the Indonesian Navy. The BMP-3 armament consists of one 100mm 2A70 cannon and semi-automatic cannon/missile launcher, which is stabilized in two axes and can fire 3UOF HE-FRAG munitions or 3UBK10 anti-tank guided missiles.

    But so far, South Korea has not dared to hand over these heavy weapons to Ukraine. According to South Korean newspaper Yonhap News, Seoul has decided to provide Ukraine with US$2 million in “non-lethal military assistance” consisting of helmets, bulletproof vests and medicine.

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