Ukraine’s T-84 Oplot main battle tanks entered service in 1999, and remain today the most advanced armoured vehicle produced by the Soviet successor state. The heavy 51 ton tanks have faced several serious performance shortcomings which have brought their effectiveness of the combat platform in serious question. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union Ukraine inherited sizeable production faculties for T-80 third generation battle tanks, a platform heavily based on the T-64 and in many ways analogous to the T-72 - but considered a less successful and often highly troublesome design. Kiev nevertheless moved to quickly find foreign buyers for its T-72 tanks in favour of retaining the T-80 and upgrading the design domestically, while continuing to produce modernised variants of the battle tanks both for domestic use and for export. Ukrainian T-84 Oplot Battle Tank&nbsp;While Ukraine made T-80 tanks have found a number of foreign buyers and have performed somewhat reliably, the more advanced indigenous T-84, an extensive modernisation of the T-80 design, proved more troublesome. Indeed, while the Ukrainian Army has deployed older T-64 tanks in their hundreds to the country’s eastern regions to combat Russian backed separatists, the T-84 has yet to be deployed. Concerns regarding the battle tank’s reliability, despite the design entering its 20th year, are widely speculated to be the cause. The capabilities of the Ukrainian T-84 were shown before the world in the Strong Europe Tank Challenge held in Germany - a Western Bloc equivalent to the Russian Tank Biathlon. Ukraine’s performance in this competition, with the country’s crews fielding the T-84, left much to be desired. Ukrainian sources reported that&nbsp;three of the four tanks saw their loaders malfunction during the tank challenge in 2018. This boded poorly for the Oplot, given that use of an autoloader was considered one&nbsp;of the T-84’s most prolific enhancements over the original T-80. While a number of high end battle tanks have attempted to automate their loading sequences, Ukraine’s battle tanks have not lived up to expectations.&nbsp; T-80 Battle Tanks&nbsp;Another issue which has plagued the T-84 has been the tank’s shaky 125mm cannon, which restricts them to a 1km effective firing range. This is a result of poor fire control systems, with the T-84 tanks at the tank challenge consequently able to fire just 40% of the shells they were equipped with. With the T-84 continuing to suffer such critical failures two decades after entering service, Ukraine’s ability to remedy this problems remains in serious doubt. The country’s deliveries of T-84 tanks to Thailand, one of the few customers for Ukrainian armoured vehicles, notably saw delays of several years - leading the Thai military to consider cancelling the deal while looking to China as a more reliable source of modern battle tanks. Considering that Ukraine has increasingly relied on imported weapons since the events of 2014, which saw its government overthrown and its foreign policy realign towards the Western Bloc, the country may well begin to consider importing foreign made battle tanks rather than relying on its own in the distant future. While the country’s existing T-80 and several hundred T-64 tanks should be sufficient for the country’s defence at present, its ability to upgrade the T-80 effectively to keep up with competitors, let alone produce a new indigenous tank as it will need to some time in the future as the capabilities of its neighbours continue to improve, means that the Ukraine may well find itself relying in imported battle tanks sooner than expected. The considerable shortcomings of the T-84 could well mark the end of Ukraine’s short lived attempt to become a major developer and exporter of modern battle tanks.