The 1980s saw many advances in tank technology.
Newer forms of tank armor appeared in the 1980s, as tanks needed to be able to cope with more modern anti-tank weapons.
During the 1980s, more varieties of composite armor were developed. Explosive reactive armor appeared on tanks for the first time.
Explosive reactive armor (ERA) contains tiles made of two metal plates with an explosive charge in between them. When a projectile hits the armor, the explosive detonates. This causes the plates to spread apart, damaging the projectile and reducing its penetrative capability.
Israeli tanks with explosive reactive armor were deployed in Lebanon in 1982.
The new forms of armor often significantly increased the weight of tanks, so tanks of the 1980s were designed with better engines and suspensions so that tank speed and performance would not be compromised.
Most 1980s tanks used suspensions with hydropneumatic, rather than metallic, springs.
Tank weapons systems were also improved in the 1980s. Tanks of the 1980s were supplied with ballistic computers.
(Weights are in long tons and kilograms.)