Russia will display its newest tank during the Victory Day Parade in Moscow’s Red Square on May 9 this year. 20 units of the world’s first series-produced third generation main battle tank, designated T-14 and based upon the new “Armata” universal chassis system, have recently been delivered to the Russian Armed Forces for training purposes.
By 2020, Uralvagonzavod (UVZ), the largest main battle tank manufacturer in the world, plans to produce 2,300 T-14 Armata models. According to media reports, large deliveries of the tank (around 500 per year) will start in 2017. In total, the Russian Land Forces are scheduled to receive a batch of 32 Armata main battle tanks this year.
What are the tank’s technical specifications? According to the Foreign Military Studies Office (FSMO) based at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas:
The tank’s main armament is the 2A82 125-mm smoothbore cannon, capable of firing high-powered munitions, including armor-piercing discarding sabot, guided missile, shaped-charge, and other types of munitions. The T-14 is equipped with the Chelyabinsk A-85-3A X-diesel engine capable of producing up to 1500 hp. It also has a tank information control system (TICS) that monitors all assemblies and components, diagnoses malfunctions, and controls onboard systems.
The T-14 tank will be equipped with an adjustable suspension capable of adapting to varying relief, terrain type, and vehicle speed, resulting in increased speed while moving in columns, as well as over rugged terrain. The suspension system will also alleviate crew fatigue, while assisting the fire control system to deliver accurate fire while on the move.
What makes Russia’s new main battle tank so special?
First, the active defense system deserves special attention. It is an individual anti-missile and anti-projectile tank defense system, supposedly capable of intercepting any type of anti-tank ammunition.
“It defends the vehicle from strikes, including those from the air. Thus, even the most modern Apache helicopter will not have a 100 percent chance of destroying a T-14 with its missiles. Active defense is situated along the entire perimeter of the turret at various levels, which ensures complete protection of the tank’s most important elements,” according to the FSMO report.
Second, the location of the crew is also quite unique for a Russian tank (as is the vehicles unmanned remotely controlled turret):
The crew of three men is located in an armored capsule in the forward portion of the hull. According to the specialists, the forward projection has multilayered, combined armor protection which can withstand a direct hit of any type of rounds which exist today, [including] sub-caliber and cumulative rounds.
The German weekly Der Stern notes about the T-14 Armata:
An absolutely new main battle tank is certainly not something most of the world’s exiting armies can boast about. The German Leopard-2 tank was developed 35 years ago, just like the American M1 Abrams. The existing versions of the western tanks feature many improvements, but the basic characteristics do not differ much from the original. The Armata is the first genuinely new [tank] construction since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
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