New Armata combat vehicle platforms to have number of advantages over their foreign counterpart
The newest Russian armoured vehicles designed by the Uralvagonzavod
(Russian acronym: UVZ
) research-production corporation, the Tractor Plants Concern
, and the Military Industrial Company
(Russian acronym: VPK, Voyenno-Promishlennaya Kompaniya
) have a number of radical advantages over their foreign analogues and over the vehicles, previously developed by the indigenous defense industry, Russian analysts suppose.
The T-14 Armata MBT (Main Battle Tank) has received a new chassis with seven road wheels on each side, previous Russian tank as T-72 and T-90 have only 6 wheels.
The Armata family of heavy tracked vehicles developed by UVZ has undoubtedly become the core of Russia`s military vehicles fleet modernization. At present, it is comprised of three units, namely, T-14
main battle tank (MBT)
heavy infantry fighting vehicle (HIFV)
, and T-16
armoured recovery vehicle (ARV)
. The T-14 MBT and the T-15 HIFV have already been unveiled; the vehicles were demonstrated for the first time at the 9 May Victory Day parade in 2015. At the same time, the T-16 ARV remains undisclosed.
According to the open sources, the development of the T-14 Armata MBT commenced in 2009 by the Urals Design Bureau for Transport Machine-Building (Russian acronym: UKBTM, Uralskoye Konstruktorskoye Byuro Transportnogo Mashinostroeniya; a subsidiary of the UVZ corporation) company. The first nodes and components of the tank were unveiled in 2013. As mentioned earlier, several T-14 tanks participated in the Victory Day parade in 2015, having been demonstrated to the foreign official delegation and guests.
The official technical specifications of T-14 are not disclosed. The tank has received a new chassis with seven road wheels on each side, while the previously developed MBTs, for instance, T-72B / T-72B3 and T-90 /T-90A tanks have six road wheels on each side. The dimensions of the newest tank are significantly bigger than those of its predecessors. T-14`s hull length is estimated to be about 8.7 m (T-72B3 has a hull length of 6,860 mm, as well as T-90A) and height about 2.6 m (T-72B3 - 2,226 mm, T-90A - 2,223 mm).
The newest Russian armoured vehicles designed by the Uralvagonzavod (Russian acronym: UVZ) research-production corporation, the Tractor Plants Concern, and the Military Industrial Company (Russian acronym: VPK, Voyenno-Promishlennaya Kompaniya) have a number of radical advantages over their foreign analogues and over the vehicles, previously developed by the indigenous defense industry, Russian analysts suppose.
Close view of T-14 Armata turret fitted with new armour
T-14 Armata is believed to have the autoloader problems fixed. According to the open sources, the tank is armed with an advanced 125mm gun-launcher that can fire both brand-new and previously developed rounds. According to the Defence Review Asia (DRA) magazine, the newest MBT has received the 125 mm 2A82-1M
tank gun with an ammunition load of 45 rounds
. The gun has a firing rate of 10-12 rounds per minute
and a maximum firing range of about 7,000 m
. The 2A82-1M`s muzzle energy is reported to exceed the one of the 120 mm L/55
tank gun designed by Rheinmetall Defence by 17%. It is coupled with a 7.62 mm coaxial machinegun. In May 2015, Russia`s Vice-Premier, Dmitry Rogozin said that the Armata tank would receive a new round that could "burn one meter of steel". However, the official did not specify the caliber and the type of the round mentioned by him. Therefore, T-14 is supposed to be effective against such modern MBTs, as Leopard 2A7 by the German Rheinmetall Defence and Krauss-Maffei Wegman (KMW) companies and M1A2SEP V3 Abrams by the US General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) consortium.
The unit price of T-14 is still unsettled. Neither Ministry of Defense (MoD)
, nor UVZ discloses the cost of the program. According to the experts of the DRA magazine, the T-14 unit price might be RUB 250 million (USD 3.9 million)
or RUB 400 million (USD 6.2 million)
. The officials of the MoD have been complaining about "the high cost" of T-14 Armata, sometimes calling it 'inflated'. However, the aforementioned estimations do not seem to be overpriced. For instance, the M1A1
Abrams tank had a unit price of USD 2.9 million
in 1991 (at present, the manufacturing of M1A1 MBTs is ceased - TASS). The latest serially produced modification of the Abrams tank, namely M1A2SEP V2
has a unit price of USD 9.71 million
, Leopard 2A6
of USD 5.8 million
, Leopard 2A7
of USD 10 million
, AMX-56B Leclerc
of USD 18.38 million
(the full cost - TASS), K2 Black Panther
of USD 8.5 million
. Therefore, T-14 Armata seems to be significantly cheaper than the aforementioned foreign analogues. It is noteworthy that the Russian Armed Forces revealed their intention to get over 2,000 T-14 Armata MBTs by 2020 or by 2025.
The tactical role of the T-14 tank is not obvious. The military is planning to phase out previously delivered tanks gradually, replacing them by Armata vehicles. However, T-14 MBT is the world`s most sophisticated tank that requires advanced maintenance, control and a well-trained crew. Therefore, the newest tank may be used as a support vehicle for deeply upgraded T-72B3
tanks. Such kind of interaction will require the integration of state-of-the art sensors and control systems (an identification friend-or-foe (IFF) unit, a GLONASS-type satellite navigation system, secured datalink, and an advanced central processing unit (CPU)) with the previously delivered vehicles.
Well, let's cover some gun specs:
- that 7,000 meters firing range can only be reached by a GLATGM
- For the muzzle velocity, I think that it is around 1,750-1,800 m/s
The T-14's price tag isn't that hefty compared to western adversaries, but it is not the final price.
As for its tactics, using it as a support tank for older MBTs is a short-term
idea, and is not for the long run, since there would be entire tank brigades/divisions
based on the Armata
platform (same with Kurganets/Boomerang
and maybe Typhoon