Leopard 2 vs. T-14 Armata: Which is the best tank and what are its characteristics?, by Dmitri Stepin for RTI Spanish. 01.31.2023
Last week the German government gave the green light to the supply of its main battle tanks to Ukraine.
Last week Germany gave in to the Ukrainian government's requests to provide it with its Moderna tanks as part of the war assistance in an attempt to counter the Russian special military operation.
Berlin has committed to deliver 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks to Kiev, as announced by German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit on Wednesday. In addition, the German authorities gave permission to other countries to supply the Ukrainian army with their own German-made Leopard tanks.
The goal of Berlin and its NATO partners, according to the official statement, is to quickly form two Leopard 2 tank battalions. For this purpose, the supply of tanks and ammunition is envisaged, in addition to the training of Ukrainian servicemen on German territory.
With all the Western military support and the Leopard 2, considered one of the best modern tanks, the Ukrainian Army is looking to turn the situation on the battlefield in its favor.
Russia, for its part, has a new generation tank, which has been highlighted by international media as an advance that leaves other countries' technologies behind.
The British Ministry of Defense reported two weeks ago, citing intelligence data, a concentration of T-14 Armata tanks at a range in the south of Russia, which had been associated with activities prior to their deployment to the conflict zone in Ukraine.
Manufacturer: Krauss-Maffei Wegmann
External dimensions: up to 10.97 meters long (with the turret at 12 o'clock) and up to 4 meters wide.
Weight: 63 tons.
Crew: 4 people.
Engine: 1,500 horsepower.
Maximum speed: 70 kilometers per hour.
Driving range: 450 kilometers.
Armament: 120 mm cannon and 7.62 mm machine gun.
Manufacturer: The Uralvagonzavod Consortium (URVZ), based in the Russian city of Nizhny Tagil (in the Urals).
External dimensions: 9.5 meters long and up to 4.8 meters wide (with the protective side plates installed).
Weight: 55 tons.
Crew: 3 people.
Engine: 1,350-1,800 HP.
Maximum speed: 80-90 kilometers per hour.
Driving range: more than 500 kilometers.
Comparison by design
The peculiarity of T-14 Armata is that the turret is unmanned and all its systems are controlled remotely, while the crew is isolated in an armored capsule. A direct hit of a missile on the turret of the vehicle or tank can destroy some of the weapons, but the personnel will not necessarily suffer any damage, as happened with conventional models. In addition, the shells are deposited in the main body of the platform and not in the turret, which protects them from eventual detonation.
As for the German tank, it was designed according to the classic concept: the driver's compartment is located in the front, along with the driving instruments and part of the ammunition. The commander's seats, the magazine and the sight are located in the turret.
Armament in details
The Armata is equipped with a 125 mm smoothbore cannon with an automatic magazine, which offers the capacity of 12 shots per minute. The arsenal includes several types of projectiles, including guided missiles. It is also equipped with a 12.7mm caliber Kord machine gun and a 7.62 mm PKTM.
While the Leopard 2's armament includes a 120 mm cannon, manual magazine, and two 7.62 mm machine guns.
The Russian T-14, in addition to the armor, is equipped with a dynamic defense system, an optical-electronic equipment and another defense asset called Afghanit, the latter intended for the detection and destruction of missiles and projectiles. They are capable of simultaneously detecting and tracking up to 40 dynamic targets and 25 aerial targets within a radius of 100 kilometers. Based on their indications, the defense systems installed in the turret can eliminate these targets successively automatically.
In turn, the Leopard 2's armor is based on composite material technologies, including high-hardness steel, tungsten and non-metallic materials.
Although there are several examples of tank duels throughout history, equipment is not the only thing necessary to change the course of a conflict. Much depends on the work of intelligence, air support, infantry and artillery, as well as on the preparation of the crews.
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