Web Page sponsored by MILLBROOK
Tel: +44 (0) 1525 408408
01 Apr 15. Putin’s New ‘Wunderwaffe’: The World’s Deadliest Tank?
Why tankers in the West should be worried about Moscow’s new armor. 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. The Russian military intends to replace 70 percent of its tank corps with the new tracked vehicle, replacing the older T-72 and T-90 main battle tanks – both of which were also produced by UVZ. The Russian military envisions the universal chassis system as a platform for as many as 13 different tracked vehicles, including a self-propelled artillery platform, an armored military engineering vehicle, and an armored personal carrier. 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 muzzle energy of the 2A82 123-mm smoothbore cannon is greater than that of the German Leopard-2 Rheinmetall 120mm gun, according to media reports. The tank also boasts fully automated ammunition loading and completely computerized targeting systems.
The FSMO report continues: 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.
The article also notes that, “[u]nlike previous Soviet/Russian vehicles, crew safety (survivability) and comfort appear to be a concern. The crew is in an armored capsule that is somewhat roomy compared to other Soviet/Russian tanks.” According to RT, “the tank’s turret will also carry a 30 mm sub-caliber ranging gun to deal with various targets, including low-flying aerial targets, such as attack planes and helicopters. A 12.5 mm turret-mounted heavy machine gun is reportedly capable of taking out incoming projectiles, such as anti-tank missiles. It’s capable of neutralizing shells approaching at speeds of up to 3,000 meters per second.”
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