T-14 ARMATA is a Russian state-of-art tank which made an impressive debut during the Victory parade 2015 in Moscow. But, almost five years after, it is still shrouded in mystery and has proved a magnet for various rumors. We have assembled is a list of ten facts that we know for sure.
Despite these 10 facts, it is still hard to talk about its performances and its place in the world of tanks. We need to wait a few more years for detailed reports and for their use on the battlefield. So far, the analysis claim that it is a new generation of the world tanks, but some others are skeptical.
Armored Platform not Tank itself
Armata stands for an armored program (platform) and it is not the name of a tank itself. The Armata platform is intended for modules to be fitted to create more than a dozen vehicles. Besides the T-14 battle tank, Armata will be the chassis for an armored personnel carrier (APC), self-propelled artillery, and an air defense weapon system.
First Tank in the post-Soviet era
Armata T-14 MBT (main battle tank) is the first tank designed entirely in the post-Soviet era. As it is known so far, the Armata program is started in 2009. It is revealed that the design and production of certain crucial elements – such as the armor, and the turrets – had to be done “from scratch.” That means it’s not a copy of another Russian design.
Innovative design and the unmanned turret
Armata T-14 MBT features an innovative design in the world of tanks. It has a fully automated and unmanned turret. Perhaps that means the most innovative technological decision taken by its creators, but it is still unclear how it will work. In theory, this should allow better protection for the tank crew, now located in the hull, though the shift could come at the expense of situational awareness. We can’t wait to see it on the field, in real action.
The first unmanned battle tank in history
In fact, due to its new-gen revolutionary turret, and a field of vision which is created only by numerous HD cameras and sensors mounted all around, Armata T-14 is well on the way to becoming the first unmanned battle tank in history. Some reports related to the Russian Defense Ministry revealed that only limited modifications are necessary to turn it into a ground-drone.
The most powerful tank in history
In the future, it is planned to fit the T-14 Armata tank with the long-awaited massive 152 mm gun modification, which will be able to “penetrate through a meter of steel,” according to Russia’s top defense official. If this one is true, it will be the most powerful tank gun in history.
Afganit Active Protection System (AAPS)
T-14 Armata MBT is equipped with Afganit Active Protection System (AAPS). The ambitious AAPS uses radar to detect incoming projectiles, and automatically intercept them. Like with many things, AAPS exact parameters are unclear, Russians claim it could stop missiles launched from an Apache helicopter, while US Army experts say the defense will mostly be effective against grenades and sub-caliber projectiles.
Lighter and faster than most modern MBTs
Lighter than most modern Western main battle tanks, the Armata T-14 maintains one of the trademark qualities of Russian armored vehicles – a higher top speed. The new Russian state-of-art tank is able to move at up to 90 km/h, which is more than 20 km/h faster than the US Abrams M1A2 main battle tank.
Not cheap, not expensive
If we look at the Armata price, despite it is not yet in mass production, the T-14 Armata’s price was estimated at about $8 million at current exchange rates per unit. It launches T-14 Armata in the upper price range for main battle tanks, but still, it remains cheaper than the French AMX Leclerc and US M1A2 Abrams tank, and below the price of other same-level vehicles, such as South Korea’s K2 Black Panther and Japan’s Type 10 tanks.
500 units per year
According to the public military sources, the Russians are currently operating with more than 50 prototype models of the T-14 Armata tank. They are planning soon to start receiving more than 500 a year, with the eventual order expected to top out at 2,300 units – more than two-thirds of its armor capability.
India is marked as the possible first foreign client for the Armata platform and main battle tank T-14 Armata which will supersede the T-90. India operates more than 900 T-90s already purchased from Russia (India is the biggest buyer of Russian armor among other weapons). China, the rest of Asia, and North Africa are mentioned as other possible destinations for Armata T-14.