The New Russian Armata Tank

It’s actually a family of fighting vehicles.

The prime variant is the T-14 tank. Finally some pics of it without  a tarp over the turret are coming out.

The big innovation here is that the turret itself is unmanned. That has the advantage that you can make it significantly smaller, in that you don’t need to leave space for people. That means a given weight of armor provides more protection, as it has less surface area to cover. But it also means any failure of the autoloader is much more difficult to remedy. The gun is basically the same 125mm smoothbore the Russians have been using for nearly 40 years. The flat panels suggest either composite armor similar to the M1 series, or integrated Explosive Reactive Armor panels. The bulky side sponsons along the hull suggest ERA. The prominent boxlike projection on the left top of the turret appears to be an independent thermal viewer similar to that of the M1A2 tank. What level of sophistication the fire control has is unknown. Interestingly, there are reports the tank will field a radar based fire control channel.
http://img2.goodfon.su/wallpaper/big/1/87/armata-t-14-boevoy-tank-4929.jpg

The tank reportedly uses a 1500hp diesel engine, downrated to 1200hp for normal operation, on  a tank with a combat weight of 48 tons. Even at the downrated horsepower, that yields a very respectable 25 horsepower per ton.

The T-15 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle variant uses the same chassis and engine, but apparently reverses the arrangement, with the engine in the front, and the troop compartment in the rear. This is actually a fairly common adaptation of tank hulls. Many early US self propelled artillery series used this trick. The T-15 likewise has a remote controlled turret, with a 30mm autocannon, and an anti-tank missile launcher. The troop compartment has space for 6-8 troops.

 

The first “public” display of the Armata family is expected Saturday, during the parade in Moscow celebrating 70 years since the victory over Nazi Germany.

Other variants ordered include a 152mm self propelled artillery piece.

Once you’ve developed a successful vehicle chassis, it makes sense to adapt it to other roles, to reduce development costs, and to benefit from commonality of production, spare parts, logistics, and training.

Of course, the downside is that an IFV on a tank chassis is much more expensive than one on a lighter chassis. The trend however, suggests most future IFVs will be tank chassis based, and have much higher levels of protection than those of today.

The Armata family appears to be quite capable, certainly near peer to our own M1 and Bradley series.

Having said that, virtually every vehicle produced so far will be in the parade Saturday, a force of somewhere around two dozen vehicles. And while Russia claims that some 2300 will be produced, the economic challenges Russia faces may make that production schedule difficult to keep. There are suggestions that the T-14 and T-15 will be specialized units, and that a less ambitious IFV will be the main replacement for legacy BMP-1, 2, and 3 series. The Kurganets 25 has been touted as the main replacement for older IFVs.

Kurganets-25 30mm gun variant with turret covered

The numbers of T-14s scheduled for production also suggest older T-80/T-90 series tanks will remain in front line use for many, many years to come.

6 thoughts on “The New Russian Armata Tank”

  1. As ugly as that tank is, and it is ugly (put the tarp back on, please!), all I am really concerned about is how it looks in the thermal sight. M865A3 APFSDS-T meet Armata cheese. On the way!

  2. I just don’t see how a TC can maintain situational awareness buttoned up and using video cameras. The gunner on a tank already looks through a small tube at the world, in order to focus on his target. A TC shouldn’t need or want that same laser focus, he should be worrying about the next target, and the threats all around him.

    1. I concur, but the Russians have long leaned toward a buttoned up attitude. Of course, take a look at some Syrian propaganda footage, and you’ll see their clients tanks getting zapped by RPGs they should have spotted.

    2. That’s a great point. You have to come up top to fight the tank and, more importantly for leaders, to fight the remainder of the organization. I did get pretty adept at maneuvering the tank at night by using the CITV, but not fighting the battalion!

  3. I can see either each tank fighting their own personal war, or a command and control vehicle for each company attempting to coordinate all the tanks. They’d better hope we don’t pop that C2 vic early…

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