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T-14 (Object 149) Armata Main Battle Tank (MBT)

The campaign to deploye the new Russian tank "Armata" to the troops took an unexpected turn. The active promotion of this tank was engaged by former vice-premier Dmitry Rogozin, who was replaced in April 2018 by General Yuri Borisov. The statement by Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov at the end of July 2018 ("... why should all the Armed Forces" flood the Armed Forces, we have a tremendous demand on the market in T-72, it's taken by all ... ") about the inexpediency of purchases for the army of the Armata tank in connection with its costliness - for many this was unexpected.

After victorious statements at the highest level about the creation of a promising tank, it suddenly became clear that for the army it is not very necessary. Earlier, it was announced about the planned purchase of 2,300 tanks, then this amount was reduced to 100 tanks; Now they are talking about buying an experimental batch of 20 tanks. In addition, according to the Ministry of Defense, in 2018-2019, only modernized tanks T-80 and T-90 were planned to be purchased. It is not excluded that the new vice-premier decided to carry out the actions stipulated in the regulatory documents for the full cycle of testing the tank and after that make a final decision about his fate.

Work on the creation of a new tank codenamed "Armata", which should become the main tank of the Armed Forces, began in 2010, together with the message on the termination of work on the "Object-195" (T-95)) from the Ministry of Defence. The T-14 Armata tank features a remotely controlled gun and fully automated loading, as well as a separate crew compartment made from composite materials and protected by multilayered armor.

The first photos of Russias top-secret tank appeared on the Internet 24 March 2015. Moreover, the all-new T-14 Armata tanks were captured as they were being transported by rail to a range outside Moscow ahead of the May 9 Victory Day parade on Red Square. Even though the tanks were partially camouflaged to hide their silhouette and size, the seven-track design was clearly visible.

The new T-14 and the rest of Russia's new armored vehicles show a huge technological leap from the old Soviet-era military hardware. "The new vehicles are principally clean-slate designs and represent the biggest change in Russia's armored fighting vehicle families since the 1960s and 1970s," IHS Jane's 360 Defense Weekly reported. Germany's Stern magazine wrote that this tank is the first major embodiment of innovations in the Russian defense industry since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

The T-14 sides are fitted with a new advanced armour package along the forward two-third of the vehicle's length, with the rear third side length protected instead by bar armor.

The tank's seven wheels give it away as an Armata. The T-14 Armata features a notably different hull design from the T-72/90. One immediately obvious difference is the road wheels - the Armata features seven road wheels compared to to the six of the previous MBT designs, and are of a different design to the T-72/90. Russia's current tanks are all based on variations of old Soviet tank chassis designs and have six wheels. Another recognizable feature is the long and boxy turret that resembles modern Western tank turret designs such as the U.S. M1 Abrahms and German Leopard 2. Older Russian tanks have more bulbous turrets.

The crew of three men is located in an armored capsule in the forward portion of the hull. According to the specialists, the forward projection has multilayered, combined armor protection which can withstand a direct hit of any type of rounds which exist today, [including] sub-caliber and cumulative rounds. In addition, the forward hemisphere is covered with an active defense system which is also able to intercept any type of antitank munition, including sub-caliber rounds, something previously believed to be impossible in principle.

The Armatas active defense deserves special discussion. In fact this is an individual anti-missile and anti-projectile tank defense system. 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 tanks most important elements.

The central compartment, where the ammunition stores are located, is protected in such a manner that it is not even threatened by grenadiers who have taken cover in basements. The lower side hemispheres around the turret are shielded by counter-missiles.

The engine and the motor and transmission compartment are located in the rear of the hull. The diesel is domestically manufactured and it has a rather unconventional construction. The published power is not less than 1,500 HP. The hull is extended and it has seven drive wheels, which speaks to the fact that the tank is of an enhanced weight, possibly about 50 tons.

The combat information and control systems are constructed using modern digital technologies and domestically manufactured solid-state basic elements. The probability of hitting the target with the first shot is close to 100 percent. Constant monitoring of the status of vitally important elements is provided. This allows a possible malfunction to be predicted well before it occurs. This, in turn, significantly enhances the reliability and maintainability of the complex armored vehicle.

The hull is amply provided with video cameras. They allow the crew to observe the situation all around the tank. If required, zooming can be switched on, and a distant object can be viewed in detail. Heat sensing and infrared viewing capabilities are also available under any weather conditions, day or night.

In order to appreciate the real design and technological breakthrough of the Russian tank builders, a rather recent, but classified story should be remembered. It turned out that it is more difficult to design and manufacture a truly new tank than a new aircraft. Fifth-generation fighters are already flying, but only second-generation tanks are in the inventories throughout the entire world. So the Armata will become the first series-produced third-generation tank (although there are those who will dare to list it as fifth generation). But this is not a matter of numbers, but of the fact that armored equipment, despite all of its external simplicity, belongs to the most complex kinds of combat vehicles.



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