By Bijan Razzaghi
Russia’s new T-14 is the latest in a Russian strategy in developing advanced systems that focus on quality rather than quantity. The tank features a number of technologies never before used on Russian tanks before and differs greatly from the existing T-90 and older T-72 tanks. The primary features of the T-14 are the unmanned turret, Active protection system and advanced new armor. The tank is likely to become fully operational within Russian units in the next few years and will likely be sold to export customers such as Egypt ,China and India.
The new T-14 is Russia’s answer to the past 30 years of western tank superiority which started out with Germany’s Leopard 2 and later on the M-1 Abrams series and Challenger 1 and 2 series. All of these battle tanks have been tested and struck a blow to Russian made T-72s in the Gulf war.
The first feature of this battle new tank is the unmanned turret. The turret is completely unmanned and carries the tanks ammunition in a magazine as well as featuring an auto loader allowing crews to be protected from both the ammo and the firing mechanism. The second feature is advanced new Russian armour designed to stop high speed projectiles from penetrating the tank this makes the tank heavier than previous Russian designs yet the powerful ChTZ 12H360 A-85 3-A diesel engine powers the tank offering good speed yet the exact specifications are unknown at this time of how fast it can go.
The next advancement in the tank is the active protection suit. This uses AESA radar to detect incoming projectiles and then destroy them with a kinetic detonation. This can be used against all sorts of weapons such as anti tank missile or even bombs possibly yet the details are unknown it is likely to be similar to the Israeli Trophy system used on the Merkava tanks.
The Armata does pose a threat to NATO, as it’s the first Russian tank that appears to be capable of countering NATO’s advanced tanks built at the end of the cold war. This has resulted in Germany and France jointly developing the next generation of battle tanks some are referring it to the leopard 3. It is likely the American M1A3 would be able to counter the Armata as well. It is unclear what other capabilities the Armata has but it is known for sure it is the sign of a shift in Russian strategy to develop higher quality weapon systems to counter NATO instead of using large numbers of less sophisticated weapon systems as seen in the Cold War era.