Russian troops are expected to get the first pilot batch of next-generation T-14 Armata tanks in late 2019 – early 2020, according to the head of Rostec State Corporation Sergei Chemezov.

The Armata was designed over the course of five years, and features a number of characteristics new to Russian armoured vehicles, including an unmanned turret. The crew of three is seated in an armoured capsule in the front of the hull, which will also include a toilet for the crew.

Reported by TASS at the 2019 Dubai Airshow, Chemezov said:

“Currently, work is nearing completion to prepare the production facilities and an experimental batch has been manufactured. It will be delivered to the Russian Army in late 2019 – early 2020.”

Armata’s main combat characteristics centre on a high degree of passive and active armour protection.

The Armata has been described as a major concern for Western armies, and British intelligence views the unmanned turret as providing many advantages. Western observers, however, question Russia’s ability to purchase modern tanks like the T-90 and T-14 in significant numbers.

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Cam
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Cam

Is this tank any good? Some say it’s the best on earth some say it’s junk! So many different opinions! And aren’t they only building theses in small numbers like uk size numbers.

BB85
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BB85

I’m not sure how good it’s optics, electronic architecture, active and passive protection relative to the latest Abram and Leopard. It all appears to have been built in rather than bolted on to the side so in theory should be better. The armoured capsule an unmanned turret is definitely a huge improvement making the tank better protected while significantly lighter than its Western rivals. In reality how well it can defeat ATGM will be the most important factor.

Steve H
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Steve H

Many many questions need answering about this latest offering from the Russians, in their promo videos and press releases they say it’s the best but the biggest issue for them is how many could they afford? They have a large tank force but it’s mainly made up of T64’s, T72’s which are the majority, a few T80’s and even less T90’s. easy pickings for our modern and decent MBT’s..
It’ll be interesting to see how things develop….

dan
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dan

Can’t judge how good a tank or any other piece of military equipment is until it’s been in real combat. Remember when everyone was saying the Leopard was the best tank in the world even though it never saw action. Well after it’s first combat experience it’s no longer thought of so highly.

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

Is that the leopard 2 that ISIS fighters in Syria took out an entire Turkish army squadron of using handheld anti tank missiles, and hand made bombs in 2016? Yes the leopard 2 looks good, reality is different. If operated by an overconfident, poorly trained crew (as per Turkish Army) then losses are inevitable

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

CAM my view is its junk. Can you see Russian material science building a tank that can out compete and beat an upgraded challenger 2. I cant! The only advantage of the design is crew survivability.

peter
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peter

Russia has a space program and produced hyper sonic missiles, this suggests their material science has improved.

Steve H
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Steve H

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…..it won’t be long before one of them gets destroyed by Chechens…

DaveyB
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DaveyB

I still have my doubts over the combat viability of this tank. My friend, Matsimus did a very good review of the tank on his Youtube blog, he’s an ex tanker, so I value his opinion. To my mind having the crew low down in the hull, in a massive armoured box is awesome for crew survival, but crap for situational awareness. This is especially true, as snipers are trained to target the optics on tanks. So once the electro-optics on the turret are disabled does that mean the tank is no longer combat effective? In a conventionally manned turret… Read more »

ChariotRider
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ChariotRider

Hi DaveyB, The situational awareness thing is often discussed in terms of the younger generation being able to build and hold a mental image of a situation based on a limited screen view – the ninyendo generation arguement. I’m not sure how robust that arguement is but if we accept it for a moment then the electoroptics might give a good picture. I am also reminded of the periscopes on UK subs – cameras – and I gather the submariners like the capability. But I guess there are not many snipers in the middle of the ocean. For me the… Read more »

Spyinthesky
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Spyinthesky

Yes that 5 years bit caught my eye too, if so it is not a fundamentally new tank design clearly, though it may conceivably be a figure plucked out of the air or simply in error I guess. I have to say in look it is very un-Russian but equally reminds me of a few 60s70s prototype western designs that never quite came to fruition or were fully finalised as a design, not that that tells us much about its true capabilities.

Andy P
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Andy P

On a boat the advantage of the camera ‘periscope’ is that you can pop it up for a quick ‘all round look’ then drop it and review the footage. I’m guessing on a tank it will be sat there all the time. I’ve no idea if the boys in these tanks have a screen to view stuff and rewind etc, I’d imagine that would be pretty useful.

farouk
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farouk

Andy short vid shows the inside
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz0bLY7hXxI

Andy P
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Andy P

Cheers mate.

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

That’s just proven it to me really. Optics look poor quality and the display screens dont seem to have great resolution. Also those 3 guys scrambled over each other to access a single hatch to get in or out. If that tank is hit. It will be a death trap for its crew

ChariotRider
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ChariotRider

Thanks farouk interesting video.

Mr Bell, yeh the screens did not look that good and they were pretty small as well. Although it was a very limited view we were given, not surprisingly.

Situational awareness could be an issue, I guess, even without a sniper. Nevertheless, they have clearly tried something different and I would have thought it could be improved over time – assuming the Russian state can scrape the money together.

peter
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peter

Seems they have managed to obtain French Thales night vision optics, somehow they have got round export restrictions.

David Barry
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David Barry

@daveyB given the way the Russians use arty to saturate a place good luck finding a sniper in one piece.

dave12
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dave12

Janes Defence had a article on the armata which quoted a Russian defence minster saying that they can only afford 100 built ,mind you we used to have 400 chally2 that number has been criminally reduced now.

Steve
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Steve

Its impossible to compare numbers directly, as tanks can’t fight in isolation and the assets that fight alongside them mean just as much to their capability as their armor/weapon.

The challenge is that Russia like the US has a huge stockpile in older tanks that it could activate, which would give them extra strength is depth and over the 100, plus allow diversion tactics to be used.

dave12
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dave12

Yes exactly Steve ,the Russians are in the process of refitting the T80 tanks to my surprise and sending them to the Artic parts of Russia which is worrying , and of course they are constantly upgrading the T72 tanks in which they have more of then any other type.

Ulya
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Ulya

You are correct Dave, there are a couple of hundred being upgraded for the current Arctic brigades and the 1 or 2 new brigades being formed, something to do with the gas turbine engines being better in the extreme cold, I’m not a mechanic so can’t give technical reasons sorry

dave12
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dave12

Yep the reason I’m surprised Russia is reintroducing the T80 into service is that they had bad losses in the chechen war and had a habit of catching fire easily due to its engine design ,they were due to be withdrawn from service.

peter
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peter

Seems the plan is to only upgrade about 70 CR2’s, the remainder perhaps being used for spares. Heavy tanks seem to be out of fashion and are costly to maintain, also expensive to produce low production numbers of spares with lean management principles for a small tank fleet!

farouk
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farouk

Funny enough, I was reading about the Armata on one of my new books: Modern Tanks (Technical Guides) Hardcover – Illustrated, 14 Apr 2019 by Dr Stephen Hart (Author), Professor Russell Hart (Author) According to the authors in 2014, Russia made it known that it was going to contract UVZ to to produce 2300. However due to the high cost of the T14 and the cheaper cost of upgrading existing T72s, T80s and T90s that was downgraded in 2016 to 100 experimental vehicles by 2020 . That was downgraded again in 2018 to 32 T14s for delivery by 2021. As… Read more »

maurice10
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maurice10

With the British Army abandoning the MBT this new tank is surely going to be a worry in the future? If the Challenger2 LEP does happen, so few will enter service, that either the Americans or the Germans will have to do the lions share of MBT tactics? Currently, the German tank strength is not impressive, but they do plan to expand their tank fleet and have an all-new vehicle in early development, in collaboration with other states. Though the British army is getting Boxer and Ajax, plus multiple variants, the heavy punch of enough CH2’s will be sadly missing.

Steve
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Steve

I can’t help that by trying to cover all roles we don’t cover any effectively. It might be better to abandon heavy army and leave that to the continental allies and focus the funds on more mobile assets like the Apache or up gunned boxer

Wayne
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Wayne

I think what we have we use effectively. It is important to have a balanced force based against a range of threats. Telling our NATO allies that we would leave the hard fight to them whilst we downgrade our own ability to fight would not go down well. That said, many smaller nations have done just what you have said.

Steve
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Steve

It’s not about leaving the hard fights to them, it’s about optimising what we bring to a fight. We don’t have enough tanks /heavy gear anymore and keep piling in money into an ineffectively small force is not efficient, as it saps funds that could be used elsewhere. If we are going down the strike route we should focus on it. Which means giving it the capability to take out tanks using missiles and reinforcing it’s anti air capability etc, so it can rapidly plug gaps as needed by NATO with their more slow moving MBT formations. As a double… Read more »

maurice10
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maurice10

This constant attempt to justify reducing the numbers of CH2, is a worthless waste of time. If all potential adversaries had the same policy, then the current UK status would make sense, but they aren’t, in fact, they plan to build them in their hundreds and possibly thousands! Nothing has changed in battlefield tactics since the 1967 Isreal War and it was primarily flat land terrain. The UK is more likely to be deploying MBT’s in the desert again, just as it did in recent conflicts. Without adequate heavy tanks, our frontline punch is much reduced.

Steve Martin
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Steve Martin

I’m coming around to the view of one Nicholas Drummond in that like most other defence projects, MBT’s will become a multinational development effort and that perhaps we should be partnering withe the Americans or Germans for the next gen. MBT. Upgrading the CH2 is looking to be very expensive and if rumours are true may even not have a large enough power plant.

I think if we can secure a decent % of R&D and build then we should go for it.

maurice10
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maurice10

The all-new and possibly unmanned M1 replacement is about to begin development. From the standpoint of investing in a new tank, the UK could could do a lot worse than join this programme? Of cause, this would be dependant on the US allowing our participation however, there must still be enough BAE skills around to contribute considerably? I prefer the idea of the UK choosing the new M1 over a European design, as there could be a bigger economic benefit in the sheer numbers involved?

JME89
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JME89

I agree with going in with the Americans as opposed to the Europeans we could call it Firefly then too.
British industry could then specialise in add ons like armour (Chobham) optics etc. Surely more cost effective than upgrading the current batch

maurice10
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maurice10

Good to know JME89 that there is someone who sees the new M1 as a better programme for the UK exchequer. If we went into a European venture (that’s if we would be invited) the pickings would be less financially rewarding.

peter
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peter

Cat have got a common rail system for the cv12 which raises power to 1500hp plus , lowers smoke and noise. However gearbox and final drives may need upgrading. Would not call a power plant weighing 5 1/2 tons small lol!

Joe16
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Joe16

I do think we need to have a hard review of national security strategy, from the ground up. I know that is supposed to be what the SDSRs do, but not sure how well they’ve worked out for us recently. I know that 2015 confirmed two carriers and all that stuff, which was great. But it’s a bit like they didn’t really bother to read the army bits (in particular), or were too scared of questioning the generals. There have been a huge number of articles criticising Strike in its current form; Warrior upgrades seem to be late, over budget… Read more »

maurice10
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maurice10

The last thing the MOD needs right now is another defence review. The current objectives may need tuning, especially our MBT force, and a more workable distribution of Type 26 & 31 work around the UK, as the current plans are flawed. A grass route review simply holds up programmes and invariably results in meaningless cuts.

Joe16
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Joe16

Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that we need an SDSR; my comment about them was primarily to say that they haven’t done the MOD a whole lot of good in recent memory. The MOD certainly cannot cope with another cut. My concerns are primarily with the army’s current published plans, but it can’t be looked at just in isolation, or our service branches won’t be able to support each other. Hence my comment about the MOD as a whole. There seems to be a lot of legitimate criticism of the army’s current plans for their force structure going forward;… Read more »

maurice10
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maurice10

Wow, that was a comprehensive reply joe16, and right on so many points. There are many concerns with a whole host of MOD projects including Warrior upgrades and CH2LEP. Matters won’t be helped by the current political climate, with all parties determined to considerably increase public spending. I fear that could mean a significant clampdown on military budgets. Some parties promise huge increases in social programmes, which do not include defence, apart from welfare issues. The net result will be caution on behalf of the MOD with its dealings with the treasury, particularly if one leading party wins power!

Joe16
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Joe16

You’re quite right there- all parties are making spending promises with one aim only: election. Unfortunately, I don’t hold out a lot of hope that any party will really look after the MOD that well (although I fully agree with you that some are worse than others); the issue would seem to be that there are few MPs with a genuine appreciation of the improtance of the armed services, and most of their primary concerns are either the finance sector or social welfare. For the record, I have no problem with either. But we have lower corporate taxes than the… Read more »

maurice10
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maurice10

There is one big change on the horizon in the form of Brexit and I believe this will result in an increase in defence spending. For the most part, the RN will probably get the lion’s share as it will need to expand its operations envelope? A number of overseas bases have been created to allow RN vessels safe ports of call, and more will possibly be needed? An increase in frigate numbers beyond what is currently planned, will be necessary, to enable more vessels to be stationed permanently abroad.

Joe16
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Joe16

Yeah, that’d be a nice outcome! The RN makes sense for a bigger share, although we should bear in mind (as with the report about the army this week) that personnel numbers probably should be addressed before hardware; we have a T45 and a T23 tied up alongside semi-permanently at the moment, purely because there’s no crew for them. That’s 18% of our air defence destroyers and 8% of our frigate force (not sure if a GP or ASW is set for reduced readiness next, as there are quite a few in refit according to Think Defence). Just having crew… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Great post Joe.

Agree with all of that.

Joe16
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Joe16

Thanks, didn’t want to come across as anti-army; I’m not. But all the reports I see, and the analysis of them, seems to be implying that they’re out of synch with the rest of the military on what the UK is trying to achieve strategically. I know there were a lot of accusations of the same directed at the RN not so long ago, and most of them seem to have been put to bed now (although the submarine contracts are still a bit of a blot on that, as far as I’m aware). So maybe we’ll see the sense… Read more »

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

Totally agree Joe. Nothing to add to your arguments

Joe16
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Joe16

Thanks, glad I’m not coming across as a mad ranter… Or at least, if I am, that I’m in good company here!

Wayne
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Wayne

Interesting argument and I can see why you have said what you did, but if I may. There are 8 x 8 AFVs out there that have 120mm guns but they should not be used to fight MBTs. The new Strike Bdes could probably do with some 120/105mm firepower but Ajax would be a better platform for it. Wheeled vehicles can manage 30 to 40ish tonnes of armour at best. Heavily armoured they cannot be. I see a lot of comments about how important it is to get where your going without really thinking of the consequences of fighting with… Read more »

Joe16
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Joe16

Thanks for your thoughts, always appreciate a different perspective. I take your point, I’d really not see a 120/105 mm Boxer as a toe to toe Armata-killer. Having said that, I believe that the vast majority of potential Russian armour they’ll be facing are upgraded T-72s and T-80s, which might be a different equation if you’re taking into account the ATGM and 120 mm mortar Boxers as well as the direct fire 120s? I don’t know their capabilities to be honest. My understanding of the current model for strike is that they’re intended to be our quick reaction forward deployed… Read more »

Wayne9
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Wayne9

It is certainly an interesting tank. It has a very good main gun, it’s well armoured and protected. Situational awareness would be shocking but integrated into regular T90/80/72 tank companys it could provide great overwatch, firesupport, sniping and defensive tasks. Say three T14 per company and 100 T14 could support 33 tank companys. We did a similar thing to that with Conqueror.

billythefish
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billythefish

As a mariner, I am somewhat under qualified to comment on the efficacy of various tank designs.
So I ask the question to those with more understanding here :

What is the difference between an anti tank round going through an unmanned turret and an anti tank round going through a manned turret?….

Rfn_Weston
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Rfn_Weston

Crew survivability

Rfn_Weston
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Rfn_Weston

Didn’t mean to post that so soon… Edit button?

The crew tend to be better protected when they are separated from the turret into the main body of the tank – and I believe this allows for more comprehensive armour on the turret (as it isn’t hollowed out for crew access).

DaveyB
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DaveyB

I suppose it depends on what the turret contains. If we look at what Jordan did with their Challenger 1s Falcon turret modification. You can significantly reduce not only the weight of the tank,but also the amount of armour required to protect the gun’s breech and autoloader. The Falcon turret stores ready 11 rounds in two revolver carousels behind the gun’s breech. They also replaced the gun with a smoothbore so they could use one piece ammo. There was an additional 17 rounds stored in the hull, but these required manually loading into the carousels when empty. Therefore, there is… Read more »

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

It is a good question. A better question would be. What would the effect be on the Aramatas optics, autoloader, situational awareness if the turret, with no crew in it, was hit by a 120mm tungsten round from 3 miles or more away at high velocity. I would think the Aramata turret would be penetrated easily and its optics, relays, autoloader destroyed. Admittedly crew may survive as long as flash does not travel down into crew compartment and they can escape over each other from their single hatch. In short I think the Russians will continue to extol their wonder… Read more »

billythefish
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billythefish

Thanks Mr Bell – that was kind of what I had imagined

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

All the pictures/videos of the Armata quite clearly show there are two access points to the crews compartment. If looking at the tank’s front, the right position is the drivers, the middle the gunners and the commander on the left. The driver and commander have their own access hatches, leaving the gunner to crawl over the commander’s or driver’s seats. There could be a problem if the turret is knocked out and the main gun stops over one of the hatches. Then the crew’s only option is escape via the remaining hatch. Its interesting to read the reports on the… Read more »

Mark Thomason
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Mark Thomason

“Western observers, however, question Russia’s ability to purchase modern tanks like the T-90 and T-14 in significant numbers.”

The Russian Army has been reorganized and downsized to a small force based on volunteer “contract” NCO’s. It could be fully equipped without “significant numbers” by past Russian standards. A few brigades each with a few of the small Russian battalions would be a vast shift of Russian Army capabilities.

4thwatch
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4thwatch

It can be disabled by a large 120mm scatter gun taking out the optics against which it has no defence.

700 Glengarried Men
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700 Glengarried Men

SItuational awareness is vital when operating in a hostile environment, CCTV periscope etc all have a part to play but there is no substitute for the Mk1 eyeball and head up in the turret, in war locating the enemy and making the correct tactical assessment will win the day, the crew might well survive but probably prisoners In a wrecked tank. The use of Uav coupled with MLRS or top down attack ATGM will destroy any tank.