The current frontline Russian Main Battle Tank (MBT) remains the Third Generation T-90 introduced in 1991 (1,670 produced to date). However, Russian engineers are actively at work on an all-new design for the Russian Army recognized as the "T-99 Universal Combat Platform" (UCP) and known by the name of "Armata" (meaning "Arma" or "weapon"). As it stands, the program expects to produce a single universal chassis forming the basis of a family of related armored fighting vehicles including an MBT, Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV), and similar. The approach is expected to produce a logistically-friendlier approach to next-generation battlefield systems of the Russian Army.
The T-99 Armata project holds some program scope similarities to the now-abandoned T-95 "Black Eagle" project cancelled in May of 2010. This 55 ton product featured a crew of three, a smoothbore 152mm main gun and a crew-less turret installation.
Still in its early stages as of February 2014, the T-99 is not expected to enter service until 2016 and full strength until 2020. The T-99 initiative is expected to consist of a variety of vehicles built atop a singilar design - the MBT to become the "T-14". Other variants include a Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH_ form, the TOS-2 Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS), and the BREM-T "T-16" Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV). Total procurement is said to be in the range of 2,300 tanks to help replace large stocks of outgoing types - some still of Soviet-era origin.
Part of the revitalization of Russian armored design is a new approach to the proven 125mm main gun featured on the T-90. The T-14 will make use of an all-new development of equal caliber and retain the smoothbore principle of the former offering while also support the launching of Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) - the latter a popular quality seen in several Russian/Soviet-designed vehicles since the Cold War years. Additional firepower is expected from a 57mm automatic grenade launcher fitted coaxially in the turret as well as a 12.7mm heavy machine gun. The ammunition stores will be kept segregated from the operating crew, increasing survivability considerably.
Beyond its new smoothbore main gun, the T-14 will incorporate the new approach to tank design - a crew-less turret. Such a departure from the norm will allow for a much smaller turret footprint - bringing its entire crew to reside within the hull itself - and promote a smaller, lower profile in combat. Current-generation Russian tanks already make use of autoloaders with three-man crews and the T-14 will only relocate the crew and not reduce its total. With the entire crew situated in the hull, communications and situational awareness could increase. Survivability may also improve as more armor can be allocated to the crew compartment and hull. The use of a crew-less turret will also set the stage for future development of a wholly remote-controlled tank not requiring a physical crew within.
Standard MBT fixtures should apply - crew comforts such as air conditioning and heating - with NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) support. Anti-missile countermeasures figure to be a prominent survivability quality as well and already seen on modern MBTs around the world. All-weather and day/devices also figure in the T-14 design.
The vehicle will be powered by a new diesel-fueled engine in the 1,400 to 1,600 horsepower range and mated to an eight-speed, electronically-controlled automatic transmission system. Cross-country travel and operational reach are expected to surpass that of the existing T-90 line (approximately 40mph and 430 miles). The chassis will incorporate a full-suspended track-and-wheel arrangement showcasing seven double-tired road wheels to a hull side.
Armor protection is not revealed as of yet. The control systems are expected to be fully modern and all-digital with ultra-fast processing to achieve the best first-round hit possible (even when on-the-move) and to deal with incoming threats - such as enemy ATGMs - efficiently and effectively through a included countermeasures suite. The UCP line will be tied under a secure communications system with a common Battlefield Management System (BMS).
The BMPT "T-15" is expected to be a tracked, heavy-class armored fighting vehicle (AFV) offshoot of the T-14 tank program and armed with a turreted 30mm autocannon as well as support for "Kornet" ATGMs to provide a potent one-two punch for the reborn Russian armored forces when paired on the battlefield with the T-14.
Field-testing of pilot vehicles was slated for 2014 with initial deliveries set for 2015 and serial production to begin in 2016 (based on published reports emerging from Moscow). However this timetable may meet with typical delays in bringing such an optimistic design to light. Due to the secretive, early-stage development of this program, this article - and all associated presented values - are expected to change accordingly.
Manufacturing Uralvagonzavod - Russia
Production 40 Units
- Fire Support / Assault / Breaching
- Infantry Support
- Tank vs Tank
- Main Battle Tank (MBT)
- Reconnaissance (RECCE)
- Support / Special Purpose |
55 tons (50,000 kg; 110,231 lb)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the T-99 Armata (Universal Combat Platform - UCP) production model)
1 x Multi-fuel diesel engine of unknown mark developing between 1,400 and 1,600 horsepower driving conventional track-and-wheel arrangement.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the T-99 Armata (Universal Combat Platform - UCP) production model)
50 mph (80 kph)
326 miles (525 km)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the T-99 Armata (Universal Combat Platform - UCP) production model; Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 125mm smoothbore main gun in turret (with Anti-Tank, Guided-Missile capability).
1 x 12.7mm coaxial machine gun in turret.
1 x 57mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) in turret.
Ammunition: 32 x 125mm projectiles.
1,500 x 12.7mm ammunition (estimated).
600 x 57mm grenades (estimated).
(Showcased armament details pertain to the T-99 Armata (Universal Combat Platform - UCP) production model)
T-99 "Armata" - Base Series Designation
T-14 - MBT with 125mm smoothbore main gun
BMPT T-15 - Infantry Fighting Vehicle variant
BM-2 (TOS-2) - Multiple-Launch Rocket System (MLRS) variant.
2S35 "Koalitsiya-SV" - Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) vehicle variant.
BREM-T T-16 - Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV) variant
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