Russia drafts two-section tank concept to succeed T-14 Armata

The Russian Defense Ministry has drafted the concept of a two-section tank of the future which is to replace T-14 Armata after the 2040s. The project was presented by the Research Institute of Armor at Army-2020 forum. writes about the advantages of the new tank and difficulties its design may encounter.
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A predecessor design of what Russia has partly in mind as a successor of the T-14 Armata: the Swedish UDES XX 20 Experimental Articulated Tank Destroyer developed in the early 1970s by the UDES research group, Bofors and Hägglunds companies (Picture source: Imgur)

The prospective tank will have a two-section connected construction to decrease the specific pressure on the ground and resolve the weight problem. The front combat section will have the control compartment with three men in an armored capsule. The middle part of the combat module will accommodate an unmanned turret with an electric thermal-chemical gun and recharging unit. The tank will be armed with homing vertically launched missiles with a range of 12 km, as well as dynamic armor, laser blinder and a generator of electromagnetic impulses.

The 3,000 HP gas turbine engine, as well as air and ground unmanned vehicles for reconnaissance and protection will be carried by the second section of the tank.

Experts believe T-14 Armata tank will be effective up to the 2040s, but its replacement has to be designed already now. “There is nothing yet to say about the tank of the future. It is a concept, a perception of prospective armored vehicle. There is nothing new in the concept,” expert Mikhail Baryatinsky said.

The two-section design has been known for long, he added. Such vehicles have been created and are being built. Two-section tracked transporters are used by the Russian troops in the Arctic. “Yet in Soviet times, a family of powerful two-section Vityaz prime movers was designed with a major carrying capacity,” Baryatinsky said.

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RC model of Vityaz DT-10. The Vityaz is a military all-terrain heavy amphibious tracked transporter, available in three variants: DT-10, 20 and 30, varying in size and load capacity. It comes with an 800-HP engine equipped with a pre-heater, making it possible to start it in temperatures as low as -50°C (Picture source: Sariel)

Experimental two-section tanks of relatively small size and weight have been designed abroad. Therefore, the construction of a two-section tank will not trigger major technical difficulties, the expert said.

The two-section design increases protection and firepower of a tank in the best way. The engine is located outside the combat capsule. “However, the problem is in effective communications between the two sections and a high cost of the tank. It concerns two-section design in general,” Baryatinsky said.

“As for the proposed concept of a Russian tank of the third millennium, I can repeat that there is nothing yet to say. I am convinced that the declared date of 2040s causes major doubt, as it is still unclear how technical progress would develop,” he added. 3All the main armies in the world are armed with tanks designed 35 or 40 years ago. They are upgraded due to a boom in the electronic industry,” the expert said. the United States plans to keep Abrams main battle tank in service at least up to 2030. Therefore, it is unclear how a prospective tank would look like in 2040, Baryatinsky said.

It is inspiring that the 38th Research Institute of Armor is generating various concepts and options and is engaged in R&D. “However, the declared components of the tank of the third millennium do not exist yet. There are no gas turbine engine of 3000 HP and no electric thermal-chemical gun,” Baryatinsky said.

Experts believe the caliber of tank guns will increase to 140-155mm shortly. Ballistic characteristics will improve (pressure of 6500 — 7500 kg/ and the weight will only slightly grow. The barrel will remain smooth to keep the light and solid construction with high ballistic characteristics. 140-155mm caliber increases the armor piercing capacity, the impact of cumulative shells, and the ability of high-explosive fragmentation projectiles to destroy tanks by impulse effect without penetrating armor. The tank will have a high protection. It is likely to have front armor equivalent to 1,200 mm of homogenous armored steel. Fire controls will be considerably upgraded.

Tanks will anyway remain the main strike force of the ground forces, writes. 

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Russia deeply masters the two-section design that for decades has been used for a wide range of tracked transport vehicles showing stunning performances on marshy and snowy grounds, namely in Siberia (Picture source: Army Recognition)

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