Russia: Two battalions of T-14 Armata MBT tanks will enter in service

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov has announced February 12, 2018, that Russia will annually procure an average of 200 main battle tanks (MBTs). Currently, T-72B3 main battle tanks are the backbone of the Russian armed forces, but there is plan to deliver first T-14 Armata to the 1st guards tank regiment of Taman division.

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T-14 Armata main battle during Victory Day Parade in May 2017 (Picture source Army Recognition)

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has announced in November 2017, that the Russian armaments program for 2018-2027 envisages serial supplies of T-14 tanks based on the heavy tracked Armata platform.

"The task is to fulfill the state defense order. We shall annually buy an average of some 200 tanks of various modifications in the coming years," he said during a visit to Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) enterprise, which, according to Borisov, is successfully replacing imports.

The unmanned T-14 tank on Armata platform can be created in Russia, UVZ CEO Alexander Potapov said. "We do not tread water. We are working on it. You will see the result in some time," he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry plans to sign major contracts to procure Armata-based armor after 2020. "Acceptance tests will begin this year and will continue up to the end of 2019. We have to reach the finish with new samples in 2020 and will then decide on major serial contracts," Borisov said.

New arms are being designed for Armata. "Work on a new set of tank munitions is nearing completion. It is no secret that we have contracted two battalions of T-14 main battle tanks and one battalion of heavy new T-15 BMP tracked infantry fighting vehicle for test operations," Borisov said.

The Main command of the Russian Ground Forces has announced in May 2017, that the 1st tank regiment of Taman division will be the first unit to be rearmed with new-generation Armata T-14. That will happen after 2020 when the new tank passes government acceptance tests and becomes operational. At present the regiment is armed with T-72B3.

The T-14 Armata MBT is the first Russia-designed armored combat vehicle after T-72 and T-80 created yet in Soviet times in the 1970-1980s. The unmanned turret is the main distinguishing feature of the new tank. The crew is seated in an armored capsule in the front part of the tank which is to replace T-72B3 and T-90. The main armament of T-14 Armata is a 125-mm gun 2A82.

The T-14 Armata suspension considerably differs from T-72/90 family. All Russian tanks have only six road wheels but the suspension of the T-14 Armata on each side consists of seven road wheels with the idler at the front, drive sprocket at the rear. T-14 is equipped with reactive armor sets mounted on the upper part of the chassis and the turret. Module armor protects two thirds of the sides of the tank. The remaining one third of T-14 is protected by bar armor.

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T-15 BMP IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle during Victory Day Parade in May 2016 (Picture source Wikip

The T-15 BMP Armata is the latest generation of AIFV (Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle) developed and manufactured by the Russian Defense Industry. The T-15 BMP Armata was unveiled for the first time to the public during the rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in April 2015.

The T-15 BMP is fitted with an unmanned turret located at the rear of the vehicle, designed and manufactured by the Defense Company KBP. According to Russian military experts, the turret is equipped with on 30mm 2A42 automatic cannon as main armament.

Second armament of the vehicle includes a PKTM 7,62mm machine gun and two anti-tank guided missile Kornet-D launchers mounted on each side of the turret. The Kornet-D use technical vision with an automatic target tracker to make it a "fire and forget" missile, giving it a 5-times increase in accuracy of target tracking at any range. It can engage target from a range of 150 to 10,000m.

The T-15 BMP Armata used a new design if you compare the old generation of Russian AIFV (Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle) as the BMP family. . The armour consists at some places of a layer of concrete sandwiched between layers of steel, ceramic and composite materials, which offers high level of protection against firing of small arms and blast of mine explosions.

To increase its protection, the T-15 is equipped with the "Afganit" active protection system including sensors and laser detection systems. This system is designed to defeat threats such as the rocket propelled grenade and the anti-tank missile, including newer anti-tank missiles with longer ranges.