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The T-14 main battle tank is armed with a new model of the 125mm cannon, comprising a larger auto-loader packing 32 rounds. The weapon system is mounted on an unmanned turret with the two crew members seated in a protected cell in the hull. (Subscribers can click to enlarge) Photo: Vitaly Kuzmin
The T-14 main battle tank is armed with a new model of the 125mm cannon, comprising a larger auto-loader packing 32 rounds. The weapon system is mounted on an unmanned turret with the three crew members seated in a protected cell in the hull. (Subscribers can click to enlarge) Photo: Vitaly Kuzmin
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The Russian Ministry of defense is lifting the veil on a new family of combat vehicles that has been under development in the past years. The new family scheduled to enter service with the Russian ground forces in the next years will be unveiled in public for the first time May 9th, 2015 on the traditional ‘Victory Day Parade’, marking the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany.[ismember]

The T-14 main battle tank is armed with a new model of the 125mm cannon, comprising a larger auto-loader packing 32 rounds. The weapon system is mounted on an unmanned turret with the two crew members seated in a protected cell in the hull. (Subscribers can click to enlarge) Photo: Vitaly Kuzmin
The T-14 main battle tank is armed with a new model of the 125mm cannon, comprising a larger auto-loader packing 32 rounds. The weapon system is mounted on an unmanned turret with the three crew members seated in a protected cell in the hull. (Subscribers can click to enlarge) Photo: Vitaly Kuzmin
[/ismember]The new family of vehicles consists of the Armata, a new tracked platform that will replace existing platforms that have been used in the T72 and T90 tanks since the mid-70s. The platform provides a common chassis for some 13 different combat vehicles weighing below 50 tons. [nonmember]
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Subscriber content – click to enlarge
[/nonmember]These include the new T-14 main battle tank that weighs 48 tons and T-15 infantry carrier; a new variant of the tank support vehicle (Terminator), an armored recovery vehicle (ARV), MT-A bridgelayer, Combat Engineering Vehicle (CEV), BMO-2 support vehicle carrying multiple launchers of thermobaric rockets, and USM-1 minelayer. Another variant that could be added in the future is a self propelled artillery system (SPG). However, the new Coalitziya SM SPG displayed on the May 9 parade is still based on the T-90 chassis.

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t14_front
A front view of the T-14 Armata. Note the empty area right of the main gun – this could be the compartment housing a second crew member’s sight. The commander’s panoramic sight, coupled with the remotely operated machine gun is mounted above the turret. Trapezoidal areas on the turret sides are likely containing sensors for the active protection system and peripheral imaging system. The system’s effectors, likely Drozd 2 type are the cylindrical objects contained between the turret and the hull. Photo: AP

All vehicles are designed and built by UralVagonZavod. Both vehicles are equipped with unmanned turrets, operated from inside the vehicle.

The T-14 has a crew of three, and its unmanned turret comprises the 2A82A 125mm turret with bustle-mounted autoloader with 32 rounds. This weapon is believed to over improved accuracy over 2A46M that operated on the T-72/90. Both guns are designed to fire firing 3BM-44M APFSDS (armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot), 3BK21B or 3BK29 high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT-FS), and 3OF26 high explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG) ammunition which employs time-activated fusing enabling airburst effect, as well as 9M119M Refleks anti-tank guided missiles. The T-14 carries 32 rounds in the autoloading magazine, with additional 16 carried on board (unlike the T-72/T90, reloading of the magazine cannot be done in combat as it requires a crew member access to the enclosed weapon’s compartment.)[/ismember]

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Russian Modern MBT – Comparison Table
Model T-72 T-90 T-14
Designer & Manufacturer UZV UZV UZV
Number of tanks produced +25,000 +2,000 NA
In Service since 1973 1993 2015
Weight (t) 41.5 47.5 48
Main armament (mm) 125 125 125
Gun Type 2A46 2A46M-5 2A82A
Ammunition (in loader magazine) 22/45 22/43 32/48
Secondary Weapon 7.62 PKT 7.62 PKT 30mm
Commander’s MG 12.7mm NSVT 12.7mm NSVT 12.7mm RWS
Engine (power) Diesel V12 780 Diesel V12 1,250 Diesel V12 1,500
P/W ratio (hp/t) 18.8 26.1 31.2
Operational Range (km) 460 550 500
Maximum speed (km/h) 60 65 80
A top view of the new T-14 Armata tank, taken by a multirotor covering the rehearsal in Moscow, on May 6, 2015. Photo: Andrei Kryuchenco.

The secondary, automatic 30mm gun is mounted coaxial but, according to some analysts, has a super-elevation feature that enables it to better engage aerial targets such as helicopters and unmanned vehicles. The T-14 carries a separate remotely operated weapon station mounting 12.7 machine gun. This weapon station is installed on top of the turret, thus dominating the tank’s surrounding for self-protection from close-range anti-tank weapons, suicide bombers, assaulting personnel approaching attempting to lay belly charges etc.

Situational awareness in close range is maintained by peripheral vision system integrating cameras on all sides, front and rear. The MMW Active Electronic Scanning Array (AESA) radar providing the main sensor for the Afganit active protection system can also be integrated into the battle management system, providing an updated situational picture tracking moving targets and other objects at close and medium range.

As a common chassis Armata comprises a drive train powered by 12 cylinder 1,500 HP turbo-charged, air cooled diesel engine coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission that accelerates the tank to a maximum speed of 70-75 km/h. The engine and transmission are coupled into a drive train that can be replaced in the field in 30 minutes. The tank is equipped with auxiliary power unit (APU) sustaining ‘silent watch’ with main engine shut down. The suspension system has seven dual rubber-tyred road wheels, and four track support rollers.

A gunner’s sight and independent panoramic sight for the commander enable the tank crew to detect and engage targets at ranges of more than 5,000 meters. The capsule protecting the crew area, weapon system, ammunition comprises more than 900mm of ballistic armor, part of which consists of the new 44S-sv-Sh developed by the ‘Ural Steel Research Institute’. In addition, the T-14 has an integrated active protection system (Afganit).[/ismember]

An inspection of the T-14 tanks rehearsing for the May 9 parade shows a combination of layers of modular armor comprising active and hybrid protection. Adding protection beyond the frontal arc and sides is a common design feature today, adapting MBTs for combat in complex, urban terrain, where threats exist over 360 degrees.

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Additional slat armor is used to protect the engine compartment and enable easy access to the sprocket. The forward section of the belly mounts an active counter-mine protection. Countermeasure dischargers firing instant smoke obscurants are employed, on both sides of the turret as part of the overall protection system.

[ismember]The clear distinction between the crew compartment, weapon’s section and ammunition enabled the tank designers to tailor the T-14 armor suite to increase the protection of specific areas, while maintaining the overall envelope of the vehicle within the dimensional limits of rail and air transportation. Russian Army has practiced the delivery of T-72/T-90 tanks in An-76 transport aircraft and in the future, the Russian military is seeking the capability to air transport a complete army, anywhere in the world, using mega-transport planes.[/ismember]
T15AIFV_1021
The Armata-chassis based T-15 BMP uses a front-mounted engine. The vehicle is manned by a crew of three and carries a squad of eight soldiers. The vehicle is equipped with remotely operated gun turret mounting a 30mm cannon, 7.62 coax MG and four Kornet E guided missiles. Note the five canisters pointing outward, these are likely parts of the vehicle’s self-protection system.  Photo: Marina Lystseva
The T-15 carries a complex remotely operated weapon system comprising the 30mm automatic cannon (with 500 rounds), 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, four Kornet E guided missiles, optronic systems for target acquisition and missile guidance and hard and soft kill active protection systems.
The T-15 carries a complex remotely operated weapon system comprising the 30mm automatic cannon (with 500 rounds), 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, four Kornet E guided missiles, optronic systems for target acquisition and missile guidance and hard and soft kill active protection systems.

The T-15 IVF (BMP) also shares the common Armata chassis. As a troop carrier, it will replace the current BMP-2 variants offering much improved mobility and protection although at a significant weight increase. The vehicle is operated by three crew members and accommodates eight troops. It is likely to be equipped with a new remotely operated weapon station designed by KBP. This turret mounts the 2A42 30mm cannon with 500 rounds, 7.62 coaxial machine gun and four Kornet-EM guided missiles (two on each side). The T-15 shares a protection system similar to that of Armata.[ismember]

T15_countermeasures&armor425
The position of the engine in the front required the use of heavier armor protection, using oblique modules of reactive, compound armor. This angle also shows other parts of the countermeasure system – the canistered package containing 12 instant smoke cartridges. Photo: Vitaly Kuzmin

To allow rapid and efficient access to the troop compartment the engine is positioned at the front, providing the vehicle a distinctive, pointed profile.
Overall, the T-15 posed more challenging requirements for the armor designers, as it required providing heavier all-round protection, rather than the ¾ protection used on the T-14.

Positioning the engine in front required increased protection, using modular oblique add-on armor at the frontal arc adding significantly to the width to the vehicle. It is likely that those modules will be detachable to overland, marine or air transportation.

(Thinner and lighter slat armor was sufficient to protect the rear area surrounding the engine compartment of the T-14 Armata). T-15 also uses an active counter-mine system, similar to that used on the T-14.

Other distinctive features are the countermeasure dischargers scattered along the two sides of the vehicle.

t15_armata725
A different T-15 taking part in the parade rehearsals shows parts of the side armor removed, showing the complex system and modular attachment of the system. Photo: Russian MOD
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An elevated view of the new T-15 BMP, based on the Armata chassis. Photo: Vitaly Kuzmin
An elevated view of the new T-15 BMP, based on the Armata chassis. Photo: Vitaly Kuzmin
A rear view of the new T-15 BMP, based on the Armata chassis. Note the bar armor protecting the ramp. Photo: Vitaly Kuzmin
A rear view of the new T-15 BMP, based on the Armata chassis. Note the bar armor protecting the ramp. Photo: Vitaly Kuzmin