Russian Military Orders 100 T-14 MBTs

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Russian Military Orders 100 T-14 MBTs

By J.Hawk

Several Russian news outlets reported that the Russian Ministry of Defense placed an initial order for approximately 100 T-14 main battle tanks with the Uralvagonzavod plant in Nizhniy Tagil. This is the first order for production vehicles from the Armata family, though the Russian military is currently putting 20 pre-production Armata vehicles through their paces in order to finalize the design and eliminate problems with the design. The fact of the order indicates the vehicle trials have not identified any major problems that would result in program delays because of redesign issues.

It has not been reported whether any other vehicles from the Armata family have been ordered, or whether the order includes designs other than the heavily-gunned T-14. Likewise the dates of delivery have not been announced. It was made known, however, that the Russian MOD is not planning a bigger Armata order in the near future, preferring instead to focus on continued T-72 modernization programs, and presumably also on upgrading the T-90s.

100 tanks would be sufficient for one “heavy” motorized rifle brigade whose organization includes two tank battalions, in addition to motorized rifle and artillery battalions. Such a brigade could serve as a trial unit for developing tactics, operational doctrine, training regimens, and logistical support practices that will naturally differ from units operating the earlier generation of MBTs.

 

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  • Daniel Rich

    I think the era of gigantic aircraft carriers and large MBTs is slowly coming to an end, as the means to destroy either of them, with fixed and/or mobile missile systems, grows exponentially.

    • Ernesto Castillo

      That’s been anounced several times in the past, particulary since AT missiles arrived in the late 50s.

      The truth is: To this day, MBT remains the best way to kill another MBT, and offer a huge arrange of advantages on the battlefield. The meassures you mention can serve as a leverage for smaller militaries, assuring high casualtie rate for largely-mechanized forces.

      But those will finally triumph at the end is political will – and enough infantry to hold conquered ground! – is present.

    • JPH

      Did you note that the T-14 Armata is actually reversing the trend of ever heavier MBTs? A weight reduction of 25% compared to western competitors.
      The auto loader and the design decision to go for a 3 instead of a 4 man crew reduced both weight and volume of the turret significantly. Because in tactical situations exposure is often limited to the turret, such reduction and having the crew isolated from the turret in addition to active counter missile systems counters the threats of missiles you mention to a significant degree.

      • I dont really know what you want to say by that.The Armata weights 48 tons.Thats way heavier than a T-64(38tons),T-72 (42 tons) and T-90 (46tons).Compared to western MBTs the Armata is quite leight weight.Yes thats right.Western MBTs had a different design philosophie that centers around the safety of the crew,enormous protection,reliability,ergonometry while the soviets centered on cheap mass production,big quantities,agilitiy,low weight etc.The Armata is a reversal of that philosophie because Russia couldnt afford to loose crews at rates like in the Great Patriotic war as they call it where lifes where cheap and exchange rates of 1:4 to 1:10 were seen as acceptable as long as it ensured victory.The Armata is something like a return to the german tank philosophy: high protection,good optics/optronics,advanced communication equipment,ergonometry for the crew,powerfull guns etc. in other words more quality than quantity.The Russians caught the west on the backfoot because they stopped any meaningfull tank development in the early 90s because they thought that future wars would be just colonial wars without the heavy stuff from the cold war.The West is now basically one generation in tanks back and not only that the actual numbers of tanks is as low as ever.Germany is hit the hardest.It has somewhat like 4-5 operating tank battallions with around 100 operational tanks,the total number including broken down,storage tanks is around 200 to 300 tanks.The production facilities have been scaled down so much that they cant just produce more with the snap of a finger.And worse the development of new tanks was halted and precious human resourses from the last MBT programm was lost.At the current time it would take decades to draw even with Russia.The same is true for the Rest of NATO except the US which has all the quality/design problems but still have a considerable quantity of tanks.Instead of making tanks lighter the russians should make them better and that means putting weight on.As fast as possible should be a 135mm or highter caliber main gun be implemented.The armour should be strenghtend at least up to 2000 mm of RSA,increased mine protection should be added.Together with the new generation optronic turret it should be a far better tank than anything the west has to offer and would spell defeat for any western aggression against Russia.The western ground forces are centered today around light infantry with a little heavy stuff.The big hope is air power.Once air power is neutralized these russian behemots would steamroll any resistance of fancy Stryker units just like german Tigers have steamrolled the british at Villers Bocage or the heavy KV tanks were these rolling unbeatable blockposts in 1941.The downfall of the KV was not its thick armour, the downfall was the suboptimal turret crew design,no radio equipment,crappy transmission and optics and relativly small numbers.The Tiger failed because Germany was too weak to neutralize allied air power which destroyed the fuel/oil,spare part industry.With modern technology all the weak parts of the heavy tanks back then can be coped with today.
        Just imagine a tank in Syria that can absorb 20 to 30 TOW missle impacts like nothing and keeps rolling and stumping everything into the ground.For its time in the late 30s and early 40s the T-34 was a quite heavy tank with 26,5 tons. while the german counterparts weighted from 10 to 20 tons so mass isnt really a drawback,

        • JPH

          In a indirect manner my statement did reject the “MBT are outdated”. What you see is a race between AT missiles and countermeasures which by the way do not rely on ever increasing armor. Active countermeasures aiming for either jamming guidance, intercepting the missile or active armor. Guess your imagined tank able to absorb 20 or 30 TOW impacts would not be a good design compromise. Any tank design remains a compromise anyway. And as the Saudi found out to their detriment in Yemen Tanks not supported by infantry simply don’t survive.

          • Daniel Rich

            @ JPH,

            Q; Tanks not supported by infantry simply don’t survive.

            R; It seems you’re already aware of the overall Achilles’ Heel I had in mind.

            When dealing with a-symmetrical warfare, all battle plans can be thrown out of the nearest window.

            The specs of the Armata tank are very impressive, but if we keep Murphy’s law in mind, even the Armata can be brought down.

    • eagleson

      Unless the infantry becomes like in that movie “Edge of Tomorrow” in the next 5-10 years there are going to be MBT around for a long time.