|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Mar 23, 2015 12:45 PM EDT|
The Russian T-14 MBT
A new Russian tank, the T-14 'Armata," could finally give the Russian army a tank that can take on the U.S. M1A2 Abrams and the German Leopard 2 on something like equal terms.
It's expected to be the centerpiece of the upcoming 70th anniversary celebrations in Moscow marking the surrender of Nazi Germany on May 9, 1945. The Victory Day Parade in Red Square will show off the latest in Russian weapon systems.
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The "Armata Universal Combat Platform" is officially classified by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation as an "advanced next generation heavy military tracked vehicle platform" with multiple uses.
It will be produced as a main battle tank (the T-14); a heavy infantry fighting vehicle; a combat engineering vehicle; an armored recovery vehicle; a heavy armored personnel carrier; a tank support combat vehicle and several types of self-propelled artillery.
It will also serve as the basis for artillery, air defense, and nuclear-biological-chemical (NBC) defense systems. The Russians in the future envision using the Armata as a robotic tank operated by remote control.
As the T-14 tank, the Armata will feature an unmanned remotely controlled turret armed with a new 125 mm 2A82-1M smoothbore gun with 32 rounds.
The Russians claim the muzzle energy of this gun is greater than the world's best tank gun, the Rheinmetall 120 mm gun mounted on the German Leopard 2. They also claim the accuracy of the T-14's 125 mm gun has been improved by 15 to 20 percent.
Tass, the Russian government's propaganda mouthpiece, said the T-14 might also mount a specially developed 152 mm gun, which will be the most powerful gun ever to equip a main battle tank.
In addition to the main gun, the turret mounts a 30 mm multi-barreled machine cannon to deal with low-flying aircraft such as drones and helicopters and a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun to attack soft targets like enemy infantry.
The Russians also claim the HMG is also capable of shooting down incoming projectiles such as anti-tank missiles approaching at speeds of up to 3,000 meters per second.
The Russian army has ordered 2,300 T-14s by 2020, enough to equip 70 percent of its total tank fleet.
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