Giuseppe Sandro Mela.
«The Russian Company Uralvagonzavod is responsible for the design and development of the new Russian main battle tank MBT Armata T-14 for 2013 with the delivery of the first prototypes for 2015. The first reports indicate that the new Armata could be based on the Russian main battle tank T-95 Object 195 and the project tank “Black Eagle” which was presented to the public at the Omsk defence exhibition in 1999. The Armata will have more firepower than the latest generation of main battle tank T-90. The Armata will be fitted with a new unmanned remote weapon station turret. Russian experts believe that the appearance of the remotely controlled gun would eventually lead to the development of a fully robotic tank which could be deployed as part of a spearhead in the offensive. The T-14 Armata was unveiled for the first time to the public during the military parade in Moscow for the Victory Day, May 9, 2015. The Russia Defense Ministry said the field testing of the new MBT Armata was expected to start in 2014. The first deliveries of the tank to the Russian Armed Forces are scheduled for 2015. A total of 2,300 MBTs are expected to be supplied by 2020.
The T-14 Armata is equipped with an unmanned turret and all the crew is located at the front of the hull. The new unmanned remote turret of Arama T-14 would be equipped with new generation of 125mm 2A82-1M smoothbore gun with an automatic loader and 32 rounds ready to use. The main gun can fire also new laser-guided missile with a range from 7 to 12 km. The T-14 Armata carries a total of 45 rounds. According some Russian sources, the T-14 Armata could be armed in the future with a new 152mm cannon. The first scale model of the Armata unveiled in July 2012 showed that the vehicle has a secondary weapon that could be a 57mm grenade launcher mounted on the left of the turret, and a machine gun 12.7 mm mounted on the right side. During the victory day parade 2015, Russia has unveiled the new Armata and the main armament consists only of a new 125mm gun with no additional weapons on the side of the turret. Second armament of the T-14 Armata includes one remote weapon station mounted on the top rear of the turret armed with one 7.62mm mm machine gun.
Standard equipment of Armata T-14 includes probably day and night vision equipment, NBC system, front mounted dozer blade, fire detection and suppression system and a battle management system as modern Russian-made main battle tanks. The new Armata also have latest generation of active protection defensive aids suite. A computerized fire-control system is fitted to enable stationary and moving targets to be engaged with a very high first round hit probability. The T-14 Armata is equipped with the Active Protection System (APS) Afghanit which seems similar to the Israeli Trophy able to intercept and destroy incoming missiles and rockets. The system is designed to work against all types of anti-tank missiles and rockets, including handheld weapons such as rocket propelled grenades. The Afghanit APS includes four sets of 12 launch tubes, two at the rear left side of the turret, and one on each rear top side of the turret. At the base of each side of the turret are five large and fixed horizontally arrayed launch tubes covering the 120° frontal arc of the turret. This tubes could launched unguided projectiles with HE warhead to counter incoming anti-tank guided missiles or RPG (Rocket-Propelled Grenade). The Afghanit APS also includes two types of sensors mounted around the T-14’s turret. Two large sensors, believed to be electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR)-based laser warning receivers, are angularly mounted on the front of the turret providing 180° coverage, while four smaller sensors (covered but believed to be radars) are mounted around the turret providing 360° coverage. The T-14 Armata is fitted with a computerized fire control automatically calculates the fire control solution based on – lead angle measurement, bend of the gun measured by the muzzle reference system, velocity measurement from a wind sensor mounted on the roof of the turret. A dozer blade mounted under the nose of the tank is used for clearing obstacles and preparing fire positions. A 360° panoramic sight mounted at the front of the remote weapon station of the turret allows commanders and gunner to have all-round surveillance on the battlefield without being disturbed by turret motion. For close view, the T-14 is equipped with wide angle cameras mounted around a vehicle giving full 360° all-round vision on displays and situational awareness.» [Army Recognition]
«The T-14 Armata is equipped with the Active Protection System (APS) Afghanit which seems similar to the Israeli Trophy able to intercept and destroy incoming missiles and rockets.»
«The system is designed to work against all types of anti-tank missiles and rockets, including handheld weapons such as rocket propelled grenades.»
«The Afghanit APS includes four sets of 12 launch tubes, two at the rear left side of the turret, and one on each rear top side of the turret.»
Se al momento sembrerebbero essere in servizio 500 carri armati Armata, a fine 2020 il loro numero dovrebbe essere di 2,300. Come peraltro gli americani, questo carro russo sembrerebbe essere in grado di utilizzare proiettili termobarici. Solo per dare numeri indicativi, la Germania ha in servizio poco meno di 400 Leopard 2, pochi di più della Grecia che ne ha 356: ma nel complesso questi carri sono vetusti e tenuti nello stato di manutenzione che la Grecia può attualmente permettersi. L’esercito italiano dispone di 200 carri armati Ariete, progettati negli anni ’80. Ferri vecchi.
L’impressione generale è che l’esercito russo sia decisamente meglio armato e ben più numeroso di quelli europei considerati tutti assieme.
Al momento attuale ha un organico di 766,055 uomini in servizio attivo (220,000 ufficiali), oltre ai 2,485,000 uomini già addestrati tenuti di riserva. Grosso modo sei volte gli organici di tutti i paesi europei considerati assieme.
Molti sono convinti che un conflitto in Europa non possa essere altro che fase iniziale di un confronto globale termonucleare. Questa ipotesi trova sicuramente un certo numero di sostenitori, ma sottostà all’assunzione che gli americani considerino il controllo militare dell’Europa talmente vitale per la loro sicurezza da sfidare la sorte di essere distrutti da una rappresaglia nucleare pur di difenderla. Ma sono invece in molti coloro che ritengono che questa ipotesi sia inconsistente. La conseguenza è che un confronto terrestre sembrerebbe essere la probabilità più verosimile.
Se poi si prendesse in considerazione un raffreddamento dei rapporti tra Stati Uniti ed Europa, questa ultima ipotesi di lavoro ne uscirebbe ulteriormente avvalorata.
→ Bbc. 2017-05-30. Should Russia’s new Armata T-14 tanks worry Nato?
A Russian innovation in armoured warfare has pushed Norway to replace many of its current anti-tank systems.
Active protection systems (APS) are being built into Russia’s new Armata T-14 tank, posing a problem for a whole generation of anti-armour weapons, not least the US-supplied Javelin guided missile, used by the Norwegian Army.
The warning comes from Brig Ben Barry of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London. He says this is a problem that most Nato countries have barely begun to grapple with.
APS threatens to make existing anti-tank weapons far less effective, and there is little real discussion of this among many Western militaries, he says.
Some countries are conducting research and trials to equip their own tanks with APS. “But they seem to miss the uncomfortable implications for their own anti-armour capabilities,” he says.
Norway is one of the first Nato countries to grasp this nettle. Its latest defence procurement plan envisages spending 200-350m kroner (£18.5-32.5m; $24-42m) on replacing its Javelin missiles, “to maintain the capacity to fight against heavy armoured vehicles”.
“There is a need for [an] anti-tank missile,” it says, “that can penetrate APS systems”.
APS is the latest twist in the age-old battle between offence and defence in military technology.
At different periods one side has held the advantage over the other. The armoured knight once ruled supreme, but the widespread use of firearms put paid to the armour-clad nobility’s dominance.
Since World War Two the tank, like the knight of old, has reigned supreme on the battlefield.
It is of course vulnerable to the main guns of other tanks. If you have a heavy enough shell and a gun firing at high-enough velocity you can punch through even the best armour.
But tanks are also vulnerable to other weapons systems, and that is what APS is designed to deal with.
Since World War Two a whole category of lighter, man-portable anti-tank weapons has been devised.
Since they have to be carried by the infantry they depend not upon velocity and mass to get through the tank’s armour, but on a chemical reaction. These warheads impact on the external armour and a metal core forms into a molten jet that pierces through.
Tank designers have tried to counter this in all sorts of ways, with reactive panels that explode outwards when hit; or by providing additional layers of spaced armour, to detonate the incoming round away from the tank itself.
APS takes a whole new approach. It is essentially an anti-missile system for tanks, with radars capable of tracking the incoming anti-tank missile, and projectiles that are launched to disrupt or destroy it.
Israel is among the leaders in this field and its Merkava tanks used it with some success during the last upsurge of fighting in Gaza.
The Israeli Trophy system is being evaluated by the Americans. Britain too is looking at such systems and the Dutch have recently decided to equip their infantry combat vehicles with another Israeli-developed system.
The fitting of APS to armoured vehicles is intended to counter a variety of weapons, ranging from the ubiquitous Russian/Chinese RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) to much more sophisticated guided anti-tank weapons like the Russian Kornet.
But Brig Barry at the IISS is pointing out that Russia’s APS technology raises questions about many of Nato’s anti-tank defences too. Norway is taking action – and he believes other Nato countries will have to do the same.
→ Asia Defence. 2017-04-17. Russia to Develop Nuclear Round for T-14 Main Battle Tank
Russia is purportedly mulling fitting its newest battle tank with a 152 millimeter gun capable of firing nuclear rounds.
Russia’s deadliest tank, the third-generation T-14 main battle tank (MBT), an armored vehicle based on the “Armata” universal chassis system, might be getting even more deadly in the near future.
According to unconfirmed media reports, Russian defense contractor Uralvagonzavod (UVZ), the world’s largest tank maker, will not only upgrade later versions of the mysterious T-14 with a new 2A83 152 millimeter gun but also develop a nuclear tank shell for tactical use on the battlefield.
It is unclear whether a 152 millimeter sub-kiloton low-yield round is already under development. The use of tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield is not part of official Russian military doctrine. However, Russia has made important strides in low-fission, high-fusion, sub kiloton tactical nuclear technology in recent years.
Nevertheless, it is more than unlikely that Russia will arm the T-14 with nuclear shells given the short range of the MBTs gun. The current version of the T-14 is armed with the 2A82 125 millimeter smoothbore cannon, capable of firing high-powered munitions (10 shots a minute at an effective range of up to seven kilometers). The 2A83 152 millimeter gun would have a much lower rate of fire.
At the end, the Russian military would do better to arm the T-14 with depleted uranium shells rather than nuclear weapons in order to maximize the tank’s fire power on the tactical battlefield.
The Armata is the first new MBT developed by Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The tank is reportedly fitted with a new active protection system including a new generation of explosive reactive armor allegedly capable of fending off the world’s most advanced anti-tank gun shells and anti-tank missiles.
Furthermore, as I pointed out elsewhere (See: “Russia’s Military to Receive 100 New T-14 Armata Battle Tanks”), the T-14 will eventually be a completely automated combat vehicle, remotely controlled and fitted with a unmanned turret. The T-14’s genuine combat capabilities are unknown, and will remain so until tested in actual combat. As of now, no T-14 MBT has been spotted in eastern Ukraine.
“The Armata universal chassis system is a platform for over a dozen different tracked vehicles, including a self-propelled artillery gun, an armored military engineering vehicle, and an armored personal carrier,” I explained elsewhere. “70 percent of tracked armored vehicles of the Russian Ground Forces are slated to be replaced by vehicles based on the Armata universal chassis system.”
In 2016, Russia Ministry of Defense ordered a first batch of 100 T-14s and purportedly intends to procure up to 2,300 T-14s by 2025. It appears, however, that this is far beyond the financial and production capacity of Russia. According to some estimates, Russia is only capable of building 120 new T-14s per year from 2018. There are currently around 20 T-14s prototypes operating with the Russian Ground Forces. It is unclear whether the tank has already entered serial production.