Moscow has reported that Russian Ground Forces (RGF) expect to receive the first dozen advanced T-14 Armata tanks as soon as next month or as late as early 2020.
Unlike many of Russia’s new weapons systems that tend to offer more bark than bite, defense experts around the world are fairly certain that the T-14 represents not just a significant step up in technology for Russian troops, but also a legitimate threat to America’s venerable M1 Abrams family of tanks, long seen as among the best battle tanks in service.
The T-14 boasts fully digitized systems, a new A82 125mm smoothbore cannon, a 12.7mm anti-aircraft gun, and a run of the mill 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun. But despite the significant punch that the T-14 packs, it’s not just the loadout that makes it such a significant upgrade for Russian troops. The Armata’s advanced explosive-reactive armor, coupled with an active protection system meant to intercept inbound projectiles, was purpose built to manage modern anti-tank weapons. It also has an unmanned turret, a first for Russian tanks, which allows for the mechanization of more tasks and a safer crew compartment.