The T-14 is a Russian 5th generation main battle tank (MBT), first seen in 2015 during rehearsals for the Moscow Victory Day Parade in Moscow, Russia. The T-14, industrial designation Object 148, is currently in production for the Russian military. The T-14 utilizes the Armata Universal Combat Platform; a cross AFV platform intended to promote a selection of powerful modular systems for AFVs including the chassis. There are roughly 2 dozen T-14s built to date and plans to acquire over 2300 through 2020.

As with any new weapon system, even upon introduction it is important to maintain secrecy regarding on board systems. In spite of this we do know some things and can infer other things about the T-14. As a member of the Armata Universal Combat Platform, the T-14 benefits from a modular design; this provides benefits including lower costs, ease with regards to production and maintenance. Existing information suggests the T-14 is light weight and fast compared to other modern MBTs. This provides benefits on and off the battlefield. A lighter vehicle means less stress on systems such as the hull, engine, road wheels, et al.. A lighter vehicle will be able to traverse bridges other comparable MBTs would not; and transporting such a vehicle by rail or road will be easier. It is believed that the T-14 marks a notable departure from pre-existing Russian/Soviet tank design. The final vehicle is comparable in size to the German Leopard 2. Given the size of the T-14, it is likely the vehicle weighs more than the weight reported in numerous articles of 45 tonnes; however this could be accounted for with a design focusing on a lower weight. A light armouring design could account for this; however modern tank armour is proprietary and generally is a closely guarded secret. Also, it is reported the vehicle has no gunner, and a fully automated loading system and as such would see less weight from these changes. The turret itself is unmanned, a first in an MBT, with the crew in an enclosed compartment.

A mock-up of what would be the T-14 was shown to military officials in 2013. Trials began on prototype(s) in 2014. The public reveal of the T-14 occurred in 2015. By March of 2016, the T-14 was in full production.

Comparing the T-14 to contemporary MBTs:

Tank: T-14
Main Armament: 125 mm smoothbore tank cannon
Secondary Armament: a 12.7 mm machine gun and a 7.62 mm machine gun
Weight: 45 tonnes (ostensibly)
Speed: 70 to 90 km/h on-road (ostensibly)
Crew: 3
Tank: Leopard 2A6
Main Armament: 120 mm smoothbore tank cannon
Secondary Armament: two 7.62 mm machine guns
Weight: 62.3 tonnes
Speed: 72 km/h on-road (ostensibly)
Crew: 4
Tank: M1A2 Abrams
Main Armament: 105 mm rifled tank cannon
Secondary Armament: 1 .50-caliber machine gun and two 7.62 mm machine guns
Weight: 65.3 tonnes
Speed: 67 km/h on-road (ostensibly)
Crew: 4

Works Cited:

  • “T-14 Armata.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 9 July 2016. Web. 26 July 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-14_Armata>
  • “Russia’s Armata T-14 Main Battle Tank: A Preliminary Assessment.” Pakistan Defence. N.p., 3 June 2015. Web. 26 July 2016. <http://defence.pk/threads/russias-armata-t-14-main-battle-tank-a-preliminary-assessment.379058/>
  • “Leopard 2.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 24 July 2016. Web. 26 July 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopard_2>
  • “M1 Abrams.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 19 July 2016. Web. 26 July 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_Abrams>
  • “Armata Main Battle Tank.” Military Today: Everything About Modern Warfare. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 July 2016. <http://www.military-today.com/tanks/armata.htm>
  • Lockie, Alex. “Russia Claims Its Deadly T-14 Armata Tank Is in Full Production.”Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 17 Mar. 2016. Web. 27 July 2016. <http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-claims-t14-armata-tank-is-in-production-2016-3?r=UK&IR=T>