Russia’s new main battle tank, the T-14 “Armata,” is slated to become operational in 2020. The advanced third generation tank will replace older Soviet-era designs and is set to be a formidable opponent to NATO designs including the American M1A2 Abrams.
According to The Diplomat, the T-14 Armata will enter service in 2020 with the 1st Guards Tank Regiment of the 2nd Guards Tamanskaya Motor Rifle Division, based outside Moscow. The 1st Guards Tank Regiment consists of approximately 93 tanks divided into three battalions of 31 tanks each. The Tamanskaya Division has a long historical lineage and most recently fought in Chechnya, skipping the fighting in eastern Ukraine.
The T-14, which was first revealed in 2015, is the first brand new, “clean-sheet” tank design to come out of Russia in decades. Russia’s current main battle tank, the T-90M, is a heavily modernized version of the 1970s-era T-72 tank. The Armata features a 2A82-1M 125-millimeter smoothbore cannon, a 12.7-millimeter (.50 caliber) machine gun, and a 7.62-millimeter machine gun. Moscow will eventually replace the 2A82-M1 gun with a larger, heavier 152-millimeter gun system with improved range and armor penetration. The T-14 is very well-armored against current and future threats. The three person crew sits in a protective capsule in the hull and the turret is unmanned, with the main gun loaded by a mechanical autoloader. Armata is protected by a combination of a passive modular ceramic armor system, explosive reactive armor, and the Afghanit active protection system. The tank is also designed to maintain a low profile on the battlefield, incorporating measures to reduce its infrared, radio, and radar signatures.