November 09, 2016

UK report is very worried about the Russian Armata tank but US experts doubts they will be built in huge numbers

A senior UK Army intelligence officer, states: “Without hyperbole, [Russian] Armata represents the most revolutionary step change in tank design in the last half century.”

It adds: “Unsurprisingly, the tank has caused a sensation,” and it goes on to question the failure of current defence strategy to plan for a new tank that can compete.

US analysts note that many of the Armata’s advanced survivability features are drawn from the Israeli Merkava series. Nonetheless, the Russian seem to have advanced the state-of-the-art in terms of reactive armor and active protection. Indeed, if the Russian Afghanit active protection system works as advertised, the Armata could prove to be a serious problem for the West if it were ever produced in numbers. However, most Western analysts—government and private sector—are dubious about Russian claims that their APS can defeat kinetic energy rounds.

However, even if the Armata was as dangerous as the British report claims, Russia is not likely to be able to afford the expensive new machine in the huge quantities. Using the British reports own numbers—120 Armata tanks produced per year—CNA Corporation research scientist Mike Kofman, a prominent Russian military affairs expert in Washington, noted it would take nearly 21 years to replace Russia’s 2500 operational tanks with T-14s. That’s if the Kremlin has the financial wherewithal to buy that many Armata tanks—which is somewhat dubious.

Kofman noted that the Russians simply do not have the money to afford a huge fleet of T-14 tanks nor has the Armata family completed development

UK report is very worried about Armata

The tank is pioneering, according to the document, because of a revolutionary turret design that makes crew less vulnerable under fire.

The tank is also reckoned to be lighter, faster and lower in profile than Western rivals.

The document also suggests the tank will be kitted out with a radar system currently used on state-of-the-art Russian fighter jets and new composite armour. It has a “reported higher muzzle velocity” gun and the possibility of an upgraded missile system.

“As a complete package, Armata certainly deserves its billing as the most revolutionary tank in a generation,” concludes the intelligence briefing paper.



The Army intelligence officer says UK defence strategy has concentrated on the threat from improvised explosive devices deployed by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan and ignored the danger posed by tanks.

The intelligence report, which it stresses should “not be interpreted as an official MoD statement”, also raises the spectre of far superior Russian tank numbers, with plans to build 120 Armata tanks a year from 2018.

It points out Russia already has a fleet of 2,500 tanks with a reserve of 12,500, which is “35 times the size of the fleet in the British Army”.

The Russian defense ministry announced in September that it had signed a contract for the delivery of the first 100 Armata tanks. Another 2,200 are expected to follow.

By contrast, the British Army has 227 Challenger 2 main battle tanks, dating from 1998. Germany has 410 Leopard 2 tanks, and France has 200 Leclerc tanks. America has 2,338 M1 Abrams main battle tanks – although just 250 tanks and armored fighting vehicles are stationed in Eastern Europe.

So Armata is an advancement in tank technology but Russia might not be able to field enough to really matter

How many will Russia be able to make ? and how soon ?
Would Russia use them in the Ukraine and against other countries
Will China and other countries copy the advancements and make them in larger numbers?

SOURCES- Telegraph UK, National Interest

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