The Russian Ground Forces’ new suite of armoured vehicles have been officially revealed for the first time by the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD), ahead of their formal debut at the 9 May Moscow Victory Day Parade.
The new vehicles are principally clean-slate designs and represent the biggest change in Russia’s armoured fighting vehicle families since the 1960s and 1970s.
The flagship of the new armoured vehicles is the Armata main battle tank (MBT), also known as the T-14 and built by UralVagonZavod. The images show an MBT much more in keeping with recent western philosophies on tank design, appearing larger and taller than the T-72/90 it will replace.
The key feature of the Armata is its unmanned turret, with all three crew members (commander, gunner, driver) seated in a crew capsule at the front of the vehicle’s hull. Although the turret is covered in the MoD image, Armata is understood to be armed with a 2A82A 125 mm smoothbore main gun fed by a bustle-mounted automatic loader equipped with 32 rounds.
Armata is also reported to feature a 30 mm coaxial secondary armament and a 12.7 mm machine gun.
The Armata features a notably different hull design to the T-72/90. One striking difference is the road wheels, which are of a different design to the T-72/90’s, while the Armata features seven road wheels to the six of the previous MBT design. The MBT’s sides are fitted with a new advanced armour package along three-quarters of the vehicle’s length, with the rear three-quarters protected instead by bar armour.
Although the T-15 turret is covered, this IFV variant is understood to be armed with a KBP Instrument Design Bureau Epoch Almaty remote control turret (RCT) armed with a 30 mm 2A42 cannon, 7.62 mm coaxial MG, and a bank of two Kornet-EM anti-tank guided weapons (ATGWs) on either side. In the MoD image, the heavy IFV is also fitted with an advanced armour package on the side of the vehicle, although it has only been partially applied to the latter part of the vehicle’s flanks.
Other Armata chassis-based vehicles being planned are understood to include the MT-A armoured bridgelayer, MYM-A engineering vehicle, BMO-2 thermobaric multiple rocket launcher variant, and USM-1 minelayer.
The Russian Ground Forces’ new Koalitsya-SV (Coalition) self-propelled artillery system seen during rehearsals for the 9 May Victory Day Parade in Moscow. (Russian Ministry of Defence)
Some Russian Documents on Armata Variants