The prototype of Russia’s next generation Armata main battle tank is ready for testing, which will begin by November, the head of the Russian Tank Forces said.
The biannual Russian Arms Expo will run in the Urals city in September 25-28 this year. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said in July that the country’s leadership will get a sneak preview of the new tank during the arms fair.
An unmanned version of the Armata main battle tank is also on the cards, Shevchenko said.
The Armata is a new Russian main battle tank project. This new MBT is currently under development. It’s development commenced in 2011. The whole project is being kept in high secrecy. The Armata was developed as a replacement to the cancelled T-95. First mock-up is expected to be revealed to Russian military officials in 2013. Official sources report, that the Armata might enter service with the Russian Army in 2015. Currently Russian Army operates T-90, T-80 and T-72 main battle tanks, that become out-dated.
The Armata is possibly it will be based on a modified hull of the latest T-90MS. It is expected to have a similar layout to the cancelled T-95 with unmanned turret and crew seated in a separate armored capsule. The Armata will have a Malakhit explosive reactive armor of new generation. Also it will be fitted with new Afganit active protection system.
It is reported that Armata will be armed with a 2A82 125-mm smoothbore gun, mounted in unmanned turret. This gun has improved ballistics comparing with a 2A46M gun of the T-90 MBT. It will be completed with an autoloader. This tank is likely to be capable of firing gun-launched anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary rounds.
It is reported that the Armata will have a crew of two or three men. Crewmembers will be seated in a well-protected armored capsule, separated from automatic loader and ammunition.
This new main battle tank will be powered by an A-82-2 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 1,200 hp. It is a new generation engine that is much more compact than previous Russian tank engines.
The Armata is planned to become a new platform for the whole host of armored vehicles. Self-propelled artillery system, heavy IFV, armored recovery vehicle, engineering vehicle, self-propelled air-defense vehicle and other support machines will be based on this platform.
Shevchenko said on Friday that prototypes are already created for an Armada-based main battle tank, heavy infantry fighting vehicle and armored recovery vehicle.
The combat platform, named after a 14-century Russian cannon, is being designed since 2009 by the state-run corporation Uralvagonzavod, headquartered in Nizhny Tagil.
Armata-based vehicles will be a match for their existing NATO counterparts and even excel them in certain areas, Shevchenko said, without elaborating.
Not much is known about the upcoming Armata battle tank, tentatively scheduled to enter military service in the Russian army in 2015. Shevchenko also said that all standing alert units of the Russian army will switch to two types of main battle tanks – the T-72 and the T-90 – by early 2015. The move will complete the tank unification program in the Russian military, which utilized 40 models of 10 different battle tanks in 2008, he said.