America’s M1 Abrams Tank vs. Russia’s New
T-14 Armata. The T-14 main battle tank, the early reports
concerning the new tank seem to indicate some strong capabilities, how would the new Russian
vehicle perform on the battlefield? Would it dominate against the competition?
And then we have the obvious question: how would it perform against America’s best tank,
the popular M1 Abrams? Would the Abrams be able to win a fire fight against the new Russian
tank? Let the debate begin.
Russia has continued to develop new tanks and armored vehicles. Meanwhile, the United
States has continued to rely on upgraded versions of the Cold War–era M1 Abrams and Bradley
fighting vehicle. Russia’s Armata family of armored combat
vehicles is a departure from the previous Soviet practice of developing relatively simple,
inexpensive but specialized platforms. In fact, the Armata comes in many versions as
was envisioned for the U.S. Army’s now-defunct Future Combat System program. There is a tank,
infantry-fighting vehicle, a self-propelled artillery piece and a host of other variants.
The most prominent of these is the T-14 main battle tank Armata variant.
The T-14 is a complete departure from previous Soviet and Russian tanks, all of which take
their design cues from the lessons the Red Army learned fighting the Wehrmacht during
the Second World War. Soviet tanks were relatively simple, extremely rugged and produced in mass
quantities. Soviet tanks placed less emphasis on matching Western tanks one for one and
more on overwhelming the adversary using sheer numbers.
The T-14, from all appearances, seems to have abandoned the traditional Russian way of designing
armored vehicles. Instead of a relatively simple design, the T-14 is fitted with a number
of very advanced features that have never been implemented in an operational tank anywhere
else in the world. The T-14 Versus the M1A2 SEP V2 or the follow-on
M1A3 Abrams, it’s an open question as to which is the better tank. The Abrams is a
proven, reliable design that is still being upgraded. The forthcoming M1A3 Abrams will
be somewhat lighter and more mobile. New guided projectiles might also enable the
Abrams to hit targets as far away as 12,000m. But Russian tanks are also equipped to fire
anti-tank guided missiles via their main gun—it’s really a question of who sees the other first.
Much of how the Armata will perform on the battlefield will depend on how much progress
Russia has made in developing the tank’s sensors and data-networks. The tank that sees
the enemy first almost always wins the fight. The T-14 is a new design, and it will inevitably
have teething problems as it matures. Further, there is the question of whether the T-14
can be produced in numbers that’s very much a factor, given the state of Russia’s economy.
Ultimately, it could prove to be a formidable weapon.
So how does the T-14 Armata, the mysterious new Russian super-tank, rumored to secretly
be a Transformer robot with powers of flight? Let’s compare the Abrams characteristics
with the T-14 defensive capabilities. In terms of conventional armor, the Armata
is still believed to be a slightly less well protected than an M1A2 Abrams or Leopard 2
judging by its weight of around fifty to sixty tons. (For comparison, an M1 weighs seventy
tons). A maximum thickness of 1200mm to 1400mm RHA equivalent versus HEAT warheads has been
claimed in Russian sources for the ceramic armor plates.
In any event, there is a good chance that turret penetrations of the T-14 will knock
out the vehicle’s offensive capabilities but allow the hull with the crew to escape
intact. It remains to be seen how many T-14s will
be brought into service right now only 100 are slated for production. While the number
will doubtlessly increase, it’s uncertain to what extent Russia will attempt to replace
its older T-72 and T-90 tanks. In the end, the T-14 appears to boast some
decent defenses. The American and Russian manufacturers can only guess at. As is always
the case in matchmaking, you can theorize all you want, but only a real close encounter
will reveal the truth. Thank You For Watching. Please Like, Share,
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