Too expensive, the T-14 Armata tank is not favored by the Russian armies

Presented with great fanfare, on the occasion of the parade on May 9, 2015 in Moscow, marking the 70th anniversary of the victory against Nazism, theth T-14 Armata tank, surprised Westerners.

Not only had Russia engaged in the design of a new battle tank, while most armies in the world considered it obsolete, but the Armata appeared, then, to be the most powerful tank modern ever conceived, with its robotic turret, its Afghanit armor and its survival cell.

The Russian Ministry of the Armed Forces then had great ambitions for its new tank, with several hundred examples expected to enter service before the end of the decade. It did not happen.

Faced with significant development difficulties, and above all at a price much higher than the other tanks to which the armies were accustomed, to date only between 20 and 30 examples of the armored vehicle have been delivered, mainly for testing purposes, to the Russian armies.

And if we are to believe the CEO of Rostec, the very future of the T-14 Armata now seems compromised, while the Russian armies favor the purchase of T-90M, less efficient, but much less expensive, to participate in the Russian offensive in Ukraine.

The T-14 Armata tank, the first westernized Russian tank

In many respects, the T-14 Armata, and with it the entire range of armored vehicles presented in 2015, including the Kurganet-25, the Boomerang and the Koalitsiya-SV self-propelled gun, represented a profound paradigm shift for Russian industrialists and armies.

T-14 Armata parade on May 9, 2015 Moscow
Official presentation of the T-14 Armata during the parade on May 9, 2015 for the 70th anniversary of the victory against Nazi Germany

If, traditionally, Russian tanks, and Soviet tanks before them, were designed to be powerfully armed, properly armored, and above all relatively light and much easier to produce than their Western equivalents, the Armata took many characteristics of these most advanced Western tanks, such as the Leopard 2A6, or the Abrams M1A2.

It was thus equipped with composite armor, but also with vetronics and much more advanced on-board systems than those arming older Russian tanks, including the new T-90M. Above all, the T-14 included numerous technological advances, such as the Afghanit active defense system, as well as a fully robotic turret.

In fact, in 2015 it was considered the most advanced tank in the world. But this riot of technology had its drawbacks, first and foremost, much longer development times than traditionally for Russian land weapons.

Thus, almost 9 years after it was publicly unveiled, the T-14 is still not reliable, and has encountered numerous difficulties during tests, in particular concerning its powerplant.

The T-14 Armata too expensive compared to the T-90 tank for the military special operation in Ukraine

The most important problem, for the Russian armies, concerning the T-14 Armata, as well as all the new generation armored vehicles accompanying it, is however not technological, but industrial, and above all financial.

T-90M in Ukraine
More economical and quick to produce, the T-90M is favored by the Russian general staff for the special military operation in Ukraine

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