T-14 Armata: Russia Flaunts ‘Super Capabilities’ Of Its Cutting-Edge Tanks As It Explores Export Options

In a strategic move to attract potential buyers, Russia recently announced that it would demonstrate the exceptional capabilities of its ‘cutting edge’ T-14 Armata tank at the ongoing Army 2023 international military-technical forum. 

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Amidst the backdrop of heavy sanctions imposed by the Western nations, the Russian defense sector is striving to allure potential customers for its military equipment during the Army 2023 exhibition.

The Army 2023 forum, running from August 14 to 20 at various locations near Moscow, has become a focal point for this endeavor. 

With approximately 1,500 premier Russian defense enterprises and 85 foreign companies from seven countries participating, the forum offers a unique platform for showcasing cutting-edge technologies and forging key business partnerships.

Striving to emphasize the impressive capabilities of the Armata tank, Alexander Osadchuk, Chief of the Defense Ministry’s Main Innovative Development Department, revealed information regarding the upcoming demonstration of the Armata on August 16.

T-14 Armata tank
File Image: T-14 Armata Tank

Osadchuk said that the foreign experts would be able to witness the capabilities of Russia’s latest T-14 Armata main battle tank at the Alabino practice range during the Army 2023 international military-technical forum.

But, he refrained from divulging the specifics of the type of demonstration that will take place at the practice range. 

He mentioned that a display showcasing the capabilities of 18 varieties of weapon systems manufactured by the defense industry, along with military and specialized hardware utilized by the Russian Defense Ministry, will be presented to foreign experts at the Alabino practice range.

Besides the T-14 Armata tank, the displayed hardware will feature the T-90MS tank, the latest BTR-82A and BMD-4M armored personnel carriers, and various other equipment, Osadchuk added. 

T-14 Armata Tank 

On May 9, 2015, during the Victory Day Parade held at Moscow’s historic Red Square, the T-14 Armata-platform-based tank, developed by the Uralvagonzavod defense manufacturer, was unveiled to the public.

In 2019, the tank entered a crucial development phase as it underwent a series of rigorous preliminary tests. These tests were vital in assessing the tank’s performance, durability, and readiness for future deployment. 

Diverging significantly from its predecessors, the novel combat vehicle’s main advantage lies in the inclusion of an unmanned turret, complemented by the positioning of the crew within an enclosed armored capsule in the tank’s hull. 

This configuration enables the remote operation of armaments, thereby markedly enhancing the crew’s resilience in combat scenarios.

In April, EurAsian Times reported that Russia had deployed its T-14 Armata tanks to engage Ukrainian positions. However, the report also clarified that these tanks had not yet been directly engaged in assault operations.

File Image: T-14 Armata

The limited utilization of these tanks could be attributed to the concern that Russia, aware of the sensitive technologies likely integrated into its next-generation tank, would aim to prevent its potential capture by Ukrainian forces in case of direct engagement.

In addition, the exact number of T-14s in Russia’s possession remains unclear, making it uncertain if there are enough of these main battle tanks (MBTs) to influence the battlefield significantly.

The Kremlin initially ordered 2,300 of these tanks with an original target completion date of 2020. However, the timeline for their delivery appears to be uncertain, possibly extending into 2025 or beyond. Thus, determining the precise size of Russia’s T-14 fleet could pose a challenge. 

Regarding capabilities, the T-14 Armata tanks are expected to introduce state-of-the-art protective measures, technologies, and weaponry.

Russian tanks like the T-72s, T-80s, and T-90s have faced considerable destruction from “top-down” attacks by Ukrainian forces. 

The upper areas of these Russian tanks appear to be notably susceptible to anti-armor assaults from weaponry such as Javelin or NLAWs anti-tank missiles.

However, the T-14 Armata takes a distinctive approach in this aspect. With its reported unmanned turret, the design of this tank could notably enhance the tank’s survivability by eliminating the need for soldiers to operate from a vulnerable position on the top of the tank.

However, the ongoing delays in initiating large-scale production of this tank present a substantial challenge for Russia. Nevertheless, with the announced exhibition demonstration of the tank, Moscow may strategically aim to attract potential customers who can shoulder the production costs.