How American Abrams compare to Russian T-14 Armata tanks
The American-made Abrams tank, widely considered the gold standard of main battle tanks, will roll to Ukraine’s front lines, President Joe Biden announced last week. However, the Russian T-14 Armata, dubbed a “super tank”, could also be headed for battle, according to recent defense assessments.
Abrams tanks “are the most capable tanks in the world,” Biden said last Wednesday as he committed 31 Abrams to Kyiv. The tank “sends a message to those who would oppose the United States,” the US Army Acquisition Center wrote in a summary of the main battle tank.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to the announcement, which came just after Germany promised Ukraine Leopard 2 tanks, commenting that the Abrams would “burn like all others” on the front lines. Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said Moscow’s reaction was not new and that Washington, DC had “heard that phrase before.”
But Russian state propaganda “got a new task” with the engagement of Abrams, Anton Gerashchenkoan adviser to the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, tweeted.
In a clip uploaded and captioned by Gerashchenko, a Russian state presenter can be heard detailing the best methods for destroying a US Abrams tank, then contrasted with a list of advantages he claimed the T-14 Armata Russian owned.
“These are high-tech vehicles with complex sensors, data transmitters and on-board drones,” the translation reads.
The T-14 Armatas caused a stir when they debuted in Moscow in 2015. A British Army intelligence official said the following year that the T-14 deserved “to be considered the tank the most most revolutionary in a generation”.
“Without hyperbole, Armata represents the most revolutionary sea change in tank design in the past half-century,” the anonymous official wrote in a briefing document obtained by The telegraph.
The T-14 Armata really stands out from other main battle tanks with its unmanned turret, which is rated to support a 125mm gun. The crew, rather than being located in the turret, is placed in an armored “capsule” inside the hull of the tank.
“For the first time, a fully automated, digitized and unmanned turret has been integrated into a main battle tank. And for the first time, a tank crew is integrated into an armored capsule at the front of the hull”, indicates the disclosure document.
This increases the survivability of the three crew members on board.
Retired British Army Brigadier Ben Barry said at the time that this turret design could potentially accommodate a 150mm caliber gun, which would “surpass existing NATO tank guns and armor”. .
The M1 Abrams tanks, which come in several variants, are equipped with 105 mm or 120 mm armaments. The M1, depending on the model, weighs between 67.6 and 73.6 tons, with a top speed of 42 miles per hour and 30 mph cross-country.
The T-14 Armatas can have a top speed of around 55 mph, a maximum weight of 53 tons and an adaptable chassis.
However, both tanks have their drawbacks. Biden said the M1 Abrams are “extremely complex to operate and maintain.”
During their development, the T-14 Armatas were quickly hit by a multitude of hitches. The 11-year program was “hampered by delays, a reduction in the size of the planned fleet and reports of manufacturing issues”, the UK Ministry of Defense said in a tweet earlier this month.
A larger and bulkier tank than most existing Russian tanks, the T-14 poses logistical challenges whose deployment would be a “high-risk decision for Russia”, the ministry added on Jan. 19.
The T-14’s engine and thermal imaging systems had been distributed, the government ministry said, saying any deployment of the T-14 in Ukraine would be “probably mainly for propaganda purposes”.
Production “is probably only a few dozen” and Russian commanders “are unlikely to trust the vehicle in combat”, the ministry said. The United States has thousands of Abrams tanks in stock.
In other bad news for the T-14s, the British Ministry of Defense said in an updated assessment last Wednesday that Russian commanders in Ukraine “were reluctant to accept the first tranche of T-14s allocated to them because the vehicles were in such poor condition”. “
It has not yet been confirmed if Russia has deployed the T-14 in Ukraine, but it is “very unlikely” that Moscow will send them in large numbers as they cannot afford to lose any, Newsweek we said on Thursday.
Frank Ledwidge, a lawyer and former military officer who served in the Middle East and the Balkans, said any publicity surrounding the T-14 Armata being destroyed in Ukraine would jeopardize important export sales.
“They are more likely to ride behind the lines,” rather than being deployed in the heart of the conflict, he added.