Has T-14 Armata failed the test of time? – Technology Org


Russia’s most modern main battletank T-14 Armata has not appeared in Ukraine yet. There are multiple reasons why this heavy machine could remain just a parade model throughout 2023, too.

T-14 Armata on the road.

T-14 Armata on the road. Image credit: Vitaly V. Kuzmin via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Too expensive to be built?

According to the data from the Russian Federation, a single T-14 Armata costs in the range from 350 to 500 million rubles, or up to $5 million. It is approximately four times cheaper than M1A2 Abrams SEPv3, but considering the impact of current economic sanctions imposed on Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine this price tag is quite steep.

For comparison, at this price level, it is possible to modernize at least seven T-72s to B3 model. From the practical perspective, the effect of having seven tanks is better than one, even if we talk about Armata.

Too secret to be used in Ukraine?

There are certain concerns in the Russian military that their latest developments may end up in the hands of Ukrainians.

This is precisely what happened with the T-90M Proryv. Deliveries of these upgraded tanks started in April 2020. Some of them were transferred to fight in Ukraine. But eventually, at least one unit was captured in nearly perfect condition by the defenders and was later thoroughly examined by military specialists. There are absolutely no guarantees that the same could not happen with T-14.

Too “over-modernized” for modern warfare?

T-14 Armata was created for wars of a “new generation”, or so-called “network-centric warfare“, where all the military hardware is designed with the aim to make use of information technology and computer networking. In theory, all this sounds quite nice, but in practice, there are multiple potential compatibility issues.

Would this modern tank operate efficiently in conjunction with older vehicles and supporting units? Most likely, no. There is a need to upgrade the entire military force before you can unleash the full potential of the most advanced tanks.

Too many unresolved issues?

It is perhaps too early to talk about any technical issues related to T-14 Armata. But at least in part this could be attributed to the fact that the latest Russian tank was not used in actual combat yet. Also, it still hasn’t finished its official state test yet. It is perhaps not the best time to see its drawbacks (if any) on a real battlefield.

Too important as an image of an “undefeatable” tank?

Everything can be defeated, even the strongest, most advanced, and most versatile weapons and vehicles. T-14 Armata is not an exception. But as long as it does not enter a real fight, it remains undefeated. Of course, this title only works “on paper”, but the Russian Federation could be considering this aspect important in order to maintain a positive image of its military strength


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