Armor: Russia Touts Secret Super Tank


July 14, 2008: Russian media (mostly state controlled these days) are running stories of a new "super-tank" being developed. No details given, just lots of superlatives. Mentioned was the Uralvagonzavod tank factory, which is known to be developing a "T-95" tank (again, no details). All that is being written about the super-tank is that it can move at a top speed of 60 kilometers an hour, has facilities that enable the crew to stay in the tank for 24 hours at a time, and possesses the ability to destroy any existing tank, while itself having unique protection (this apparently means "active defense" in the form of small missiles that intercept incoming anti-tank missiles, as well as explosive reactive armor). 

Currently, the most modern tank Russia has is about 300 relatively new T-90s. The T-90 is a highly evolved T-72. Originally, the T-90 was created as a fall-back design. The T-80 was supposed to be the successor to the T-72. But like the T-62 and T-64 before it, the T-80 didn't quite work out as planned. So the T-72, with a much improved turret and all manner of gadgets, was trotted out as the T-90. Weighting 47 tons, it's 23 feet long, 11 feet wide and 7.5 feet high. Same package, better contents. And with well trained crews, it could be deadly.

The rest of the 20,000 tanks in the Russian army are T-72s and T-80s. Both are mainly target practice for Western tanks (M-1, Leopard, Challenger, Leclerc). The T-90 is a bit better, but the "T-95" will remain a mystery until it actually shows up. Russia plans to replace most of those T-72s and T-80s with T-90s and T-95s, by 2025. After that, the new T-95 super-tank would start replacing the T-90. Or something like that. It appears that the T-95 won't start showing up for another 5-10 years.


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