Armor: July 18, 2003


Now that the Russian armed forces are getting more money, they are reviewing proposals for new tank designs that have been sitting around since the 1990s. The most popular idea is the "T-95," which embodies a number of innovative ideas. These include a 152mm smooth bore gun in an unmanned turret, with an automated loader of a new design. A three man crew (commander, gunner, driver) will be inside the hull. A fourth crewmember will be back at the battalion headquarters, to help with maintenance and replace any casualties. The tank will weigh about 50 tons and use new, more reliable and effective mechanical components, as well as composite armor and other active and passive defenses. More automation in general will be needed. Russian tank manufacturers have the skills to design and manufacture a tank like this, and the existence of many tank design and manufacturing facilities depends on doing it right. Unlike the Soviet government, the current Russian government has not shown much enthusiasm for bailing out inept weapons manufacturers.


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