Given the high price tag of Russia’s new main battle tank, the Russian military is looking for cheaper alternatives.
Russia will not mass-produce its new third-generation T-14 Armata main battle tank (MBT) as it is too costly, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told Russian media on July 30. Instead, the Russian military will continue to rely on older platforms such as the T-72B3s (fitted with explosive reactive armor), an upgraded variant of the original Soviet-era T-72 MBT, or the T-90A MBT, according to Borisov.
“Why flood our military with Armatas, the T-72s are in great demand on the markets,” the deputy prime minister said noting that the upgraded variant of the T-72 “leaves far behind” German, French and U.S. MBTs currently in service “in terms of price, efficiency and quality.” Furthermore, Borisov noted, when discussing the government’s decision to modernize older armor platforms: “Having a military budget ten times smaller than that of NATO, we are achieving our objectives due to such efficient solutions.”
It has been obvious for some time now that the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has abandoned plans to mass-produce 2,300 T-14s by 2025, as was originally outlined in the 2018-2027 State Armaments Program. For example, already in October 2017 the MoD announced that it will upgrade T-80 and T-90 series MBTs and revise plans to melt down 10,000 armored vehicles by 2020 and keep 6,000 in reserve.