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Tank Warfare: Russia Builds Platform to Rival the Abrams

Artist's rendition of Russian T-14 Armata and US M1A2 main battle tanks.

Artist's rendition of Russian T-14 Armata and US M1A2 main battle tanks.

December 4, 2017 | Source: National Defense Magazine, nationaldefensemagazine.org, 29 September 2017, Yasmin Tadjdeh

The Abrams has for decades been considered the world’s premier tank. However, experts say that the T-14 Armata, a next-generation platform that the Russians are developing, could challenge some aspects of the Abrams’ supremacy.

The U.S. tank of today looks much like the same one that was developed in the 1970s, but it has undergone upgrades that continue to make it a formidable presence on the battlefield, according to a report titled, “The Army Modernization Imperative: A New Big Five for the 21st Century,” which was released by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

“The current version of the Abrams tank — the M1A2 System Enhancement Program v2 Abrams — is a behemoth of a machine. Featuring steel-encased depleted uranium armor, the Abrams has been described as nearly indestructible,” wrote authors Rhys McCormick and Andrew Hunter.

At the same time, Russia is investing in the T-14 Armata which is being touted as a next-generation battle tank with advanced weapons, protective systems and an unmanned turret. Moscow plans to build 100 platforms by 2020, said Yury Borisov, the country’s deputy defense minister, according to a report by the TASS news agency. The tank is currently undergoing operational testing.