The Russian Ground Forces (RGF) will receive their first batch of 12 third-generation Armata T-14 main battle tanks (MBT) by the end of 2019 or in early 2020, the head of Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, told reporters at the Dubai Airshow 2019 exhibition on November 19.
“Currently, work is nearing completion to prepare the production facilities and an experimental batch has been manufactured,” Chemezov was quoted as saying by TASS news agency. “It will be delivered to the Russian Army in late 2019 – early 2020.”
According to sources within the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD), 12 T-14 MBTs and four T-16 armored recovery vehicles, also known as Armata ARV or BREM-T, are expected to be delivered to the service by the end of 2019.
In January, the MoD put out an official statement announcing the delivery schedule: “The T-14 tank, which has been created on the universal Armata platform and developed for the Ground Forces, is completing the manufacturer’s trials. The fighting vehicle in 2019 will start undergoing state trials in the Russian Defense Ministry’s scientific and research institutions.”
The MoD signed a contract with Russia’s main tank manufacturer Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) for the production of 132 T-14 Armata MBTs, T-15 heavy infantry fighting vehicles (IFV), and T-16 tank recovery vehicles in February 2018. The Russian Army was initially expected to receive around 100 T-14 MBTs by the end of 2020. However, it is unlikely that UVZ will be able to fulfill the order in that timeframe.
Between 16 and 20 T-14s prototypes have been undergone testing with the RGF throughout 2019. T-14s and T-16s participated in this year’s Victory Day parade in Moscow on May 9, after which they were dispatched to different Army units across Russia to operate in different climate conditions.
The first serial-produced MBTs will reportedly contain a number of upgrades to the T-14 prototypes, as I reported previously:
[T]he serial-produced T-14s and T-16s will contain upgraded and new systems without specifying details. Russian military observers say that the new T-14s will likely feature an improved engine, an upgraded transmission system, and a retrofitted targeting system.
New or modified tank ammunition could also be developed for the first serial-produced T-14 batch.
The T-14’s main weapon system is the auto-loading A82 125-millimeter smoothbore cannon. The cannon is capable of of firing of anti-tank guided weapons. Additionally, the T-14 is fitted with a 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun and a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun.
The first batch of serial-produced T-14 MBTs will reportedly be operationally deployed with the 1st Guards Tank Regiment of 2nd Guards Tamanskaya Motor Rifle Division, garrisoned in Moscow and part of Russia’s Western Military District.