Friday, January 18, 2013

The Russian T-99 Main Battle Tank

2015 may see the latest in tank design from one of the nations that provided some of the most cutting-edge innovations to tankdom: the Russian T-99:

Artist Concept of the T-99

It was the former Soviet Union that first rolled onto the battlefield the slopped-armor concept of the T-34.  This revolutionary design created thicker armor via physics and it was partly responsible for the Heinz Guderian-influenced German Panther.  Guderian urged the German Command create an answer to the T-34, and so the larger Panther was birthed.

A German-captured T-34 is pulled from its hibernation after 50 years, near  Johvi, Estonia

2013 is the year scheduled for the first T-99 prototype.  It is currently under development at Uralvagonzavod in Omsk (legendary producer of the T-34 and the cold war T-80 tanks).  Over 2,000 are to be completed by the year 2020.

Unlike the vehicles before it, the T-99 is said to be lighter, more nimble and cheaper.  It will bring into-play features of the prototype-only T-95.  E.g.:

  • Ammo separate from crew
  • An "Armored Crew Capsule"
  • General increased general crew safety
  • More powerful engine
  • Improved: armor, main gun and autoloader

Uralvagonzavod apparently owns rights to both the T-95 as well as the "Black Eagle" competitor.  Perhaps both will influence the final design of the T-99

The "Black Eagle" Main Battle Tank

T-95 MBT

An artist-conception of the T-99 firing an improved 125mm cannon

T-99 Schematic

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