Russia’s Armata Tank: Armed with Lasers and Railguns?

    Dave Majumdar

    Security, Europe

    Russian T-14 tanks with the Armata Universal Combat Platforms drive along Red Square during a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade, marking the 71st anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in central Moscow, Russia, May 7, 2016.

    We seem to have entered the land of the unknown when it comes to Moscow’s Armata series of combat vehicles. 

    Russia’s Armata series of armored combat vehicles will likely serve for roughly three decades before being replaced by new systems. Those future combat vehicles could be fundamentally different from the Armata series or any other previous armored vehicles. However, the Russians have only the vaguest notions of what such machines might look like.

    “A lot of new prototypes are currently at the concluding stage of their development —the Armata, Kurganets-25, Bumerang platforms and others—these are traditional means,” Col. Gen. Sergei Mayev, former head of the Russian Ministry of Defense’s Main Auto and Armor Directorate, told the state-owned TASS news agency.

    “They will serve for no less than 25-30 years. They are expected to be replaced by the types of armaments based on new physical principles.”

    Mayev used the Russian phrase “new physical principles” to describe some of the technologies that the Kremlin’s future armored combat vehicles might incorporate. However, the vague phrase “new physical principles” is a meaningless expression that is used mostly for marketing purposes in Russia. Thus, there is little insight to be gained from the Mayev’s statement.

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