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Land Platforms

Russia's T-14 Armata MBT 'has new-gen ERA'

23 June 2015
Russia's new T-14 Armata MBT features a new generation of ERA, according to Russian defence industry sources. Source: PA Photos

Key Points

  • The Russian T-14 Armata MBT has a new-generation ERA system, according to a Tractor Plants source
  • The new armour's resistance to APFSDS rounds is significantly increased compared with previous ERA systems, according to the source

The new Russian T-14 Armata main battle tank (MBT) is equipped with a new generation of explosive reactive armour (ERA), according to a source at the Tractor Plants company.

The integrated ERA tiles are visible in this infographic of the T-14. (IHS/Andrey Kryuchenko/Russian MoD)The integrated ERA tiles are visible in this infographic of the T-14. (IHS/Andrey Kryuchenko/Russian MoD)

The ERA, developed by the NII Stali research institute "can be described as an innovative one" the source said. "Its specifications exceed those of Kontakt-1, Kontakt-5, and Relict 9 [ERA systems]". He did not provide IHS Jane's with further details, saying only that the ERA has "no known world equivalents".

The source said the new armour's resistance to armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding-sabot (APFSDS) rounds was significantly increased in comparison with the older ERA systems. "The high protective characteristics of the new armour aren't provided by the simple increase of explosive mass in its containers," said the source. He pointed out that the detonation of an ERA box would not damage the electronics and other equipment installed under the armour.

"The new ERA can resist anti-tank gun shells adopted by NATO countries, including the state-of-the-art APFSDS DM53 and DM63 developed by Rheinmetall [and] anti-tank ground missiles with high-explosive anti-tank warheads," the source said.

In addition to the ERA, the T-14 has bar-slat armour located over the rear part of the hull. This source said this was also developed by NII Stali and "provides protection from 50-60% of RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] rounds".

The base armour on the new tank consists of metal-ceramic plates. Novosibirsk-based company NEVZ-Ceramics has already launched serial production of this product, according to Andrey Nikitin, the head of the company's armoured ceramics bureau. "We finished the trials this year and the elements revealed their declared capability," he said.

Nikitin said the new metal/ceramic armour provides one-and-a-half times more resistance than fully metal systems and will be installed on the T-15, Kurganets-25, and Bumerang combat vehicles, as well as the T-14.

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