Tanks > Top 10 Main Battle
Top 10 Main Battle Tanks
receive many questions which is the best main battle tank in the
world. Which is the greatest modern MBT and why. Our Top 10 analysis
is based on the combined score of protection, firepower, accuracy
and mobility. None of the tanks listed here have seen combat against
each other during military operations yet. And even though some
things, such as armor composition, are kept in high secrecy, we know
a lot about these machines. Data on their protection, firing range,
accuracy, capabilities of their fire control systems, and so on are
widely available. So we know capabilities of each of these tanks.
This analysis is based on specifications and available data.
All of the tanks mentioned here are incredibly
powerful and devastating. However crew training of the tank is
also an important factor, as performance of the actual tank depends from the
This list do not contains tanks that are currently
under development, at the prototype stage, or tanks that never reach
top 10 best tanks in the world are these:
Leopard 2A7 (Germany)
It is a
recent version of the proven and successful
2 design. It has additional armor and updated electronics.
2A7 is well protected against conventional and urban warfare
threats, such as
RPG rounds and IEDs.
has better accuracy and longer range of fire comparing with other
tanks due to its powerful gun and advanced fire control system.
This MBT is
powered by a proven engine, developing 1 500 hp. Despite increase in
weight vehicle has increased mobility due to improved suspension
components. Cross-country performance is similar to other Leopard 2
ordered a first batch of 20 Leopard 2A7 MBTs, upgraded from
Leopard 2A6. Deliveries commenced in 2014. German army plans to
upgrade 50 to 150 tanks to the 2A7 standard. Qatar ordered 62 of
these MBTs and Saudi Arabia more than 200.
K2 Black Panther (South Korea)
the Black Panther is one of the most advanced main battle tank in
the world, outclassing anything North Korea or China have.
Furthermore it is the most expensive main battle tank to date.
uses composite armor of undisclosed type and explosive reactive
armor modules. It is claimed that front armor withstands direct hits
from 120 mm tank rounds, fired from L55 guns. Its protection is broadly similar to the
Abrams, considering that the K2 is much lighter. The Black
Panther tank is also completed with an active protection system and
countermeasures system, that further increase its survivability.
South Korean tank is armed with the latest German 120 mm/L55 gun,
similar to that used on the German
Leopard 2A6 and
2A7. This tank has a very advanced fire control
system with can spot, track and fire automatically at visible
vehicle-size targets, and even low-flying helicopters, without needing
any input from a human operator. The K2 also uses advanced
Panther is fitted with a powerful diesel engine. It is fast and has
a state-of-the-art hydropneumatic suspension.
contract for the first 100 K2 tanks was signed in 2014. So it should
enter service with the South Korean Army soon.
The M1A2 SEP
is a successor to the
Abrams. This tank has incredible technology and armor. Also it
has seen combat. It is one of the most feared MBTs.
The M1A2 SEP
offers significant protection against all well-known anti-tank
weapons. This main battle tank uses advanced armor, reinforced with
depleted uranium layers.
accuracy are slightly inferior to that of the
or the South Korean
K2 Black Panther due to a shorter 120 mm/L44 smoothbore gun. Yet it
still packs a formidable punch.
gas turbine engine offers good performance, but requires tremendous
amount of maintenance, logistical support and is thirsty on fuel.
A number of
and M1A2 tanks were upgraded to this standard. The tank can be also
fitted with a
Survival Kit (TUSK), that improves survivability in urban
date very few Abrams tanks have been destroyed in combat.
The M1A2 SEP
is in service with United States Army (at least 900). It is planned
that this tank will remain in service beyond 2050. The M1A2 SEP has
not been exported yet. However the previous M1A2 has been supplied
to Kuwait (218) and Saudi Arabia (373).
Challenger 2 (United Kingdom)
It is a very
capable tank. The Challenger 2 has the latest Chobham armor and is
one of the most protected MBTs in the world today. It offers very
high level of protection against direct fire weapons
tank is armed with a very accurate 120 mm rifled gun. Its gun is
rifled as opposed to smoothbore guns used by all other modern MBTs.
Its maximum aimed range is over 5 km. Currently the Challenger holds
the record for for longest tank-to-tank kill.
the Challenger 2 is less powerful than of its Western rivals. Also
it is not as fast as other MBTs. However this tank is famous for its
Challenger 2 is in service with United Kingdom (386) and Oman (38).
is a new Russian main battle tank of new generation. It was first
publicly revealed in 2015. A small batch of these tanks were built. Its full-scale production could begin in
is a clean sheet design with a number of advanced features. It
shares little common with the current
Armata is much bigger.
specifications are classified, however the Armata
might be one of the most protected tanks in the world. It has
newly-developed base armor, made of steel, ceramics and composite
materials. Also Armata has a
new add-on explosive reactive armor. It has been reported that Armata will be fitted with new
active protection system. It also has a new countermeasures system
that reduces the chance of being hit by enemy ATGW with
This tank is
operated by a crew of 3 men. All crewmembers are seated side-by-side
in a well protected armored cell, located at the front of the hull.
It is the first production MBT with such crew layout. The tank can
operate even with penetrated armor, as far as the crew cell is
is also a world's first production MBT with completely unmanned
turret. It is armed with a new 125 mm smoothbore gun that is more
accurate than the previous Russian tank guns. This tank can
launch anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary
projectiles. The gun is completed with an autoloader. This tank has
a hunter-killer capability.
It has been
reported that this tank is fitted with a diesel engine, developing 1
of this new Russian MBT created a stir in the West. Now a number of
countries, such as Germany and UK are looking to upgrade their
tanks, or develop new designs in order to counter the threat posed
by this new Russian tank.
Merkava Mk.4 (Israel)
It is the
latest Israeli development which is a further development of the
Mk.4 is one of the most protected tanks in the world. This MBT has
an unusual design with a front-mounted engine which gives the crew
additional protection and chance to survive if the tank is
knocked-out. These tanks are fitted with a combat-proven Trophy
active protection system, which destroys incoming missiles and
rockets. This tank is also well protected
against air-launched guided missiles and top attack anti-tank
tank is armed with indigenous 120 mm smoothbore gun. The Merkava
Mk.4 is equipped with new fire control system, that includes some
very advanced features. One of them is a high hit probability firing
against low-flying helicopters using conventional munitions.
the Merkava Mk.4 is rather average due to excessive weight, even
though it is fitted with a powerful engine.
All Merkava series tanks have a rear compartment which
can be used to carry troops and cargo under armor. It can carry up to
10 troops when ammunition is unloaded.
Mk.4 is in service with Israel. A total of 360 of these tanks have
already been built and another 300 have been ordered by Israel
Defense Forces. For a long time these tanks were not available for
export. However in 2014 it was reported, that Israel will export a
number of these tanks to an undisclosed customer.
Type 90 tank was developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in
cooperation with German Krauss-Maffei and MaK tank manufacturers. It
has a number of external similarities with the German
2. The Type 90 was officially adopted by the Japanese Ground
Self-Defense Forces in 1989. Full scale production commenced in
1992. At the time it was one of the most advanced and in fact the
most expensive production MBT. Original Japanese army requirement
was for 600 of these tanks, however only about 340 were built due to
high unit price. This tank was never exported, as at the time Japan
laws did not allow export of military equipment.
This MBT is
armed with German Rheinmetall 120 mm smoothbore gun, which was
produced in Japan under license. It fires all standard NATO 120 mm
tank rounds. Unusual feature of the Type 90 is that this tank was
fitted with a bustle-mounted automatic ammunition loading system. At
the time only Soviet and Chinese tanks had autoloaders, but these
were not used on Western tanks. The autoloader allowed to reduce the
crew to 3 men, as there was no need for the loader.
Japanese tank has a fire control system with independent commander's
Another unusual feature
of this tank is that it has a hydropneumatic suspension. It
allows this MBT to "kneel", or "lean", giving a number of
In 2012 a
new Type 10
tank was adopted by the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces. However
it is much smaller and lighter than the Type 90. Even though it is
much more technologically advanced, in fact currently it is one of
the most advanced tanks in the world, it has inferior protection. Its main role is to
support infantry with its firepower, rather than to combat enemy
main battle tank entered service in 1992. Overall it is a successful
design. A number of design
features of the Leclerc were later used on other Western tanks. The
Leclerc was used during a number of peacekeeping and military
has advanced composite armor with add-on modular armor. Protection
level can be tailored to the threat. Turret and hull roof was
designed to withstand top-attack munitions. However in terms of
protection the Leclerc can not match tanks such as the US
Abrams or the British
This tank is
armed with a 120 mm/L52 gun. This MBT is operated by a crew of three
and is fitted with a bustle-mounted automatic ammunition loading
system. It has a high hit probability against both stationary and
moving targets. Also it has a hunter-killer engagement capability.
It is claimed that the Leclerc can engage 6 targets, located 1.5 - 2
km away, within one minute with a hit probability of 95%. That's
This tank is
fitted with a battlefield management system. It automatically
reports to command post tank's location, quantity of ammunition and
has good mobility due to its 1 500 hp engine and hydropneumatic
is in service with France (406) and the United Arab Emirates (388).
collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine continued development of the
main battle tank. Their latest version of this tank is the Oplot-M.
is fitted with explosive reactive armor of new generation. This MBT
inherited from its predecessor automatic ammunition loading system.
Ammunition is stored in the main compartment, rather than a
separate compartment with a blow-out panels. That's significant
drawback of this tank, as one the armor is penetrated it is likely
that the ammunition will detonate killing the crew and destroying
This latest Ukranian tank is not as accurate against long-range targets as
Western rivals, however it can launch anti-tank guided missiles in
the same manner as ordinary munitions. These have a maximum range of
The Oplot-M has an
independent commander's sight with thermal vision, which gives the
hunter-killer engagement capability.
Ukrainian tank is superior to the Russian T-90. It has a more
advanced add-on armor, more powerful engine and superior fire
completed Ukrainian Army trials. However it did not entered
Ukrainian Army service due to limited funding. The only operator of
this tank is Thailand. Currently the Oplot-M is produced in small
The T-90 is
currently the only tank produced in quantity in Russia. It is not as
sophisticated as its Western rivals, however it uses proven
technology and is cost effective. Currently it is the most
commercially successful main battle tank on the global market. Also
it is one of the cheapest among modern MBTs.
The T-90 has
a small profile which makes it a harder target to hit. Significant
drawback of the T-90 is ammunition stored in the main compartment
due to its carrousel-type autoloader. Once the hull is penetrated ammunition detonates
by killing all the crew and destroying the tank. This drawback is
common to all Soviet, Russian Ukrainian and recent Chinese MBTs.
Western tanks have a separate compartment in the turret bustle with
a blow-out panels
The T-90 is
not as accurate against long-range targets, however it can launch
anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary munitions.
system of the T-90 was adequate in the 1990s, when this tank was
introduced. However currently it is outdated. The T-90 lacks advanced sights with
thermal vision, as well as panoramic commander's sight, which would
allow to detect and engage targets faster.
version has poor power-to-weight ratio due to its underpowered
engine. Later models were fitted with more powerful engines.
The T-90 is
currently in service with Russia (approximately 700), Algeria (305),
Azerbaijan (20), India (620), Turkmenistan (40) and Venezuela (50
Tagil is a recent version with new armor, new engine, new gun,
improved turret, updated observation and aiming system. It is
significantly more capable than the baseline T-90. However so
far this version received no production orders.