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Prototype main battle tank

T-95 tank

There is only little official information of the T-95 prototype main battle tank

Country of origin Russia
Entered service -
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 50 ~ 55 t
Length (gun forward) ?
Hull length ~ 7 m
Width ~ 3 m
Height ~ 3 m
Main gun 152 mm smoothbore (?), 30 mm cannon
Machine guns ?
Elevation range ?
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun ?
Machine guns ?
Engine diesel
Engine power ?
Maximum road speed ~ 70 km/h
Range ~ 500 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step ~ 0.8 m
Trench ~ 2.8 m
Fording ~ 1.2 m
Fording (with preparation) ?


   Development of a new generation main battle tank began in the Soviet Union back in the late 1980s. After collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s development continued in Russia. The main goal was to create a tank with a powerful armament, that would be better protected and would use and unmanned turret. Crew members of the new tank were seated in a separate compartment that was isolated from ammunition. Russians were designing a tank that would outperform the most capable Western tanks, as well as all previous Soviet tanks. The whole project was kept in high secrecy. Even today there is only little official information available on the T-95. Technical data is also classified.

   Trials of a full-scale prototype began in 1998. In 2000 it was publicly announced that a new-generation main battle tank had been developed in Russia. It was designated as the T-95. It was intended to replace the T-72 and T-80 tanks and become the main MBT of the Russian Army. Trials continued in 2002.

   Most of the technical problems were solved and the new tank was delivered to the Russian MoD for trials and evaluation. However in 2008 Russian Government issued an order to stop trials of this tank. In 2009 development of the T-95 main battle tank has been suspended. By that time only 3 prototypes were built. One of them traveled 15 000 km and fired 287 rounds during trials. It is likely that the new tank failed to meet requirements of the Russian MoD. The T-95 never reached production. It was a testbed to check if design with unmanned turret was viable. Also the T-95 became a forerunner of the Armata.

   The T-95 was a new design, rather than a modification of existing vehicle. It had little common with the T-90 and other older Soviet tanks. Design of the T-95 focused on heavier armor and crew survivability. The main feature of this design was an unmanned turret with externally mounted and remotely-controlled armament. This MBT was fitted with autoloader and automatic ammunition handling system. The autoloader is located below the turret and is similar in many aspects to current Russian autoloaders.

   The T-95 was operated by a crew of 3, including commander, gunner and driver. The tank had no loader, as the gun was loaded automatically. It is in line with Russian tank-building concept, that the tank should be operated by a smaller crew in order to reduce its dimensions and weight and improve protection. All crew members were seated inside the hull in a well protected cell. This cell was separated from automatic loader and ammunition. The tank could operate even with penetrated armor, as long as the crew cell was intact.

   The T-95 was much larger than the previous Russian MBTs. In terms of dimensions and weight it approached modern Western MBTs, such as the Challenger 2, Leopard 2A7 and M1A2 Abrams.

   It was planned that this tank would be fitted with an active protection system.

   It is believed that the T-95 was armed with a 152 mm smoothbore gun. This tank was also armed with a secondary 30 mm cannon. Development of the T-95 was stopped in 2009. By that time an improved 2A82 125 mm tank gun appeared in Russia. Due to improved ballistics this gun had longer range and was more accurate than a 2A46M gun of the T-90 tank.

   The T-95 was fitted with a new fire control system. The tank had a panoramic commander's periscope with thermal imager. It gave the tank a hunter-killer engagement capability. Commander was searching for targets using his periscope while the aiming and firing process was delegated to the gunner. This allowed to engage targets faster.

   Chassis of the T-95 used automotive components of existing Russian tanks. This tank was powered by an unspecified diesel engine.

   After it became clear that the T-95 failed, there were no ready alternatives. Development of another Russian prototype MBT, the Black Eagle, was stopped even earlier due to the lack of funds. Instead the Russian Army acquired a number improved T-90 MBTs as a stop-gap measure.

   In 2011 another MBT development program was launched in Russia. The new tank was named Armata. It concept it is similar to the T-95 and it is likely that the Armata uses some of the T-95 technology. It retains unmanned turret and well protected crew cell. However it uses a more traditional 125 gun instead of the 152 mm gun. This design proved to be more successful. First pre-production batch of tanks was completed in 2015. The Armata is planned to enter service with the Russian Army and its full-scale production is expected in 2020-2021.



T-95 tank

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T-95 tank

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T-95 tank

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