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T-15 Armata Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle

Russia

T-15 Armata

T-15 Armata Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle
Unveiled / Entered Service
2015
T-15 Armata Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle
Status
Prototype
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Table of Contents

Steel Aces Play for free
the highly anticipated MMO tactical tank shooter for 2024.

Introduction

The T-15 Armata (aka Object 149) is a new Russian Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Using the same Universal Chassis as the T-14 Armata Main Battle Tank, it was officially unveiled to the world’s media on the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade.

Since then, the vehicle has been exhibited at defence expo's with different remote turret systems. As of 2024, the vehicle is yet to enter serial production, nor attracted any export order, leaving a question mark as to the vehicles exact status.

Designated the “BMP T-15” by the manufacturer Uralvagonzavod, the T-15 uses the same chassis as the T-14 Armata Main Battle Tank, with the engine bay located at the front of the vehicle with the infantry compartment in the rear. Access is via a rear powered ramp. The x3 crewman sit in a separate compartment behind the engine bay and operate the roof mounted weapon stations remotely.

The T-15 is operated by a 3 man crew located in the centre of the vehicle behind the engine compartment. The driver is located on the left, the Commander to his right and the Gunner behind the Commander. Each have their own hatches. The driver has 3 periscopes in his hatch, whilst the Gunner and Commander have a cupola with several periscopes.

Background

The concept of converting tanks and their chassis into personnel carriers has been around since World War 2 (such as the Canadian Kangaroo) as a tank is more heavily armoured than a standard APC or Infantry Fighting Vehicle, hence the classification of a Heavy IFV aka HIFV.

Russia had experimented with converting obsolete T-72 and T-55 tanks into Heavy APC’s, just like Israel had successfully done with the Achzarit in the 1980’s.

Haunted by the high losses of IFV and tanks in the ​First and Second Chechen Wars, the requirement for more heavily Armoured Fighting Vehicles with the offensive firepower to engage and overwhelm targets in urban area’s (including those at high elevations) was born.

The first vehicle to meet this requirement was the BMPT aka “the terminator”. Based on a converted T-72 hull and developed by Uralvagonzavod, the BMPT has continued to evolve and finally entered service in limited numbers in 2018, following the continued delay in development and production of the second vehicle, the T-15 with its heavily armed “Bumerang-BM” unmanned turret.

Firepower

The T-15 has a modular capability and is able to mount several different Russian unmanned turrets and Remote Weapon Stations, with varying calibre chain Guns and Anti-Tank Guided Missile systems:

Bumerang-BM

T-15 Armata Bumerang-BM Turret
T-15 Armata Bumerang-BM Turret

The initial unmanned turret, developed by KBP Instrument Design Bureau, it is fitted with both a Commanders and Gunners sight with multi-channels (Day/Thermal), tracking capability and the ability to fire ATGM in fast succession to destroy ERA with a second missile to penetrator the exposed armor.

The T-15 primary weapon is the 2A42 30mm auto-cannon with a coaxial 7.62mm Machine Gun. Its Anti-Tank Capability is a pod mounted on both sides of the turret, each fitted with x2 Kornet ATGM launching tubes. The turret stores 550 rounds of ammunition and has dual feeds so is capable of firing 30mm AP and HEI rounds.

DUBM-57 Kinzhal

The T-15 has been exhibited in 2018, 2019 and 2020 at the International Military-Technical Forum “ARMY” in Russia, with a new turret, the DUBM-57 Kinzhal aka “Dagger”.  Each year, the turret has been modified with some sources incorrectly quoting the modified turret as the Au-220M Baikal.

The DUBM-57 Kinzhal features the 57mm chain gun “BM-57”. The gun and sights are fully stabilised and features a digital fire control system with thermal sitting technology. The fire control system is accurate up to ranges of 2000 meters whilst firing on the move at a rate of 80 rounds per minute.

In addition to the 57mm main gun, the platform features a 7.62mm main and has an ATGM launcher housing a  pair of 9M120 Ataka Anti Tank Guided Missiles.

The turret was developed by Central Scientific Research Institute Burevestnik, which is part of Uralvagonzavod. It has been seen on the T-15 in three different configurations at the Forum ARMY show:

  1. Forum ARMY 2018, the pair of ATGM were mounted on the right side of the turret and square sights on U-Shaped mounts. The Turret had a boxy shape and angles.
  2. Forum ARMY 2019, the pair of ATGM were mounted on the right side of the turret, with different sights in upright mounts with black glass. The Turret was a bit more minimalistic and featured a large spherical base. Both Janes and vitalykuzmin.net identified the turret as Kinzhal with supporting evidence.
  3. At Forum ARMY 2020, the ATGM were set in a proper launcher (as seen on the BMPT) with the sighting devices used at ARMY 2018. Photographs taken by vitalykuzmin.net of the manufacturers information board (displayed in Russian and English) clearly titles the modified turret as Kinzhal. This 2020 version has also appeared in Victory Day Parades.

 

Au-220M Baikal

The Baikal turret was also developed by Central Scientific Research Institute Burevestnik and has been around since 2016 and has been mounted on a number of light weight AFV such as the BMP-3 and BRM-3K Rys (lynx).

The earlier version of this turret featured a more minimalistic housing. At Forum ARMY 2019, the turret was on display (not on a vehicle) in the main business hall. Whilst the Baikal turret looks similar to the Kinzhal turret, which was on display on the T-15 in the outdoor exhibit area, there are a number of obvious differences and several subtle ones between the two turrets.

In February 2020 Uralvagonzavod released a video of a revised AU-220M turret on their YouTube channel, which looks identical to the one advertised on the designers website titled “AU-220M turret”.

It is clear that whilst both turrets are developed and marketed by the same companies, the AU-220M Baikal has not been used on the T-15 Armata, only different versions of Kinzhal turret.

 

Protection

Active Protection Systems

The T-15 uses the same Active Protection System as the T-14 Armata Main Battle Tank, but both systems components are mounted on both sides of the hulls.

The hard kill system launching tubes used to fire projectiles at ATGM & HEAT rounds, are located hull sides.

Traversable NII Stali (manufacturer) Upper Hemisphere Protection Complex launchers re located hull sides. Described by the manufacturer as “The principle of operation is based on the detection of complex precision-guided munitions flew, striking the upper hemisphere, and the disruption of its guidance system or a powerful electromagnetic pulse, or the creation of securable multispectral aerosol cloud of false and IR purposes”.

Armour Systems

The T-15’s Active Protection Systems are the vehicles first line of defence. The second line is its armor. The vehicle employes various armor types to offer high levels of protection over the frontal arc, full length of its hull sides and roof.

The hull is constructed of a special hardened steel. The sides of the hull are covered in replaceable modular blocks, each containing some form of composite armor. These are marked in green for all armor images. The sides of the engine do not require the same level of protection and in order for the exhaust gases to leave the exhaust a shelter is constructed of armor plate, which is marked as blue in all the armor images. The red represents an area of Explosive Reactive Armor blocks with a strong chance of composite behind it, which is now being called “module” in Russia, just like on the T-14 and BMPT Terminator 2. The turret roof around the crew hatches and above the infantry section has ERA.

Specifications

characteristic
Result
Main Gun
2A42 30mm Chain Gun and x4 Kornet ATGM
ATGM Capability
Secondary Weapons
Coaxial 7.62mm Machine Gun
Ammunition Storage
x500 30mm, x4 ATGM and x2000 7.62mm
Engine
1200hp A-82-2 turbocharged Diesel
Transmission
?
Top Road Speed
70km/h (Estimated)
Road Range
550km (Estimated)
Fuel Capacity
?
Vertical Obstacle
?
Water Capability
?
Trench Crossing
?
Gradient
?
Side Slope
?
Length Gun Forward
N/A
Length Hull
9.5m +
Width
4.8m including exhaust armor
Height
3.5m
Ground Clearance
?
Weight
40+ Tonne
NBC Protected
yes
Standard Armor(s) Type
Steel, Composite, Modular, Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA)
Optional Add-on Armor(s) Type
Active Protection Systems
hard_kill
Crew
Commander, Gunner, Driver
Infantry
8