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The T-95 was a future main battle tank, in development at the Russian Federation's Uralvagonzavod plant (designers of the T-72 and T-90 series, and the biggest Russian facility producing tanks, leaving JSC KBTM Omsktransmash the transport machine and military factory in Russian city Omsk at the second place.). It was first reported by Jane's Defence Weekly in 1995, and announced by Russian official sources in 2000, but the tank had never been seen or photographed, and no concrete data had been released. It was due to be introduced in 2009, but was perpetually delayed, the Russian government finally terminated its involvement in the project in May 2010.[1]

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Most information about this tank is speculative. The tank is presumably a significant departure from the Soviet-era tanks currently in service. In particular, according to Moscow Defense Brief, it is expected to have a new hydropneumatic suspension with adaptive features, and the entire crew will be placed in a sealed compartment inside the hull, isolated from other tank components.[2]

Although no concrete information has been released, various websites have published descriptions and illustrations of a novel design. The main gun will reportedly be of 152 mm calibre (larger than the 105–125 mm guns in current main battle tanks) and will have a new multi-channel fire control system that works in optical, thermal, near IR, and radar spectrums.[2] The gun will be located in a remotely-controlled mount. Such an arrangement is anticipated to improve crew survivability compared to existing designs, because the crew compartment is separated from the ready ammunition supply, and also because the tank would be nearly completely hidden and protected in a hull-down position. The crew would number just three, all being carried within the hull itself.

The tank will reportedly be built on the principle of identical capabilities for both gunner and commander and fully supports the hunter-killer mode of operation, a unified command information system and tactical level automatic management system, and advanced active and passive defensive aids to protect the tank from various modern and future types of threat.[2]

Development and deployment[edit | edit source]

T-95 is a name given to the tank by media; it is not an official name.[2] According to published sources, development of a new tank called "Item 195" began at the Uralvagonzavod design bureau in the early 1990s.[2] The prototype tank was announced by the Russian Minister of Defense in 2000. On July 10, 2008 the Russian government announced that the Russian armed forces would start receiving new-generation tanks superior to the T-90 main battle tank after 2010. "The T-90 MBT will be the backbone of the armored units until 2025. T-72's and T-80's will not be modernized and will be eventually replaced by new-generation tanks, which will start entering service after 2010," Sergei Mayev, head of the Federal Service for Defense Contracts Rosoboronzakaz told a news conference.[3] In a July 2008 article in Jane's Defence Weekly, analyst Christopher F. Foss stated that the tank is expected to have a 152 mm gun with an automatic loader in the chassis, but that it is uncertain whether it will sport a conventional turret or external gun mount.[4]

Cancellation[edit | edit source]

In May 2010, deputy defense minister and chief of armaments Vladimir Popovkin announced that a number of programs for development of new armor and artillery weapons would be cancelled.[5] The main victim is the mysterious Object 195 program that was aimed to develop a new generation main battle tank to replace existing T-80 and T-90 tanks in the Russian Army. The new tank also dubbed T-95 has been developed by Nizhny Tagil Uralvagonzavod armor manufacturer in complete secrecy for more than 15 years. Popovkin said the military will focus on modernization of the T-90 instead.[6][7]

The reason given for this was the fact that the T-95 was already obsolete, as it had been in development for almost two decades, but some sources speculated it had more to do with the recent reduction in Russia's military budget, requiring substantial cuts across the board.[1][6] On the first day of Russian Defence Expo 2010 in Nizhny Tagil, The Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation of the Russian Federation, Konstantin Biryulin, announced to the press that the Russian state monopoly Rosoboronexport was unveiling the prototype of new battle tank called "object 195" (T-95) in a private showing to selected VIP guests, though the tank has yet to be seen by journalists or confirmed publicly by any of the participants.[8] Should this tank actually be a prototype T-95, it should be noted that that the fate of the T-95 remains uncertain. In April 2010 the first deputy defense minister of Russia Vladimir Popovkin announced that the Defense Ministry has stopped funding the development of T-95 and would have no more involvement in the project.[6] He then confirmed this statement in a June 2010 Interview, stating that Russia would no longer fund and was not going to buy the T-95, but that Uralvagonzavod might continue to work on the tank without government support.

In early July 2010, as reported by "UralInformByuro": the Minister of Industry and Science, Sverdlovsk region, Alexander Petrov said that Uralvagonzavod would soon finalize a T-95 prototype, entirely independently. However without state funding or export permits, the company would be unable to proceed to production.[9]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 M Pyadushkin (2010-04-08). "Russia Cancels Arms Programs". http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3a5d47479a-23ea-41cc-9a0d-2e8de47fbf49. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Fofanov, Vasiliy. "Short Term Rearmament Prospects of Russia’s Armored Forces". Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies. http://mdb.cast.ru/mdb/1-2008/item2/article4/. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  3. "Russia's new main battle tank to enter service 'after 2010'". RIA Novosti. 2008-07-10. http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080710/113700252.html. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  4. Christopher F. Foss, "Russia's New MBT Tipped to Sport a 152 mm Gun", Jane's Defence Weekly, July 30, 2008, p 6.
  5. "Neglecting the Navy could threaten Russia's sovereignty". 2010-06-03. http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20100603/159294042.html. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 ""Перспективная" бронетехника устарела раньше, чем стала в строй" (in Russian). http://kommersant.ru/doc.aspx?DocsID=1350456. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  7. "Russian Tank Falls Victim to Intrigues". 2010-05-12. http://www.rusbiznews.com/news/n795.html. Retrieved 2010=08=04. 
  8. "VI Международная выставка технических средств "Оборона и защита - 2010"" (in Russian). 2010-07-19. http://www.tass-ural.ru/details/111981.html. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  9. "В Нижнем Тагиле состоялся закрытый показ танка Т-95" (in Russian). http://lenta.ru/news/2010/07/15/t95/. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 

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